Perak Constitution Crisis?? Urgent appeal to the Sultan to re-look the constitution by Kim Quek.

This is taken from the visitor’s book at His Majesty’s website, a comment written by Kim Quek, a profilic Malaysian political commentator:

Kim Quek
E-mail address: kimquek(at)hotmail.com

Urgent appeal to the Sultan to re-look the constitution.

06.02.2009, 1020 hrs.

Is it possible that a slight difference in wording between the state constitution of Perak and the federal constitution pertaining to the loss of confidence of Menteri Besar/Prime Minister has misled the Sultan of Perak into thinking that the constitutional requirement necessitating the Mentri Besar to resign has been fulfilled?

Judging from the Sultan’s statement explaining his decision to appoint a new mentri besar, that seems to be the case. Let me quote the relevant paragraph of the Sultan’s statement explaining why Mentri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin must step down:

“After meeting all the 31 assemblymen, DYMM Paduka Seri Sultan of Perak was convinced that YAB Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin had ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the State Assembly members

This statement would have been a correct interpretation of the constitution if applied to the Prime Minister, but an incorrect interpretation, if applied to the Mentri Besar. This is because the loss of confidence of the majority is prescribed differently in the two constitutions (relevant parts of the constitutions are shown at the end of this article).

Under the federal constitution, the loss of confidence refers to “members of the House of Representatives” whereas under the state constitution, it refers to “the Legislative Assembly.” This means that while the ascertainment of loss confidence can conducted outside Parliament (such as collective appearance before the Agung) in the federal case, it cannot be repeated in state case. In the state case, the loss of confidence must be ascertained within the state assembly, meaning through a vote of no confidence in the state assembly.

The reason why I said the Sultan could have been misled is that in his statement extracted above, he mentioned “the confidence of the majority of the State Assembly members”. Notice the statement refers to “State Assembly members”, and not to “State Assembly”

Under the circumstances, the Mentri Besar was right when he said that he was legally obliged to step down only when a motion of no confidence on him has been passed in the state assembly, but not otherwise.

And since the Mentri Besar has not resigned, any appointment of another Mentri Besar will be ultra vires the state constitution.

The swearing-in of another Mentri Besar is only few hours away from now (at 1530 hrs). Perhaps His Royal Highness can spare a few minutes to take another look at the two constitutions, so as to avert a major constitutional crisis?

The relevant extracts from the two constitutions are as follows:

Federal constitution: Article 43 (4): “the Prime Minister ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives, then, unless at his request the Yang di-Pertuan Agong dissolves Parliament, the Prime Minister shall tender the resignation of the Cabinet.”

Perak state constitution: Artikel XVI(6): “the Mentri Besar ceases to command the confidence of the majority 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”

Kim Quek


Kim Quek’s Biography

Yong Thye Chong, better known among the public and his cohorts as Kim Quek, the famous author of Where to, Malaysia? A Future with Anwar’s Reformasi or Back to Mahathirism? (Kuala Lumpur, SIRD, 2005) with a forward written by none other than Anwar Ibrahim himself, is a Malaysian political commentator, who has written extensively on the Malaysian political scene since the watershed event of the sacking of Malaysia’s former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in 1998, in the height of the Asian financial crisis.

His writings are analytical, perceptive and typically unsparing in his criticism of the rampant corruption and abuse of power that has been raging in Malaysia. Through such writings, he has brought rationality to bear on many important political and economic issues of the day.

Most notably his frequent articles have unmasked the façade orchestrated by the Barisan Nasional-controlled local media to whitewash a blundering and plundering regime. Kim Quek may therefore offer invaluable insights to those who wish to gain a more in-depth understanding of the true state of governance of Malaysia.

Political analyst James Wong said.:

“Kim Quek’s prolific writings had kept many Malaysians, including this blogger, sane or psychologically healthy during those years when the war-like propaganda – black, gray and white – churned out by the Umno-dominated regime and its many mouthpieces nearly succeeded in turning black white and white, black. In other words, Kim Quek has provided us with a powerful antidote to the anti-Anwar propaganda.”

Kim Quek’s writings have been regularly listed in the local websites such as Malaysiakini, Malaysia Today, Bungaraya (DAP), Harakahdaily, Laman Marhaen, etc. His articles and letters have also appeared in local and foreign publications such as HARAKAH, Seruan Keadilan, Aliran, Today (Singapore newspaper), Asian Wall Street Journal, etc.

Born in Singapore 1938, Kim Quek completed his higher education in University Malaya as Bachelor of Engineering in 1965. Kim Quek is a retired Chinese Malaysian accountant in his 60s. He is also very well converse in English and Chinese.

Kim Quek was married to Kew Man Noi in 1970. The couple has four daughters and a son. They are presently staying in Johor Bahru.

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6 Responses to “Perak Constitution Crisis?? Urgent appeal to the Sultan to re-look the constitution by Kim Quek.”

  1. wordspy wrote on Feb 6, 2009 at 11:55 am

    :up: :up: :up:


  2. Vijay Kumar Murugavell wrote on Feb 6, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I read Kim Queks piece in MT, he does have a valid point, but i think it wont fly with the sultan, as the state assembly is comprised
    of the state assembly members, with the 28 evenly divided, and judging from the 3 socalled appearence in najibs press conference,
    no doubt even if a state assembly is called to vote on the motion of no confidence, they are likely to push it thru with a 31 to 28 majority,
    PM AAB has indicated that they are ready to do so if the need arises.
    furthermore bar council has opined that HRH acted within the state constitution.
    Thats why the letter I wrote appeals to commonsense and HRH’s emotional side as he is endowed with discretionary powers.
    The Monarchy has shown it discretionary powers deviating from the norm in the appointment Meteri besars in Terengganu, Perlis and Perak.


  3. Vijay Kumar Murugavell wrote on Feb 6, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    The third option



  4. bongkersz wrote on Feb 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    916 is different from what happened in Perak. PR didn’t abudct elected leaders and use the EC to frustrate the elections. PR didn’t use blackmail to drop corruption charges against anyone and PR didn’t have federal power to use police force to hide people for one week.

    What happened in Perak is abduction, wanton impunity andf outright criminality where elected leaders had to be abducted, detained and hidden, once the EC was forced to accept Umno’s stand, they came out “healed from their back problems” and quit their parties. How can one compare PR’s struggle to topple BN to BN’s outright criminality and state manipulation? Umno and BN has been poaching electedf DAP and Pas leaders for decades.

    That’s fine if it is done under normal persuasion but read what every moral being including those in BN have said to know what has happened. When PR takes over the federal govt after the next elections, no one should complain that any state that may remain with Umno (read Johor) shouldn’t fall. If PR felled on its axe which is a wrong claim in this particular issue, then the blind should know that it is part of God’s creation order for the same to fall on their axe. Somalis say “horay u cun dib baa u daran” (Eeating first illegally will make yours eaten at later day in the same).

    How many of you know Anwar was using the 916 case to ward off Umno’s evil plans in Pakatan states? He had to distract Umno from PR states with his defection threats and everyone knows he had no MPs, at least 30 of them. 5-10 may be. But I find this argument pathetic. We are talking about Aduns whose case is in court, who were abducted, detained, blackmailed and hidden. We are talking about removing a MB through uncostitutional means (Param, Tengku Li, Faruqi, Malik, etc).

    Did Anwar carry out unconstitutional plan? Be constitutional here? Did Anwar detain pple? Harass pple? Bribe pple? Blackmail pple? Abduct pple? It is him who has suffered from a sodomy two criminal act in a desperate move to thwart him.

    Don’t make this an Anwar issue. It is a Malaysian issue, a pple’s issue where our concerns were neglected and trampled upon. It is a constitutionalo mess. Address that and not Anwar’s threats to BN to distract them from his PR states.


  5. Azer Mantessa wrote on Feb 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    interesting posting.



  6. Vijay Kumar Murugavell wrote on Feb 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    I think she(Hee Yit Foong) has been threatened, look at her face at the press conference with Najib,
    she looks like PI Bala after the 2nd statutory declaration.
    However if I am wrong and she indeed wilfully done this, she shows no wisdom as she will never be able to live in Jelapang again, and after this no one whether Pakatan or BN will dare field her as a canditate….she is politically finished, so why swopuld she do it.

    PKR assemblymen were couted since mar 11, and even framed for corruption, they dissapeared without even family members knowing their whereabouts, nasaruddin from UMNO gave a full page statement in suara keadilan giving detailed reasons for joining PKR, he even said that more constituents came out to cheer him than the general election proving he made the right moveonly to hop back to UMNO and seemingly forced to read just a few lines from a prepared script, he was sombre faced.
    Dont forget the threats toward Kedah exco Arumugam which he detailed in a statutory declaration.
    I think they have been threatened.


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