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A constitutional blunder by Najib

COMMENT The first task that Najib Abdul Razak faced upon being sworn in as prime minister on May 6, 2013 after leading the BN to victory in the 13th general election, was to form the cabinet.

Constitutionally, the prime minister does not have a free hand in his choice of cabinet ministers. Article 43(2)(b) of the federal constitution provides that cabinet members shall be "members of either House of Parliament".

Traditionally, the cabinet is dominated by members elected by the people to serve in the Dewan Rakyat. However, prime ministers often do appoint a few cabinet members from the Senate (Dewan Negara)...