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Khalid should stand firm, for democracy’s sake

Sat 2014-Aug-9 @ MYT 22:28:23 pm

Khalid Ibrahim was not appointed as Menteri Besar by Parti Keadilan Rakyat, nor by Pakatan Rakyat.

He was appointed by the Sultan of Selangor.

Although it is announced he had been sacked as party member, pending appeal, the party cannot sack him from his constitutional position as Menteri Besar.

Khalid Ibrahim in the hot seat. [NST photo]Khalid to see Sultan, will continue to serve
Khalid Ibrahim, pledging to continue as Menteri Besar, said tonight he would seek an audience with the Sultan of Selangor to brief the ruler on the latest developments and seek the Sultan’s advice. He maintained that PKR’s decision against him was unfair and failed to provide him due process. » Khalid’s statement in full

Political parties have no standing nor any place under the constitution. They have no standing in, nor are they members of, the state assembly.

Neither the sultan nor the Speaker has any need to take into account the views of any party.

Given their lack of standing it is only by courtesy and convention that political party leaders’ views on the candidate for Menteri Besar are heard, immediately after an election or when an MB resigns.

Khalid’s case is unprecedented.

Despite his party’s decision, he still is a member of the state assembly. The party cannot sack him as state assemblyman, either. His standing as a member of the state assembly, and his ability to secure the confidence of a majority of assembly members, is all that is needed for him to remain.

Notwithstanding what the late Sultan Azlan Shah did in Perak, it would be wrong, in my view, for the Sultan of Selangor to intervene in times of political crisis except in extreme circumstances (eg civil commotion) or paralysis in the state administration. Neither condition exists. There is only a crisis in PKR, and by extension, in Pakatan Rakyat. It is a party crisis, and potentially a coalition crisis, but not yet a matter affecting the administration of the state.

His Royal Highness should therefore not intervene, and should remain aloof in what is essentially a political process. He should let the process work itself out.

The word “session” was too loosely used to mean a sitting of the house.

A “session”, usually one year, can only be called by the Sultan.

But the Speaker can call for an ordinary sitting or the menteri besar can ask the Speaker to call the house for an emergency sitting.
Amended 16 Aug

The choice of whether to call a sitting of the assembly into session remains with Khalid and the speaker.

Khalid can sit it out until the assembly holds its next scheduled meeting, no matter how much shouting is heard from PKR, and there will be a lot of it from PKR and especially the lawyers in the party who, after all, have a vested interest in the matter.

He should stand firm. Let the constitutional process work itself out. And let PKR show its commitment (if it ever had any) to constitutional due process.

It is doubtful that PKR has the backbone to abide by democratic practice. I never had much confidence that PKR would stand by the democratic process in practice, given Anwar Ibrahim’s history of fondness for extra-constitutional means of achieving power.

All the machinations since 2008 point rather to the belief that the ends (Anwar and the opposition’s desire to unseat Umno-BN) justifies the means, and democracy be hanged.

7 Comments
  1. Shakirin Al-Ikram permalink
    Sun 2014-Aug-10 @ MYT 03:59:36 am 03:59

    ITs not only for Democracy but all MBKI supporters should shield him from these back-stabbers and `anjing’ after all the millions he spent from his own pockets to save PKR HQ, PKR Selangor, the bus trailes modofications and maintenance as well more RM millions in PKR direction for its National and Selangor Conventions from 2006 (before he contested) to 2013, PKR Elections expenditures and in Sabah and Sarawak. All the talk of his NOT spending and paying for PKR were untrue and yet not word was told to anyone. Kepr secret for `cari pahala!’ Do they deserve this in the first place, this blatant lie! That MBKI `kedekut!’

  2. Shadaan permalink
    Sun 2014-Aug-10 @ MYT 05:18:00 am 05:18

    Khalid is an elected MP and not an elected MB. However if he looses no confidence vote he has to quit as MB but is allowed to stay on as an MP. The Sultan or even Agong may hold formal reserve powers and government may officially take place in the monarch’s name, they do not set public policy or choose political leaders. In addition to acting as a visible symbol of national unity, the Sultan or Agong may hold formal powers such as dissolving parliament or giving Royal Assent to legislation. However, the exercise of such powers is generally a formality rather than an opportunity for the sovereign to enact personal political preference.

  3. anti-fuedal permalink
    Mon 2014-Aug-11 @ MYT 08:11:47 am 08:11

    wow, you just simplified “sultan appoints MB” – its based on the majority choice of the aduns.. so heres the thing, what if the exco starts to resign? yes, legally it is still khalid as MB inspite of him being isolated..

    so what is this story about the essence of the law which is being aptly shown by khalid’s refusal to do the honorable thing.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Mon 2014-Aug-11 @ MYT 13:23:39 pm 13:23

      Read your constitution, it is the sultan that appoints and not the ADUN or their majority choice. Exco members are appointed from among ADUN. Any of the 56 ADUN can be chosen to be in the exco.

      There is no honour in PKR carrying out an extra-constitutional coup.

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