Damian S. L. Yeo & L. C. Goh (DSLY)
No. 2007, Lorong Sidang Omar, off Jalan Penghulu Abbas, Bukit Baru, Hang Tuah Jaya, 75100 Melaka

Tel : 06-2347011
& 06-2347012
Fax: 06-2347022


Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Perak Deepening Crisis - My curiosity

It has been more than two weeks after BN's coup de tat of the Perak state government, suddenly all hopes and cries for democracy fell on deaf ear. Many pleaded for the Pakatan State Government to remain, others would just want the matter rest and carry on with their lives. Be that as it may, I believe all would agree that democracy was raped in Perak.

Out of curiosity, I had to 'just have a look' at the Perak Constitution and the Perak Standing Orders to justify myself two very crucial issues that sparked a deepening Perak constitutional crisis. The questions are whether:-
(i) HRH the Sultan of Perak is right in law to sack the Menteri Besar of Perak; and
(ii) The Speaker's action in suspending the appointed MB be reviewed by the Courts

(i) Whether HRH the Sultan of Perak is right in law to sack the Menteri Besar of Perak
I strongly believed that HRH has no power under the state constitution to dismiss the Menteri Besar and I believe also that HRH must have read Article 16 of the Perak Constitution for deriving in that conclusion. Article 16 says that the Sultan must first appoint the Menteri Besar from the members of the Legislative Assembly who "in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly."

At the same time it is worth to note Article 16(6) which states, "If the MB ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly, then, unless at his request His Royal Highness dissolves the Legislative Assembly, he shall tender the resignation of the Executive Council."

And it is worth noting that NOTHING in the Perak constitution says that HRH can asked for the resignation of the MB or in another word, SACK. So it is quite clear that Datuk Seri Nizar is still the legitimate MB of Perak whether or not he has the confidence of the assembly. Article 16(7) explicitly state that the EXCO can be, literally SACK and not the MB. Article 16(7) states, "Subject to Clause (6) a member of the Executive Council other than the MB shall hold office at His Royal Highness' pleasure, but any member of the Council may at any time resign his office."

So there you are, HRH has erred in His discretion.

For the remaining argument relating to whether HRH should dissolve the State Assembly to give way to a snap election, do read excellent legal articles here and here and also the reading of Stephen Kalong Ningkan v. Tun Abang Haji Openg and Tawi Sli [1966] 2 MLJ 187

(ii) Whether the Speaker's action can be reviewed by the Courts

Before I embarked into an unknown discovery, I must first state that the Speaker's conduct to suspend "Menteri Besar" Zambry Kadir and six excos could not be challenged in court. This is regardless of whether the procedure is correct or not as under Artcle 72 of the Federal Constitution state their conduct and the validity of their proceedings are outside the jurisdiction of the Courts. Reason being is simply the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereignty and separation of powers between the Legislature and the Judiciary.

I would say that the Speaker has powers to suspend any state assemblyman but whether Rightly or wrongly, I think some procedures need to be followed such an approval or a vote by the House or the State Assembly such as Po Kuan's suspension in the Dewan Rakyat but nevertheless, as I state earlier, that conduct is not reviewable by the Courts.


Like Uncle Kit says, the whole constitutional crisis in Perak can be settled within 30 days, how, simply a snap election. Why not. Sometimes I wonder, what so difficult about that suggestion.

No comments: