PETALING JAYA: It is very rude of DAP and PKR to insist on submitting only Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s name as mentri besar despite the Sultan of Selangor’s decree calling for more names.
National Council of Professors political cluster head Prof Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said in doing so, both parties were in effect giving the Sultan an ultimatum.
“Even if they have reservations about the Sultan’s decree, they could have opted to express it in a more subtle way which would allow them room to negotiate with the Ruler.
“They instead challenged and gave an ultimatum to the Sultan, which is rude (biadap) and an unwise political move that will only worsen the situation,” said Mustafa.
He said there have been many instances where political parties had to seek the cooperation of the Ruler in order to resolve issues involving the appointment of mentris besar.
He said mentris besar whose appointment faced issues in terms of obtaining royal consent included Perak’s Tan Sri Mohd Ghazali Jawi in 1974, Negri Sembilan’s Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad in 1999, Pahang’s Datuk Abdul Rahim Abu Bakar in 1991, Perlis’ Tan Sri Shahidan Kassim in 2008 and Terengganu’s Idris Jusoh in 2008.
“All these cases show that you need to act with political wisdom because our system has constitutional monarchs whose powers and roles cannot be ignored,” said Mustafa.
Lawyer Datuk Salehuddin Saidin said the Sultan of Selangor was well within his right to ask for more than one name.
“It is within the Sultan’s discretionary powers to ask for more names (and appoint anyone among them) so long as that member of assembly commands the majority support in the legislature,” he said.
Lawyer Syahredzan Johan however believed that the Sultan’s discretionary powers in appointing a mentri besar was limited.
“In situations where the Ruler is not sure whether a candidate has the support of the majority in the assembly, his Royal Highness can exercise his discretion to see who can command such confidence.
“However, the 30 statutory declarations by assemblymen in support of Dr Wan Azizah is adequate to prove that she is the one who commands majority support,” he said.
Syahredzan said a deadlock between DAP, PKR and the Palace could in theory lead to a constitutional crisis if unresolved.
“However, at the end of the day I think His Royal Highness, will do what is provided for under the constitution so I don’t see this turning into a constitutional crisis.”
Syahredzan said there were many factors that would decide when the problem in the state can be resolved and that one of them will depend on PAS’ next move.
Universiti Malaya law professor Gurdial Singh Nijar said there is no provision in the state laws requiring nomination of more than two candidates for the post.
However, he said, the Sultan could exercise his discretion under state convention and practices to request for more names.
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