The Dandelions

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URGENT APPEAL: PERAK CONSTITUTION CRISIS FROM MISINTERPRETATION OF WORDS?

Posted by ella-mae on February 6, 2009

The Dandelions found this comment at the DYMM Sultan Azlan Shah’s guest book.

Kim Quek

E-mail address: kimquek@hotmail.com

Comments: PERAK CONSTITUTION CRISIS FROM MISINTERPRETATION OF WORDS?

Urgent appeal to the Sultan to re-look the constitution.

06.02.2009, 1020 hrs.

Is it possible that a slight difference in wording between the state constitution of Perak and the federal constitution pertaining to the loss of confidence of Mentri Besar/prime minister has misled the Sultan of Perak into thinking that the constitutional requirement necessitating the Mentri Besar to resign has been fulfilled?

Judging from the Sultan’s statement explaining his decision to appoint a new mentri besar that seems to be the case. Let me quote the relevant paragraph of the Sultan’s statement explaining why Mentri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin must step down:

After meeting all the 31 assemblymen, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak was convinced that YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the State Assembly members.

This statement would have been a correct interpretation of the constitution if applied to the Prime Minister, but an incorrect interpretation, if applied to the Mentri Besar. This is because the loss of confidence of the majority is prescribed differently in the two constitutions (relevant parts of the constitutions are shown at the end of this article). Under the federal constitution, the loss of confidence refers to members of the House of Representatives whereas under the state constitution, it refers to the Legislative Assembly. This means that while the ascertainment of loss confidence can conducted outside Parliament (such as collective appearance before the Agung) in the federal case, it cannot be repeated in state case. In the state case, the loss of confidence must be ascertained within the state assembly, meaning through a vote of no confidence in the state assembly.

The reason why I said the Sultan could have been misled is that in his statement extracted above, he mentioned the confidence of the majority of the State Assembly members. Notice the statement refers to State Assembly members, and not to State Assembly.

Under the circumstances, the Mentri Besar was right when he said that he was legally obliged to step down only when a motion of no confidence on him has been passed in the state assembly, but not otherwise.

And since the Mentri Besar has not resigned, any appointment of another Mentri Besar will be ultra vires the state constitution.

The swearing-in of another Mentri Besar is only few hours away from now (at 1530 hrs). Perhaps His Royal Highness can spare a few minutes to take another look at the two constitutions, so as to avert a major constitutional crisis?

The relevant extracts from the two constitutions are as follows:

Federal constitution: Article 43 (4): If the Prime Minister ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives, then, unless at his request the Yang di-Pertuan Agong dissolves Parliament, the Prime Minister shall tender the resignation of the Cabinet.

Perak state constitution: Artikel XVI(6): If the Mentri Besar ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the Legislative Assembly, then unless at his request His Royal Highness dissolves the Legislative Assembly, he shall tender the resignation of the Executive Council.

Kim Quek

Updated at 12:40pm (06 Feb, 2009)

DYMM Sultan Azlan Shah’s statement

THE following is the media statement issued by the office of Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, which was signed by the ruler’s private secretary, Col Datuk Abd Rahim Mohamad Nor:

Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was granted an audience by Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan on Feb 4, to ask for his Royal Highness’s consent to dissolve the Perak State Assembly.

Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, also requested for an audience with his Royal Highness in his capacity as the Perak Barisan Nasional chairman and consent was granted to be present before his Royal Highness on Feb 5.

Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Mohd Najib informed that the Barisan Nasional and its supporters, now comprising 31 state assemblymen, had the majority in the State Assembly.

On the order of the Duli Yang Maha Mulia to ascertain that the information given was accurate, all the 31 state assemblyman were to present themselves before Paduka Seri Sultan.

After meeting all the 31 assemblymen, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak was convinced that YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the State Assembly members.

DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak had also considered thoroughly YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s application on Feb 4, 2009 for his Royal Highness’s consent to dissolve the Perak State Assembly.

His Royal Highness had used his discretion under Article XVIII (2)(b) of the Perak Darul Ridzuan State Constitution and did not consent to the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly.

YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was summoned to an audience with the Sultan to be informed of his Royal Highness’s decision not to dissolve the State Assembly, and in accordance with the provisions of Article XVI (6) of the Perak Darul Ridzuan State Constitution, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak ordered YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin to resign from his post as Perak Mentri Besar together with the members of the state executive council with immediate effect.

If YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin does not resign from his post as Perak Mentri Besar together with the state executive council members, then the posts of Mentri Besar and state executive councillors are regarded as vacant.

This statement is issued with the consent of Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak Darul Ridzuan.


24 Responses to “URGENT APPEAL: PERAK CONSTITUTION CRISIS FROM MISINTERPRETATION OF WORDS?”

  1. SameSame said

    You think he has time for us his ‘humble’ servants…he is LOST in BN!

  2. siggghhh …

  3. smarter citizen said

    I think najis told the sultan its payback time for the Lord President post that was given.

  4. peng said

    Thanks for highlighting this. It’s time Perakians get together to sue the government for breaching our constitutional rights!

  5. mauryaII said

    I don’t think he will do what is right after what he did in his haste to please Najib and the BN government. As a previous Lord President, he might be even willing to lose his standing and legal crediblity than to lose FACE. Who are commoners to point out to the high and mighty that they too are not infallible?

  6. red1daniel said

    I think the spirit of the wordings are right in both constitutions but to hastily make a sweeping conclusive judgement is unbecoming of a civil society and teaches us citizenry to behave in most uneducated manner. What happened to due process? What happened to benefit to the government of the day?

    Even when the British surrendered Malaya to the Japanese they are allowed to dress up in their best attire, march with their flag and sit at a table for the signing. Likewise when the Japanese surrender.

    Common Sultan Azlan Shah, you are better educated than unknown me.🙂

    Redhuan D. Oon

  7. joe said

    PR should accept / already know that their challenge (in court) for the validity of the two PKR’s rep letter will be in vain (when this issue is referred to the previous similar case, even Karpal admitted this). However, they still prefer to ramble through this difficulty, at the expense of rakyat’s, although it is crystal clear the letters of resignation are invalid. The same goes with the current tussle, the majority of the elected reps in Perak has shifted to BN. Therefore, any other arguments is simply PR’s refusal to accept the reality that the majority is now in BN’s hand. It is impalatable for these people to accept it, that they prefer to argue over it, rather than see the actual reality that they have failed to command the majority. Pity.

  8. Tony Wong said

    It is obvious that the king sided Najix and his BN g—s. I’m not a lawyer and definitely not fluent in the matters of law, but how about making it more simple; just give back the mandate to the people. Those defectors might have the rights to jump ship but Does that represent the Rakyat wish? I truly doubt it. Those 3 defectors are cursed to death now and it is obvious that the Rakyat doesn’t want a change in the government. Tuanku should know this. And even if Tuanku has the perspective that the assembly has lost confidence over MB Nizar and want a change in the leadership, does that mean that the rakyat want a change in the entire state government?

    The most simple step is to hold by-election at least for the 3 defactors posts. This is the surest way to prove that if the rakyat want a change in the state government, then only we deal with MB Nizar. Sometimes laws are just too confusing but to be truth I have lost respect to our king and that’s the saddest part of my life.

  9. Malicious said

    I wonder how much Najis fund transfer to the King through Swiss account.

  10. sang kancil said

    Its never tool late to reverse. Everybody makes mistakes. It takes a man to hold his hand and make amends.

  11. no such thing as Anak Bangsa Malaysia! said

    Javanese (Malay) values are not compatible with Islamic values. The informed and educated know this well. So does PAS, though they will not admit it openly.

    Related info:
    http://margeemar.blogspot.com/2009/02/nizar-derhaka-atau-sultan-yang-abaikan.html

    http://scottthong.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/michael-chick-who-are-the-malays-and-how-to-unite-them/

    Maybe Indonesia should invade the fake country called Malaysia, throw out the government and corrupted system including the monarchy, and call it the straits settlements of various races and religions from all over the world, especially Asia.

    We would be more developed, diverse, strong and cosmo compared to Australia if the British had done a HK on us.

    The current system, rules, constitution and rukun negara were just put in place by UMNO to prolong their (fake and manipulative concept of) Malay Elite dominance, which is in actuality only for UMNOputra dominance; and to allow their divide and conquer tactics and methods to fester and disunite.

    Ketuanan UMNO boleh! People deserve the government they get! Time for the people to rise and rebel!

  12. nanoo said

    HRH is suffering from “short term memory loss” . That is why he has confused himself between the two constitution. Is there a Dr in Perak who can cure HIM? Maybe he can consult DR M.
    Oh another thing, since Baruah Najis is taking over Perak, in a couple of months it will change the name of the state to BERAK!

  13. mauryaII said

    Sultan Azlan Shah’s legal training and expertise seems to have deserted him at a very crucial time. He seems to favour the powers of the day (meaning Najis and Barisan Neraka) to that of his subjects.

    Whatever high sounding legal jargon and rhetoric he expounds in his book on the constitution and the position of the monarchy is just for the legal fraternity. He does not practise what he preaches.

    He reminds me of another politician who got his doctorate degree for his dessaration on the ISA and its devilish overtones in incarcerting innocent citizens under the pretext of being a threat to the nation. But once he was readmitted into UMNO and given a minister’s post, he has become the champion on the use of the ISA on the very same innocent citizens. Both seem to suffer from amnesia of the highest degree, just like the mad man Mamakthir.

    Well, Barisan Neraka can do so many good services for the sultan. What can the poor rakyat do for him? Nothing! Hope the rulers in this country have learnt the histories of countries where dynasties have floundered and faded into oblivion because they did not heed the plea of the citizens.

  14. mauryaII said

    oops spelling error dissertation and NOT dessaration

  15. MalayMail said

    Najis just finishing his losing war in KT bi-election about few weeks ago, do you think he dare to take the risk for the by another bi-election? “Settle’ 3 flogs+Sultan is cheaper compare to the money got to spend for the bi-election(more people to cover).

  16. […] however, you want to read more, click here, that post provides good explanation for […]

  17. […] The Dandelions “Urgent appeal: Perak constitution crisis from misinterpretation of words?“ […]

  18. Antares said

    Thanks for bringing this detail to our attention, though I doubt Azlan Shah is losing any sleep over the mess his decision has created in Perak. Too much rich living impoverishes a man’s soul.

  19. karmicpolitics said

    even the sultan is under pressure from the people we hate the part we hate BN , seriously loath them, i am from Selangor and Perakians i feel for you in the end the rakyat are cheated so what if we go down for every election and vote in the end people with power and money decide and cause havoc !! Pakatan Rakyat hold on to ur believe and most importantly serve with truth and integrity the rakyat will be on ur side !! God Bless my beloved country and citizens !!

  20. sunwayopal said

    They should now ask Mohd Nizar to fight for the Bukti Gantang parliament side.

    Imagine the peoples victory if Mohd Nizar wins.

    This will be a slap in teh face of the Sultan and Barisan Najis.

    Not uncommon to have MBs also as MPs.

    Khalid Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng to name just 2.

    Mohd Nizar for Parliament.!!!

    If Mohd Nizar wins, this will b a real slap in the face of people like Najis Razak and all those blind waiving Daulat Tuanku idiots and if Mohd Nizar wins, we have the moral standing even for the Perak state assembly.

    Pls pls ask Perak PAS to nominate Mohd Nizar for parliament.

    You need to do it.

  21. What’s perhaps not taken into account here in the many discussions about the dismissal of a popularly elected government in the state of Perak is the fact that the sultan has a discretion under his state’s constitution to exercise which he did.

    The (error) vexed question about whether or not the Pakatan government enjoyed the confidence of a majority in the house should have been tested in the house by a show of confidence in the house instead of reliance on a statement by a powerful federal minister without any of his evdience being tested in the manner it should have been.

    In not doing so the sultan in the exercise of his discretion may be said to have acted without the proof which that evidence of Najib Razak and three other members of the house if validly tested in the house could have produced as ought to have been the case.

    What this whole event demonstrates is that the constitution of both the federation (judging from other recent controversial events) and the states were hurried jobs without any proper thought being given to mechanisms to deal with such controversial and troubling situations. Dismissals of state governments had precedents in the commonwealth even prior to the dismissal of the Whitlam government in Australia in 1975. The state government of New South Wales suffered a similar fate in 1939.

    A discretion in the hands of an unelected ruler is more than just dangerous.It is a recipe for courting disaster in a nation where the exesses of hereditary rulers is well documented. And with the egregious and potentially destabilising act of the sultan of Perak in summarily dismissing a popularly elected government in this case in a highly charged political environment is an invitation to revolt and a potential call to the ‘Rakyat’ to reexamine the future of sultans and they constituional power they weild over annd above the traditional power unconstitutionally vested in them. And in an emergent and relatively young democracy struggling to come to terms with many of its inherent and systematic flaws imposed on it at independence, what might result from such action in unprecedented economically unstable times is like guessing the outcomes of pulling the trigger in a game of Russian Roulette.

  22. samdol said

    Why Nizar is not challenging the Sultan in Court? Instead led Karpal to do it?
    The answer is obvious.

  23. Termizi said

    I think the correct quotation for Article 16 (6) of Perak Constitution is “If the Menteri Besar ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly, then, unless at his request His Royal Highness dissolves the Legislative Assembly, he shall tender the resignation of the Executive Council”. The clause ‘of the members’ is also there. More expalanation needs to differentiate on how to sack PM compare to how to sack MB.

    Correct me if I’m wrong.TQ.

  24. Dr. Andrew Choo said

    Leaders in power have forgotten that there is greatness in humility. Is it very shamful to say I made a mistake. On further reflection and a more detailed study of the constitution I like to change my former decision. I think there is no shame but greatness to be humble. After all, to err is human, and stiff in opinion often in the wrong. Please God, make us humble.

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