PETALING JAYA: It is just a matter of time before Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has to step down as mentri besar, says constitutional expert Prof Emeritus Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi (pic).
“The sun has set. There is a lingering twilight. He is entitled to relish it (the post) but in parliamentary democracies it is a game of numbers,” said Dr Shad.
On Thursday, PKR’s candidate for mentri besar, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail claimed that she has the majority support among state assemblymen after 30 of them, Wan Azizah included, signed statutory declaration in support for her.
All 15 DAP assemblymen, 13 PKR assemblymen including two PAS assemblymen supported the PKR president's candidacy.
The remaining 13 Selangor PAS assemblymen will announce their stand after a Central Working Committee (CEC) meeting on Sunday.
Barisan National, who has 12 Umno representatives in the Selangor legislature assembly, have thrown their support behind Khalid to remain as mentri besar.
Dr Shad explained that the final decision of who helms the mentri besar seat lies on the shoulders of the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.
“The democratic thing is to advise His Majesty to call the assembly to session as soon as possible. But if he wants to buy time, Khalid can wait to give advice until November comes. The sultan has some discretion,” he said.
“It will be constitutionally very proper for the Sultan to give an audience to anyone claiming majority. Tuanku has three related choices. First, to use the Perak precedent to determine on his own outside the assembly who really commands the confidence by asking for personal appearances and written declarations (of the candidates),” he explained.
“Secondly, to wait for the Mentri Besar to advise him to call the assembly to session for a vote. Finally, we could ask the Mentri Besar to expedite the summoning to decide in a democratic forum the question of confidence. The Sultan has clear discretion to choose one of three alternatives,”
On the option of a secret vote, Dr Shad said that the option would be up to Selangor assembly speaker Hannah Yeoh.
“As to a secret vote, I think that is a matter of assembly procedure and madam speaker will be in charge to accept of reject that proposal,” he said.
On Saturday, PKR sacked Khalid as party member for refusing to step down as mentri besar.