Excerpts: Read here for more
Umno Youth deputy chief -cum- Prime Minister's son in law, Khairy Jamaluddin, who is unelected, called on everyone to stop speculating on the general election date.
"No one including political leaders should issue statements on the question (when general elections will be held) because it is (within) the absolute power of the Prime Minister. I do not understand why everyone from the politicians to the Election Commission chairman is speculating on the election date,” said Khairy.
Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang asked:
“Who is Khairy Jamaluddin to tell everyone, including ministers, to stop speculating on when the general election would be held when he has NOT even been elected as a Member of Parliament?
Of course, everybody knows that he (Khairy) is the most powerful man in the country, presiding over the fourth storey of Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya and who controls and manipulates the Prime Minister's moves and decision-making.
But such unaccountable and even unconstitutional exercise of power should not get to his head to make him publicly rebuke ministers for speculating when the next general election would be held.
Of course, there will be those who will argue that this prerogative of the Prime Minister to decide when to call for election has been usurped by Khairy.
Whatever the truth, there can be no doubt that next to Abdullah, Khairy would be the FIRST to know when the next general election would be held.”
It is the right of every Malaysian to speculate on its dates, Lim said.
Lim could not resist adding his own speculation, stating that the parliament could be dissolved during Chinese New Year.
“Considering that the Umno general assembly could be held on Deepavali, utterly insensitive of the religious festival of the Hindus, I do not rule out parliament being dissolved during the Chinese New Year, even before Chap Goh Mei on Feb 21, 2008,” he said.
WONG CHIN HUAT is chairperson of the Writers Alliance for Media Independence
"... The SON-IN-LAW (Khairy) should shut up too because he was DEAD WRONG.
Setting the election date is NOT within the power of prime minister. There are three steps in calling a general election in a constitutional monarchy like ours. Read here
The SON-IN-LAW should read the Constitution before lecturing the EC Chief.
While we may not have confidence in (EC Chairman) Abdul Rashid's integrity and competence, Malaysians must still defend the dignity of his office from the son-in-law’s attacks.
Khairy is WRONG in two aspects.
Rashid must defend the stature and dignity of his high office and whatever reputation he has left.
- Firstly, he must not take Royal assent for granted. If Khairy were the son-in-law in Thailand, he could have faced charge of lese majeste.
He should apologise to the King, the premier and Malaysians for misleading the public with misinterpretation, ignorance or contempt of the constitution.
- Secondly, he is in no position to lecture the EC chief. Constitutionally, after the King decides on the date of dissolution, the EC will decide the date of nomination and polling.
Even if the prime minister enjoys the King’s confidence, he can only determine the range of dates, while the EC head will determine the exact date.
If the premier has already informed the EC chief of his preferred date of dissolution, wouldn’t Abdul Rashid know when the election will be called?
He must tell Umno and Barisan Nasional politicians that he is the one who calls the shots, NOT the premier - and certainly not the SON-IN-LAW who has not checked the laws.