Pointless for Selangor Sultan to ask for more names, says constitutional law expert

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Sultan of Selangor is bound by the Declaration of Constitutional Principles 1992, and it is pointless for him to ask for more names to be nominated for the post of menteri besar (MB), a constitutional law expert said yesterday.

Dr Abdul Aziz Bari said going by the Declaration of Constitutional Principles 1992, a set of guidelines for the rulers including clarifying the role of royalty in politics, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has to consent to the appointment of PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Selangor MB.

He said the declaration was in fact, just an affirmation on the part of the rulers to abide by the prevailing provisions of the constitution, both at the federal and state levels.

The document was signed by six rulers, with the exception of Kelantan, Kedah and Johor.

“It is a document on the declaration of principles based on the federal and state constitutions. Basically it affirms that they are truly constitutional monarchs,” Aziz told The Malaysian Insider by phone yesterday.

He added that the sultan cannot turn his back on this undertaking and compel the political parties involved in the Selangor MB crisis to submit more names when there is a clear case of majority support for one candidate.

“The sultan cannot be asking for more names when 30 out of 56 assemblymen support PKR president Dr Wan Azizah. And so the sultan is bound by law to appoint the nominated candidate who has the majority support.”

He also said that the contention that the sultan had discretion in the appointment of the MB was flawed.

On Aug 14, Dr Wan Azizah showed proof that she had the support of 30 elected representatives to replace embattled MB Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, who has been sacked from PKR.

The Selangor assembly comprises 56 members — 15 from DAP, 15 from PAS, 13 from PKR, 12 from Barisan Nasional, and Khalid as an independent representative. Although Khalid has tendered his resignation, the sultan has deferred his resignation until a new MB is appointed. — The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on September 2, 2014.