Thursday, February 20, 2014

Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi foresight some constitutional issues may arise in Selangor if Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim vacates his seat as MB of Selangor

..the Kajang by election is being engineered by PKR to install DS Anwar Ibrahim as the new Menteri Besar of Selangor. Many constitutional crevices will have to be traversed before this plan can materialize.

There must be a resignation by Khalid, the incumbent MB. He appears to be firmly in the saddle with 44 out of 56 seats in the assembly, the strong backing of PKR’s coalition partners(PAS & DAP)  an considerable popular support. Even if he relinquishes, there s no guarantee that the Sultan of Selangor will accept his resignation mechanically. The Ruler may ask him to stay on.

Alternatively, the Sultan may ask MB to delay his departure pending resolution of the impending criminal appeal against Anwar.The Ruler may be concerned that if Khalid is replaced with Anwar  but the latter is convicted on appeal, the MB’s post will fall vacant again.

Under Article 64 (1) of the Selangor Constitution . a person is disqualified from being a member of the legislative assembly if he has been convicted of an offence and sentenced to one year or more of imprisonment or fined RM 2,000 or more.

If Tan Sri Khalid resist his party’s command and does not resign, then PKR has to explore other ways to replace him. One would be to pass a no confidence in him in the assembly.

In this case, he may not go quietly. He may advice the  dissolution of the assembly. Under article 55 (2) (b) of the Selangor Constitution, the Sultan has wide discretion to accept or reject this advice. If advice for early dissolution is accepted, then under constitutional conventions, the incumbent will remain as caretaker MB pending the polls. One must also note that if MB is voted out, all other appointed executive council members must also step down in pursuance of the principle of collective ministerial responsibility.  

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