KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 – A few hundred people demonstrated in Shah Alam today to show support for the Selangor Sultan ahead of Tuesday’s expected swearing-in of the state’s new menteri besar, Malaysiakini reported. It said the group, which calls itself Gerak Daulat, gathered at Section 16 in Shah Alam wearing yellow clothing, the colour of the monarchy. The rally was aimed at showing unity and loyalty to Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, who has been playing a prominent role in the Selangor menteri besar crisis, the news portal reported. Gerak Daulat is said to represent 18 non-governmental organisations.
Selangor Barisan Nasional (BN) liaison committee chief Datuk Noh Omar was at the rally and was reported saying that BN could not remain silent while the Sultan was “challenged” by the opposition. “BN will rise when the monarchy is challenged and disrespected, and we will continue to fight if, after the swearing-in ceremony, there are parties who are against the Sultan’s choice,” Noh said in Malaysiakini’s report. He was also reported saying that BN, as the state opposition, would support and work with whoever the Sultan appointed.
“We do not want to think about dissolution of state assembly. We hope that after Tuesday, this crisis will be over. There’s plenty of work to do, Selangor must be administered well,” he was quoted as saying. The past week had seen the Selangor palace making a surprise announcement that the swearing-in ceremony of the new menteri besar would be held this Tuesday, without revealing who had been chosen for the post. This follows the palace’s request to Pakatan Rakyat parties to submit more than two names as candidates for the top post – an issue which has PAS breaking ranks with PKR and DAP by nominating three names instead of submitting the name of PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
This is despite Dr Wan Azizah having received the majority of support in the legislative assembly from 30 assembly members. The Sultan reprimanded PKR and DAP for submitting only one name, and both parties have since sought the ruler’s forgiveness. The Sultan issued a second reprimand, this time to opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for saying that BN governments had always submitted only one name for the menteri besar’s post since independence. The Selangor Royal Council, an advisory body to the Sultan, is said to be meeting today to decide on the new menteri besar.