JOHOR BARU: The Johor Sultan has the absolute right to appoint a Mentri Besar as stipulated under the Undang-undang Tubuh Negeri Johor 1895, says lawyer Ahmad Solehin Abd Ghani.
He said this in response to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's statement that the role of appointing the new Johor MB lay with the party that won the election, and not with the Sultan of Johor.
"Under Undang-undang Tubuh Negeri Johor, Item 3 (1), it is stated that the Sultan has the absolute right in appointing the Mentri Besar where in the issue of appointing, His Majesty does not have to act on advice from any quarters.
"However, through 'convention', parties that won would send several names as Mentri Besar candidate to Johor Sultan for His Majesty's consideration where, in this matter, Pakatan Harapan should send the names," said Solehin in his Facebook post.
His post was shared by Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim via his official Facebook page here on Wednesday (April 10).
Ahmad Solehin said the Johor Ruler would review the candidates and if they were appointed, His Majesty must agree to it.
"If the candidates that are sent is not agreed to by His Majesty, then the party must send another list to Johor Sultan until an agreement is reached to appoint the candidate as the Mentri Besar.
"Tthe statement saying Sultan Johor does not have any role and right to appoint the Mentri Besar is incorrect, sidetracks and purposely done (sic) to confuse the community about the duty and role of His Majesty in the government system, especially in Johor," he said.
Earlier in the day, Dr Mahathir had said that the Sultan of Johor had no role in appointing the new Johor mentri besar.
"The Sultan (of Johor) has got no role. The role is for the party that won the election to determine who leads.
"It will take some time to appoint an acting mentri besar of Johor. We will try to appoint one as soon as possible.
"We have a few candidates we have to trace; very quickly, we will find him, said Dr Mahathir.
When pressed if it was the Sultan of Johor who would be appointing the MB or acting MB, Dr Mahathir said: "This is a political decision."
He also said that he did not confirm whether Johor exco member Dr Sahruddin Jamal from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia was one of the candidates in the running for the post.
"I do not know," said Dr Mahathir, who spoke to the media after opening the 15th Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance (Kliff 2019).
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian resigned from his post on Monday (April 8). Following this, Dr Mahathir said the replacement must come from Bersatu.
Dr Sahruddin, the state Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman, is widely regarded as the front runner but it is understood that the other Pakatan Harapan parties have also nominated their assemblymen for the top post.