Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Perak Crisis - Legal Points to Ponder

  1. Can the Menteri Besar declare the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly?
    Under the Constitution of the State, the power or authority to dissolve the Assembly lies with the Sultan. The Menteri Besar merely request for the dissolution. The Sultan has the absolute prerogative whether to agree or not to agree.
  2. Can a member of the Assembly change his/her political affiliation or party? There is no law to prohibit any change of political party or political affiliation. The Federal Constitution guarantees freedom of association.
  3. Who, the voters actually voted for during the election? Is it the party or the candidate? Voters actually voted for the individual. The political party he/she represents during the election is merely an association to identify the political affiliation of the candidate. That is why an Independent candidate can also stand for the election!
  4. Why then the need for political parties? Political parties are needed to show the affiliation of the candidate which in the final result of the election can be used to identify the majority or minority of the number of candidates voted in. This will then be used to identify the leader who can lead the Assembly/Parliament and thus to form the government. Imagine if all candidates are Independent candidates. How do we identify the leader to lead the assembly and subsequently form a government? Thus political party or political affiliation of the candidate is just the tool to identity the leader to lead after the final result of the election. Candidates are voted in as an individual. In the Assembly, he/she will be known as Mr. Nasa Member for Bota (Tuan Nasa Ahli bagi Bota). Officially, the fact that Mr. Nasa is from UMNO or Pas or PKR etc is not mentioned in the Assembly. Mr. Nasa cannot claim any allowance whatsoever under the banner of his political party but can do so as Member of the Assembly. In Pahang as an example, all ADUN cannot use his party letter head in all correspondence with the Government. He has to use his ADUN letter head without any party logo etc.
  5. How to form a Government or take over a Government? Constitutionally, forming a government is by having the majority as stated in para. 4 above. The Ruler will decide who in his knowledge have the authority or command to lead the Assembly and he or she will then be appointed the Menteri Besar. After the appointment of the Menteri Besar, the Ruler will be advised on the Exco members and if agreed upon by the Ruler will then be appointed accordingly. Thus the Government is formed.
  6. In the case of Perak, Nizar (the Menteri Besar) was identified as the Member of the Assembly who in the opinion of the Ruler commands the majority in the Assembly. The majority of members were identified as those affiliated to the loose association called Pakatan Rakyat. Two days ago, 3 members of the so-called PR had declared that they no longer affiliate themselves with PR and had in turn pledged their affiliation to the "minority". With that, the minority have become the majority. Simply speaking, the "new majority" can now take over the government of Perak.
  7. What are the remedies to be taken by Nizar in the circumstances?
  • Nizar had requested for the dissolution of the Assembly
  • The Ruler has not assented to the request
  • Nizar can continue to govern Perak as a Minority Government until such time when the Ruler will decide otherwise.
  • A minority government can be toppled with a vote no confidence.
  • If that happen, the above stated process will be repeated.
  1. What are the options open to the Ruler?
  • Agree to the request for dissolution of the Assembly and thus calling for a snap election, or
  • Replace Nizar with a new Menteri Besar from among the "new majority".
  • The new Menteri Besar can then proceed to appoint Exco members and thus forming the new Government.

p/s Jumping or frogging or whatever term used for changing political affiliation is nothing strange. Legally it is allowed and it happened all over the world including US, UK etc etc. Anwar Ibrahim tried many times to take over the Government in the same manner but till now has not seen success. If others had succeeded, please eat your own medicine!


  1. very good I understand the situation..tapi if org PR baca,sure writer kena kutuk side belah BN!

  2. Princess Jiji
    Thanks....memang lah, saya orang BN! UMNO lagi!

  3. Yeah right.. the master -- ancient evil -- telling all the devils it is okay to do harm to others but not when the victims are us..

    What goes around comes around brader anwar

    Happy dreaming and dream on forever happily ever after


  4. simple article senang faham..macamni pun some people choose not to understand..if anybody want a complicated version visitlah my blog (mintak izin tuan blog letak kt sini ya)

  5. Dear Yaakob,
    Thank you for the link. An Article written by a senior law lecturer will be very complicated indeed. I do not intend to complicate an otherwise easily matter. The Sultan of Perak was definitely right in deciding not to dissolve the Assembly. The Undang2 Tubuh specifically mentioned the words "in his judgment" which mean that HRH the Sultan was envisaged to act as a judge in determining whether to grant dissolution order or otherwise. In the case of Perak HRH the Sultan had passed a judgment and such judgment must be respected.


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