Press Statement by Kembalikan Selangorku: A Black Ribbon Campaign 25-9-2014

Pertaining to appointment of PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali as the new Menteri Besar of Selangor by Sultan without nomination of majority members of state assembly ,Kembalikan Selangorku campaign is of the view that should the top post of state government not being elected follow due democratic process, it will be detrimental to the constitutional monarchy system in Malaysia. Furthermore, it violates the 53th article of Selangor state constitution and denies people’s democratic rights to decide leadership via representative electoral system.

PKR President Wan Azizah secured support of 30 out of 56 state assembly persons, this clearly show that she command confidence of majority representatives. However Sultan’s refusal to meet Wan Azizah forbid her presentation of command of majority, discourage holding and dissolution of state assembly meeting and eventually, all available channels to end the Selangor MB fiasco in a democratic manner are barred.

Both Federal Constitution and State Constitution explicitly state that “Yang Di Pertuan Agong / Sultan shall appoint the Prime Minister / Menteri Besar from member of parliament / state assembly who in his judgment likely command confidence of majority in parliament / state assembly”. Hence constitutions does not allow Sultan to request few candidate names from the ruling party, nor can his Majesty presume “Azmin Ali would get the majority support after the appointment”.

The role of Sultan in a constitutional monarchy system is merely formality, Sultan shall appoint a candidate proposed by ruling party. The competency and quality of leadership of a Menteri Besar should be decided by voters in election. A democratic system does not permit the intervention of monarchy in administration and political decision-making process.

We criticize Pakatan Rakyat for deserting democracy principle, switching its support from Wan Azizah to Azmin Ali in a very short period. The action of Pakatan Rakyat silently endorsed intervention of monarchy in appointment of Menteri Besar. The de facto leader of PKR, Anwar Ibrahim had stood by the state constitution while criticized by Selangor Sultan, but soon he gave up the constitutional stand and surrender to Sultan’s appointment. This indeed disappointed many in Selangor.

Selangor Pakatan Rakyat should have taken step to bring the case to court, as what former Perak Menteri Besar Nizar did, for clarification of state constitution and democratic principle. It should not give up responsibility to uphold the supreme law of state and disregard the mandate from people.

Selangor MB crisis exposes shortcomings of democratic system in Selangor state. We urge Selangor PR government to implement the following reforms to prevent re-occurrence of constitutional crisis and regression of democracy.

  1. ‘Democratise’ the Selangor state constitution; amend unreasonable clauses which disallow ruling party to convene an assembly meeting. The speaker should convene an assembly meeting if it is requested by majority member of state assembly;
  2. Establish the legislative supremacy principle. The Perak and Selangor constitutional crisis shows that legislative assembly is still the most appropriate channel to resolve power struggle among political parties, each party or coalition can prove command confidence of majority state assembly persons in the assembly, rather than a press conference outside the assembly. According to news report by The Star on 23 September, five state assembly persons had informed Sultan that they would abide to any decision by the Sultan in appointment of Menteri Besar. Further confusion stemmed from this.

3) Implement a politics of transparency and openness. We have seen that former MB Khalid signed the water restructuring agreement which keep his ruling party in darkness, PKR leaders orchestrated Kajang move, PAS refused to reveal its MB candidate names, Sultan only revealed the identity of MB before 24 hours of the swearing-in. All these practice violates people’s right to information. The new administration must implement principle of freedom of information. Pakatan Rakyat government must release a white paper to explain the water restructuring fiasco, Kajang move and Selangor constitutional crisis and public monies that involved in these issues.