PETALING JAYA: The special meeting of the Conference of Rulers is expected to follow tradition and convention in electing the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong today.
Constitutional law expert Assoc Prof Dr Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz said the Conference, which is made up of the nine Malay Rulers, will select the next Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
She said the process played a significant role in nation building as it decides the appointment of the supreme head of the country.
“Although we practise the parliamentary democracy system, we also uphold the system of constitutional monarchy.
“This selection process may be as important as the process of appointing the Prime Minister,” she said when contacted yesterday.
The current Yang di-Pertuan Agong is Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, the Sultan of Kedah, whose five-year term as King effective from Dec 13, 2011 will end this Dec 12.
Based on the rotation system set by the Conference of Rulers, the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V, is next in line.
The Conference will bid farewell to Tuanku Abdul Halim, 88, who made history as the only Sultan who has been King twice in his lifetime.
The rotation system for the post of Yang di-Pertuan Agong among the nine Rulers has been enforced since the country’s independence on Aug 31, 1957.
In the normal process, before the selection process begins, the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal will ask the next in line on the list whether he is prepared to be chosen as Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The Rulers will then vote through secret ballot, and if the candidate receives at least five votes, he will officially be the next Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The process is repeated for the post of Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who will act on behalf of the King during His Majesty’s absence or due to illness.
Under Article 32 of the Federal Constitution, the Rulers could also remove a sitting Yang di-Pertuan Agong from office.
Constitutional expert Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi was reported as saying that when the first rotation list was drawn up after 1957, the first name in the order was decided based upon the seniority of tenure as Sultan.
“But at that time, the most eligible and senior candidates turned down the offer to become the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“So, the position was offered to the next most senior and eligible candidate,” he said.
When the first list was formulated, both the then Sultans of Johor and Pahang, who were the first- and second-most senior Rulers in terms of tenure, declined the appointment.
The position was then offered to the next most senior and eligible candidate, which was Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman who served as Yang di-Pertuan Agong until 1960.
Prof Shad Saleem said Tuanku Abdul Halim’s appointment as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was reflective of the natural progression of the rotation system.
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