Tuesday, 10 February 2009


Shamsul, a regular Warta Citra Cafe customer coherently explained to me the so called "Perak legal quagmire".This is what he told me recently...

This little clause below is what PKR quotes as the defining legal rampart from which they want to hurl accusations and abuses that the Sultan has overstepped his boundary.

"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."

Let us look at this sentence very carefully, first we will remove the bit between commas and see what we get...

"If the MB ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly he shall tender the resignation of the Executive Council."

Once the MB ceases to command majority, he is to tender his resignation.
Did he lose command of the majority? If he did not why on earth would he go and ask the Sultan for a dissolution.

The resignation here is for the whole executive council or Exco.

Here is where the Sultan's role comes in;

Once Nizar has come forward with request for dissolution, he has effectively put the Sultan on notice that he has lost command of the majority.

Remember this; at no point has anyone come up to say that he has lost command of the majority, all we had notice that BN was going to hold a Press conference to announce that Bota assemblymen has returned to the fold and three ADUNs have resigned from PKR and DAP to become independent.

If he did not ask for dissolution then it would be a different story, since there would still be room to wriggle and leaves little or no opening for BN to come in and make a claim of majority.

If Nizar HAD NOT asked for dissolution, it would be hard for the Sultan to entertain BN's request, at the most he may suggest that they should hold an emergency session to see who's got the bigger bat.

NIZAR's first course of action should have been to ask for an emergency session to sort it out like politicians but I guess he figured he would lose in an emergency session so he jumped the gun and asked for dissolution. If you follow the logic train, this route would also bring you to the conclusion that Nizar did not command the majority.

But since Nizar has put the Sultan on notice that he no longer commands majority when he asked for a dissolution, there is every reason for the Sultan to receive BN's proposal for a new Government.

Once he has received assurance from all 28 Umno reps and three independent that they are indeed in support of the single largest party in the state assembly, the Sultan can now decide whether he should accept Nizar's request for dissolution.

All he did was deny that request for dissolution (this is the bit between the comma).
Then, unless at his request His Royal Highness dissolves the Legislative Assembly

When the Sultan refused to entertain Nizar's request for dissolution, by virtue of the bits after the comma AND without any further action from the Sultan, Nizar is required to tender his resignation, failing which the seat becomes automatically vacant.

In effect Nizar sacked himself by asking for a dissolution of the state legislative, in fact he announced the dissolution even before getting consent from the Sultan (which is, by the way, a departure from the rule ( ultra vires kata orang loyar - salah dari segi undang undang, melangkau had kuasa). But never mind that little anomaly, by annoucing the dissolution, Nizar told the world that he no logner commands majority.

So you see Nizar really did sack himself and he did publicly, without asking the Sultan, who had fought hard for his post to receive and accept his resignation by agreeing to a dissolution.

After the MB, requested for dissolution and the sultan declined, the MB's office automatically becomes vacant, (read the Sultan's office statement again for he articulated this legal point very clearly and at no time did he say that he sacked Nizar, it simply stated the cause and effect)

Faced with a vacant chair of the state executive, the Sultan has to move quickly to prevent a power vacuum.

At this point what the Pakatan people should have done is gone to present their case to the Sultan, that they still have command of over the legislative council, though it may be a minority Government...

Oh.. they may have vaguely mentioned it to us but never made this representation to the Sultan you see...

So, faced with only one representation from BN for forming a new Government despite Nizar coming for a second time before the Sultan, (Nizar went again to plead for dissolution - thus providing double confirmation that he has no majority to offer to the Sultan) he had no choice but to accept the BN's proposal.

What happened here is an example of a lack of understanding of how the law works.

If you tell the Sultan that you no longer command majority, by asking for dissolution then you have basically shot yourself in the foot,which is surprising because I am sure that Pakatan has an army of lawyers, Karpal is famous , I was told Kit Siang is legally qualified and many others....

In conclusion, Nizar sacked himself publicly first then told the Sultan he wanted dissolution which effectively means he has lost command of the majority, which means if the sultan does not agree to dissolution his seat becomes automatically vacant (sultan did not sack him), if the Sultan agreed to dissolution - it would also mean that the MB has lost his seat so you must be careful with request for dissolution because it is a very dangerous option.

Anwar tried this trick on Pak Lah on Sept 16 but Pak Lah did not fall for it, just sat it out until next session and nothing happened...

Stop blaming the Sultan for making the choice that he did, he is well within the law and a massive statewide election is an unnecessary distraction and expense at this point and a BN Government will likely get more support from the Federal Government, crucial during times of recession. He simply took the option that would better serve the people.


No comments: