KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18 – The issue in Selangor is simple. At stake is that any Menteri Besar (MB) should have the support of the majority of state assemblymen. At this point in time, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim does not. And no one else except PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who has 29 statutory declarations to back her up. These assemblymen are representatives of the rakyat, and are the majority in the 56-seat state legislature. So, it is immaterial whether one name or five names submitted to the palace. That it had to take former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to confirm what has been the convention says so much about how ridiculous the Selangor MB imbroglio has become.
A Selangor palace official today insisted that Barisan Nasional (BN) had sent a number of names for the Selangor MB post to the sultan when it ruled the state, contrary to PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s assertion that the convention is to send only one name. Dr Mahathir has confirmed only one name was ever sent when he was the prime minister and that all nine royal houses in Malaysia accepted his recommendation without any issue. But now, instead of answering the question as to who will replace the incumbent in the Selangor MB post, there is further debate on the number of names to be sent to the palace.
If only one name is given and he or she does not have the support of the House, that person cannot be the MB. And if five names are submitted but none of them have support of majority, then none of them are qualified to be the MB. The crucial issue is for the Selangor palace to determine who has the support of the majority to qualify as the MB. That is what the state constitution and Federal Constitution demands of anyone who will be the chief executive of the state. That has been the test all this while in Malaysia and all the states that make up the federation. Any other test will not wash in a parliamentary democracy.