SELANGOR BACK TO THE POLLS?
SELANGOR TO HOLD FRESH STATE ELECTIONS
It appears that after all Wan Aziza will not be Mentri Besar of Selangor. The Sultan of Selangor is understood to have been advised to accept Khaled Ibrahim’s request for a dissolution of the Selangor state assembly. This necessarily means that fresh writs could be issued anytime soon for a fresh poll to be held in Selangor.
The Sultan it is said had considered all options including the alternative of retaining the current government with Khaled Ibrahim as caretaker Mentri Besar till fresh elections could be held. However it is known that this option although still on the cards will only further prolong the life of a dysfunctional Selangor state government.
It is further understood that the coalition that rules Selangor has developed very deep divisions within because of the overpowering and overbearing influence and disruptive conduct of a few high profile members of one the coalition. PAS has itself complained to PKR’s leadership of the disproportionate influence wielded by the Chinese within the Selangor state executive, a reason why Khaled Ibrahim himself was removed.
ALL POWER TO THE SULTAN-ALL POWER WITH THE SULTAN
By the PKR machinery moving to weaken and compromise PAS’s earlier position vis a vs the Menteri Besar of Selangor the opportunity for a new PKR government in Selangor will gradually usher in the means by which successive government’s will be able to dis empower the Sultan(s) not just in Selangor but also in every other state in the Federation of Malaysia. That is if the PKR continues to agitate against the Sultan independently exercising his discretion under the constitution to either dissolve parliament, appoint a caretaker for whatever term he sees fit or in a further alternative dismiss the current Selangor government altogether.
These are all discretions in the hands of the Sultan. And they are constitutionally valid even if not expressly so provided for in the constitution.
The ramifications and long term consequences of by passing the Sultan’s legal and constitutional authority in such a situation as the state of Selangor now faces is to say the least, dangerous, especially so for the Malays whose religious and temporal affairs are by the constitution vested in the guardianship of the Sultan.
With the current impasse over the appointment of the Menteri Besar unresolved, the Sultan still has the final say as to who the Menteri Besar will be. The appointment of Menteri Besar under the constitutional powersthe sultan wields still requires his stamp of approval and consent.
There are no real provisions in the constitution to by pass the Sultan his powers and authority in the event he withholds his consent to a PKR nominee to the position. And there are real reasons for that even though the contrary appears to be what the opposition and their lawyers will argue.
SELANGOR IN CRISIS
There has been much speculation of late as to how and why the Sultan of Selangor should act in he face of the current crisis in the Selangor state Assembly. In unicameral parliaments as state parliaments are in Malaysia, there is no house of review such as the senate in the Federal Parliament to review the actions or the legislation from the lower house.
The Selangor government is a coalition government patched together from 3 different and disparate (policy wise) political parties. These are the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) dominated by the nepotistic politics of Anwar Ibrahim and his family, the Democratic Action Party (DAP) a Chinese race based party dominated by Chinese Malaysians and lastly the Parti Islam (PAS) of the emergent Muslim conscience of Malaysia. The latter is more of a symbolic political statement dominated by east coast Malaysian Muslims although the fundamental ideological platform they stand on is universally theocratic and based on the fundamental tenets of Islam (Sunni Islam).
THE THREE STOOGES
In much the same way as Larry Curly and Moe ran around chasing their tails, landing painful blows on each other whilst living and working ( for want of a better word) together, the Selangor state government led by the Anwar Ibrahim family and ably encouraged by the DAP have been running round the table chasing their tails landing blows on all and sundry in their path to no productive outcome since taking the reins of government in Selangor.
Selangor remains a policy free zone with nothing suitably seminal in terms of policy changes to speak of. Inspite of all the rhetoric and fireworks that preceded the elections that brought them into power the only constant in their government has been their dysfunctional existence.
Now they wish for a sitting Mentri Besar to be removed and replaced by someone whose stature in government is unquestionably tainted. They argue through their supporters the move is one that should be entertained unchallenged and the constitution be ignored in the process.
Wan Aziza the wife of Anwar Ibrahim has no known pedigree or demonstrated capacity to run the state inspite of any alleged shortcomings on the part of the incumbent. This is nothing more than a symbolic power play to wrest control of the most important state in the nation by the Ibrahim family’s matriarch In their “long march” to Putrajaya.
Khalid Ibrahim (no relation to Anwar Ibrahim) must now see the Sultan and the Sultan of Selangor has a constitutional duty and a cultural religious obligation inter twined in that constitutional duty to consider. The Sultan must decide who the next Mentri Besar (if the incumbent in the job is removed or voluntarily steps aside). The PR don’t want the Sultan to act independently. Instead they simply wish for him to approve the removal of Khalid Ibrahim and the appointment of Wan Aziza in his place.
DISSOLUTION AND FRESH ELECTIONS
At Khalid’s request and on his advise the Sultan may and is likely to issue writs for fresh state elections to be held in Selangor to break the current impasse that has paralysed the state government there. The alternative reading of the situation with regards the Sultan’s role is that on the advise of counsel via his ministers in government, the Sultan must accept the nomination of the majority and appoint Wan Aziza the new Mentri Besar.
There are a couple of matters for the Sultan to take into consideration if he has to appoint Wan Aziza. Paramount in his consideration would be his obligations and his duty to protect the religion of Islam and the Malay culture.
AND WHY NOT WAN AZIZA?
In considering his obligations and his duty towards protecting Islam (and the image of Islam) the Sultan has to give priority and due consideration and weight to the impact of an appointment of someone as Wan Aziza is into the position of Mentri Besar.
Wan Aziza is the wife of Anwar Ibrahim. Her conduct through her deafening silence on the allegations and subsequent conviction of Anwar Ibrahim on matters of sexual impropriety appears to be at odds with what an observant Muslim person would be expected to do in such a situation. Especially a leader or aspiring leader.
Like the decision or not Anwar Ibrahim has been convicted after an open trial in a court whose jurisdiction he submitted to. Wan Aziza like her husband Anwar has supported causes and political philosophies that run contrary to Islam and to the protection and maintenance of Islam and its religious institutions in Malaysia. The examples of these points are too numerous to detail here.
WHY A FRESH MANDATE IS NECESSARY
It could be argued that the idea of a dissolution of parliament on this issue is unnecessary and as some have argued ‘un constitutional’ and perhaps ‘dangerous’ because it is unprecedented. Neither of these arguments holds much water.
When the people of Selangor went to vote at the last state elections they did so in the belief they would have stable and functioning government. They did not vote for the ascendancy of the Ibrahim family through stealth and sleight of hand.
For the PR to claim that since they have the numbers and won at the last election they somehow have a right to bulldoze parliament and all those within it Khalid Ibrahim included is fanciful.
The PR has lost its moral mandate and now its legal mandate has been placed well and truly in the hands of an independent entity, the Sultan to decide. It was their call and they can’t now cry foul if does not go their way.
The purpose of the constitution and the relevant articles of the constitution empowering the Sultan to act in a number of ways in such a situation requires the Sultan to do certain things in the exercise of his discretion which although unpopular is nonetheless lawful.
The only precedent the Sultan’s actions will establish (however unpopular they may be) such as the dissolution of Selangor state parliament, is the proof in fact (rather than the theory) that the Sultan is neither a puppet or rubber stamp of government but a living and functioning entity in the office of Sultan and in that of his person.
GOVERNMENT FAILURE TO INVESTIGATE OR DISMISS THE SELANGOR STATE GOVERNMENT OVERDUE
What is perhaps a matter that is long overdue having been neglected by the Federal Government is the disclosure by Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan that the Selangor government financed her anti government movement, Bersih, with funds from state government coffers to advance “projects” including Bersih which was primarily designed to bring down a properly elected Federal Government (Malaysia Kini interview).
That act of itself amounted to treason by the executive in the Selangor state government, Bersih and its members such as Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan. It is an act based on Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan’s confessions that has gone unpunished and un remedied for far to long.
To date there has been no disclosure by the Selangor state government as to what authority or power it relied on to by pass parliamentary processes in order to make state government funds available to a group as partial as is Berish for such treasonous acts as the Bersih 1&2, its street marches, propaganda and smear campaigns all designed to bring down a lawfully elected government.
The Selangor state government has failed to disclose if opposition members within Selangor state parliament were informed of the funding of Bersih or whether such funding was approved by parliament, the subject of parliamentary debate or whether the matter of funding Bersih was tabled in parliament at all before the Selangor state government under PKR facilitated the funding of Bersih.
PAS it is known has some skeletons in its closet which PKR has threatened to make public if they fail to agreeing to the two PKR candidates.