Rulers to decide on new King

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 08 Jan 2019

Institution’s upkeep: A worker doing maintenance work on a sign at Istana Negara during the Conference of Rulers meeting. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: While the rotational system is used to determine who among the nine Malay Rulers will be elected the next Yang di-Pertuan Agong, ultimately the nation’s 16th King will be chosen at a Special Meeting of the Conference of Rulers. This will take place on Jan 24.

Legal expert Associate Professor Dr Shamrahayu A. Aziz said the Rulers were not bound to follow the rotation list.

“It is at their discretion,” she said.

“The Ruler named as the next Yang di-Pertuan Agong must first give consent or decline his appointment as King by the Rulers,” she said when contacted yesterday.

Dr Shamrahayu said the nine Malay hereditary Rulers, who would be attending the special meeting, would then decide by way of a majority ballot to elect one of them as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“For a Ruler to become the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, he must get at least five votes, which includes his own,” said Dr Shamrahayu.

Dr Shamrahayu said the rakyat would want to see the appointment of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as soon as possible.

“A Head of State represents the country’s royal institution and a symbol of the nation’s sovereignty,” she added.

Constitutional lawyer Datuk Malik Imtiaz said the Malaysian Constitution sets out the procedures for the election of the King

“But no time frame is specified for the election of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in these circumstances,” he added.

Based on accepted practices, he said the Rulers would offer the appointment to the Ruler next in line on the rotation list.

“If that Ruler declines, the offer will be made to the next Ruler on the list, and so on, until a Ruler accepts the offer,” he added.

If the appointment is accepted, the Rulers must elect that Ruler by the aforementioned vote.

“That Ruler is then declared to have been elected as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for a term of five years, and the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal must notify both Houses of Parliament of the matter,” he said.

Bar Council’s Constitutional Law Committee co-chair Andrew Khoo said that the Rulers would not allow the throne to remain vacant for long.

Pending the election of a new Yang di-Pertuan Agong, he said the Rulers would appoint a deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong to carry out the functions and duties of the King.

“This is to ensure that legislations passed by Parliament and certain appointments within the government and the judiciary receives the perkenan or royal consent from the King,” he said.

Under the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal will convene the Conference of Rulers not later than four weeks before the expiry of the term of office of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and whenever a vacancy occurs in that office.

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