KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 – The Sultan of Selangor was wrong to have decreed that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) submit more names to the palace for the menteri besar (MB) post, a constitutional expert said last night, adding that only God, and not humans, had absolute power. Dr Abdul Aziz Bari told a forum organised by Persatuan Ummah Sejahtera Malaysia (PasMa) that the 30 statutory declarations (SD) in support of Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah should be enough for the sultan to consent to her appointment as the Selangor MB. “(This is) the first time in Malaysian history where people declared their support through SD. What else does he want? When he issued a decree, asking for other names, to me, that is wrong constitutionally.

“The only ones who are infallible (mutlak)… are Allah and the Prophet Muhammad. Humans, whoever they are, can make mistakes. To me, requesting more names when Dr Wan Azizah has the majority support is wrong,” he said yesterday at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall. Speaking at the forum, titled “PAS and Umno – where are they headed?”, Aziz said the sultan’s discretion in choosing a menteri besar was limited to cases where there was a hung parliament. “We stand by the principle of the constitution. There’s no such thing as absolute power. We practise democracy. In Islam there is no absolute power (for humans). “So where does the absolute power come from? Only Allah has absolute power,” he said, adding that there was no precedent in Malaysian history for what was unfolding at the Selangor palace now.

Yesterday, the Selangor Sultan was disappointed with PKR and DAP after both parties did not heed the ruler’s request to submit more than two names for the MB position, according to a statement by the Selangor palace. The statement said the Sultan’s request for more than two names was in line with convention and would allow him to evaluate the MB candidates’ capabilities, rather than just looking at the support of the assembly. Aziz assured last night that PKR and DAP could not face criminal charges for what they did, as treason (or derhaka) to the state ruler was not an offence. “I don’t think it’s the palace’s job to determine the MB… Before Merdeka, yes, the MB was the personal appointee of the sultan. So he could choose the most handsome, the most educated, this and that.

“But that doesn’t exist now. If you look at the constitution, it’s just by majority. Even if (the candidate) has no experience, that’s fine. If he has no degree, that’s fine.” When asked what would happen if the Selangor Sultan went ahead and appointed an assemblyman other than Dr Wan Azizah, Aziz said the people would have no choice but to accept it. “If (her candidacy) is rejected, there is no remedy…in the issue of appointing the MB, or dissolving the state assembly, we cannot drag the sultan to the court. That is the problem.” But, he added, that the legislative assembly could table a motion of no-confidence against the sultan’s choice of MB, once it convenes, saying this would be “a slap” to the state ruler.

Credit : The Malaysian Insider

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