KUALA LUMPUR: There is no time limit for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to endorse the appointment of the Chief Judge of Malaya, according to a constitutional expert.
Prof Shad Faruqi, who is Professor of Law at University Teknologi Mara, pointed out that there was no provision in the Federal Constitution to by-pass the King in making the appointment because the letter of appointment must come from the King.
However, he noted that legally, the Conference of Rulers had no right to veto the choice of candidate put before them.
He said that according to the law, the candidate would be chosen on the advice of the Prime Minister to the King, who would then consult the Conference of Rulers.
It is only consultation. This means no consent is required and it is not binding.
So the Conference of Rulers have the right to express their opinions and concerns, if any, but not the right to veto, he said.
Prof Faruqi said while it was clear under Article 40 (1) of the Federal Constitution the King was bound by the Prime Minister's advice, yet at the same time the King must show respect to the views of the Conference of Rulers.
The Conference of Rulers put the King there and they can also dismiss him, he said, adding that such a situation could pose a dilemma to the King.
Prof Faruqi added that there were also no sanctions if the King did not follow the Prime Minister's advice on judicial appointments, adding that as this was a grey area, convention and customs must play a role.
Legally, the Conference of Rulers must give their consent. Consultation does not mean that advice (given by the Conference of Rulers) must be obeyed, he said.
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