Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Ku Li: PM Abdullah is wrong

Former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said today Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's statement yesterday that "the appointment of anyone but Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh as Terengganu Mentri Besar is unconstitutional" is wrong.

"The Sultan acted within his powers in appointing the person who, in his judgment, is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the State Assembly," said Razaleigh.

"Ahmad Said's appointment is effective and he is now the Mentri Besar of Terengganu," he said, adding that the situation in Terengganu is a crisis of government, not of the Constitution.

"Perhaps we have forgotten what it is like to conduct ourselves with good manners and due respect for the Constitution and the sovereignty of the Ruler," said Razaleigh, adding however that it is up to the properly convened State Assembly to test Ahmad with a vote of confidence in due course.

"After 50 years of independence, I am sure we should be capable of resolving our issues in a efficient and respectful manner."

"The storm in Terengganu is just the latest in a series of crises brought on by an apparent failure to understand how State powers work relative to Federal ones," said Razaleigh, adding that in the recent crisis in Perlis, "the Prime Minister’s actions suggest stunning ineptness in managing fundamental relationships and straightforward functions of government".

"This is alarming because the Barisan Nasional (BN) government now has five Opposition-controlled states to contend with out of the nine in Peninsular Malaysia.

"The mis-handling of chief ministerial appointments in Perlis, and now in Terengganu, mean that our leadership in two other states is now in jeopardy," he added.

Constitutional law expert Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari of the International Islamic University said matters had reached such a stage that there is nothing that can be legally done to force an immediate reversal of the Regency Council's decision to appoint Ahmad at this point.

The appointment letter was given to Ahmad yesterday morning.

"The only thing that can be done now is to abide by the Regency Council's decision and wait for the State Assembly to be convened to pass a vote of no confidence. This would put the ball back in the Palace's court to decide afresh," said Abdul Aziz.

He said the Regency Council has the means to get the "best information", as it has the power to call up assemblymen and speak to them in private to gauge personal support.

Abdul Aziz said besides the vote of no confidence move, another way to resolve the matter is for the State Assembly to be dissolved, and fresh elections called.

"Under the Federal and State Constitutions, a ruler may dissolve the State Assembly, and this is a situation where this can be used, and the people should be allowed once and for all to decide who governs the state,"he said.

Meanwhile, he said Ahmad has time to negotiate support for himself as Mentri Besar by negotiating support from 17 assemblymen for a simple majority, before the State Assembly, which according to the Terengganu State Constitution, must convene within 120 days of dissolution.

He can try to persuade his Umno colleagues to join him, and approach the eight PAS assemblymen, to give him a legal platform for the Regency Council to appoint him.

Twenty-three of the 24 Terengganu assemblyman had pledged support for Idris as Mentri Besar.

Asked whether Article 150 of the Federal Constitution, which gives the federal government the power to declare an emergency in a state, could be used in Terengganu, as was used in Sabah in 1966 to remove Stephen Kalong Ningkan as Chief Minister, Abdul Aziz called it a politically disadvantageous act becaues "times have changed."

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has said Ahmad's status, and whether he breached party discipline by accepting the appointment as Mentri Besar, would be decided by the Umno Supreme Council in its meeting on Thursday (March 27).

Source: The Sun
Read here on why "Palace should accept Idris Jusoh..."


Anonymous said...

Ahmad Said said he'd be starting work tomorrow.

So what will happend to those 22 blokes if Idris is not appointed as MB?

hambo anak tengano said...

Read that Ghani Se Tail wasnt granted an audience with the YDP Agong.

Time's up for you Ghani. Should have known better than to speak to then MSM first.

Biadap sungguh.

You should have sought an audience with Tuanku before opening your gap and talking to the NST.

You're in hot soup.

postman said...

From malaysiakini:

T'ganu constitution clear: MB at Sultan's discretion
Academia | Mar 24, 08 4:13pm

The post-election period has brought into focus matters pertaining to the powers of our monarchy under the law. The question as to who actually has the power to appoint the menteri besar plus the qualification of a menteri besar comes to light. I would like to highlight the following questions and answers relating to the powers of our monarchy with reference to the state of Terengganu :

Question 1: Who has power to appoint the menteri besar of Terengganu.

Answer: His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Terengganu.

Question 2 : What is the criteria to become MB of Terengganu?

Answer: Under Article 10 of the constitution of Terengganu (first part), the Sultan appoints a menteri besar who fulfils the following criteria: ‘He is of the Malay race and professes the Muslim religion’ and ‘who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of members of the assembly’ [Article 14 (2) (a)]

Question 3 : Can his royal highness forego/dispense of the above criteria?

Answer: Yes, under article 14 (4) of the Terengganu constitution, it says: ‘In appointing a mentri besar, His Royal Highness may, in his discretion, dispense with any provision in Article 10 restricting his choice of a mentri besar, if, in his opinion, it is necessary to do so in order to comply with the provisions of this article’.

Question 4: Who advises His Royal Highness?

Answer: The advisors to His Royal Highness under the state constitution are divided into three:

1. The state executive council [Article 12(1)]

2. Any person or body of persons that may be specified [Article 12 (1a)]

3. The State Council for Religion and Malay Customs (Article 4)

Question 5: Is His Royal Highness, in the exercise of his functions, bound to accept and act upon such advice?

Answer: Yes, under Article 12 (1) and (1a) it says: ‘His Royal Highness shall act in accordance with the advice of the state executive council’ and ‘His Royal Highness shall accept and act in accordance with such advice’.

Question 6: Does this mean that His Royal Highness has no discretionary powers in exercising his authority?

Answer: No. His Royal Highness still retains his ‘discretion’ in the performance of the following functions as per Article 12(2) of the state constitution:

1. The appointment of the state’s menteri besar;

2. The withholding of consent to a request for the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly;

3. The making of a request for a meeting of the Conference of Rulers concerned with the privileges, position, honours and dignities of their Royal Highnesses or religious acts, observances or ceremonies;

4. Any function as Head of the Muslim religion or relating to customs of the Malays;

5. The appointment of an heir or heirs, consort, Regent or the Council of Regency;

6. The appointment of persons to Malay customary ranks, titles, honours and dignities and the designation of the functions appertaining thereto; and

7. The regulation of the royal court and palaces.

Moreover Article 12 (3) provides that the state has no powers to make laws requiring His Royal Highness to act only after consultation with or on recommendation of any person or body of persons in the exercise of the above functions.

This means that the Sultan still retains some form of discretionary powers which include the appointment of the menteri besar. This provision is in line with Article 14 (4) which states that the Sultan may dispense with the requirement of Article 10 which requires that the menteri besar be a Malay and commands the confidence of the majority of the state legislative assembly.

Anonymous said...

Salam Semua,

Mereka lupa bahawasanya KeBawah Duli Tuanku Sultan Terengganu apabila MURKA boleh mengenakan tindakan BUANG NEGERI kepada Idris Jusoh. Maka secara SAH Idris tidak akan dapat menjalankan tugas sebagai MENTERI BESAR.


MaryKate said...

kak ton, i find it amusing with this Trengganu saga and all i can say is there MUST be a good reason why Idris is not elected. rumours all about him, KJ and Patrick etc., so if that's the case, I respect the Sultan for his adamancy of appointing another, afterall, he is actually protecting the state and his people and for that I respect him full heartedly. If some 'people' are plundering the state's coffers, it's people have only their Sultan to look after them because no else can.