Sunday, 21 September 2014
THE RIGHT OF STATE ASSEMBLY TO TABLE VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE ON MB NOT HAVING CONFIDENCE OF MAJORITY
SELANGOR PALACE MUST NOT PUT CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES IN DANGER IN SELANGOR
If it happens, it will be a bad and horrible legacy left behind by the constitutional monarch and it places our constitutional monarchy in bad taste in the minds of ALL Malaysians in years to come.
READ HERE :http://tinyurl.com/lvs7cbc
Online and print media reports the day before and yesterday reported that three names are in the process of being vetted by the sultan of Selangor to be named as the next menteri besar of Selangor.
Two names are from the three submitted earlier by PAS in a letter signed by their president i.e. Iskandar Samad and Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi. The third is a name which was not proposed by any of the three Pakatan parties – Azmin Ali, deputy president of PKR.
It is also made clear in these reports that Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who has publicly demonstrated the support of 30 state assemblypersons (all 13 from PKR, all 15 from DAP and two from PAS) and a clear majority, has not been granted an audience and is apparently not being considered for the post.
Regardless of the discussions about the merits and demerits of these individuals, if it is true that the above two PAS names and that of Azmin are the only names being considered, as would appear to be the case for the moment, then several key questions arise as to whether fundamental principles of parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy are being brushed aside in an unprecedented manner.
The two PAS names only enjoy the support of 13 state assemblypersons from their party as the two PAS state assemblypersons supporting Wan Azizah have publicly reaffirmed their support for her.
HRH’s legal advisers would in all likelihood have advised him that the critical condition in the law for appointment is that the candidate must have majority support.
Clearly, even assuming support from 15 PAS state assemblypersons, these two names do not.
An appointment of either of them will invite a prolonged constitutional crisis in Selangor and possible legal challenges in court, something which we am sure that HRH, properly advised, would certainly not want and would be against the interest of the state and its people.
The appointment of Azmin, whose name was never proposed by any party, and who, at this point in time, is also clearly not able to demonstrate majority would result in the same.
Majority support is a fundamental precondition for the appointment itself, without which the appointment would be illegal and a violation of the state constitution.
Fundamental principles are indeed at stake here. This is no longer an issue of the specific person to be appointed.
What is critical is that, whosoever is appointed, has to be appointed according to the fundamentals of a democracy, that the name is decided by the majority of the elected representatives of the people and not by any other institution or person.
Pakatan Rakyat and all other parties involved including BN must stand by and defend these principles which are enshrined in our federal and state constitutions and in our political system.
Umno leaders need to remind themselves of the run-ins they had with the rulers, especially the one following their defeat in Kelantan in the 1990 general elections which prompted delegates at the Malay party assembly to demand the abolition of the powers on the part of the rulers to appoint menteri besars.
Perhaps it is worth noting what Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak said in a public lecture delivered in Singapore some time in 2004 where he pointed out that:"(the Yang di-Pertuan Agong) appoints (and does not select) the prime minister.
Correspondingly the rulers at state level appoints the (menteri besars)." In the lecture that was organised by Iseas he, however, observed that "Unfortunately there are (rulers) who behaved like absolute (monarchs)" and warned that "The future of monarchy in Malaysia depends on the conduct and performance of the rulers".
We have been independent for almost six decades and the law and practice regulating the appointment of governments at the state and federal level has been consistent.
On the part of the rulers they have made it clear, in the historic Declaration of Constitutional Principles 1992, that they would abide by the law that has been enshrined in the Constitution as well as the consistent practice that have been put in place all these years.
It goes without saying that only the practice that goes hand in hand with the constitutional provisions merit a place in what is known as convention of the constitution.
-Abdul Aziz Bari
Constitutional Law Expert.
Posted by Malaysian Unplug at 23:30:00