Media Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 6th May 2009:
Appeal to Perak Sultan to dissolve Perak State Assembly to end the three-month constitutional and political stalemate in Perak
“No authority to fire. Counsel: Sultan can appoint MB but can’t remove him.”
This is the headline of the Star report today on the historic case between the lawful and legitimate Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin and the usurper and illegitimate Mentri Besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir.
The headline came from the submission of Nizar’s lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah who submitted that while the Sultan was conferred the power to appoint a mentri besar, he did not have the same power to remove a sitting mentri besar.
Sulaiman said: “It is well and good in appointing, that is entirely up to the Sultan but getting rid of the mentri besar is no longer the Ruler’s function – it is now up to the state council. That can only be done through a vote of no confidence in the House.”
This position, which has always been the stand of the DAP and Pakatan Rakyat, has been fortified by none other than former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir at his keynote address on The Role of the Executive, Legislative, Judiciary and Constitutional Monarchy at the ninth Perdana Discourse Series today.
The various media headlines could not be clearer, viz:“Dr. M: Sultan has no power to remove MB” (Malaysiakini), “Dr M: MBs can only be removed through confidence vote” (Malaysian Insider), “Dr M: Ruler cannot remove head of govt” (Star online).
It is more than time for good sense to prevail to end the three-month-long constitutional and political crisis and stalemate, as an unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak is completely unacceptable and untenable.
It is most gratifying that more and more people in the Barisan Nasional are coming round to the view that the best solution to the Perak crisis is to dissolve the State Assembly and hold Perak state general election to return the mandate to Perakians to vote the state government they want, even though very few are brave enough to speak publicly.
The Dewan Negara President Tan Sri Dr. Abdul Hamid Pawanteh has proved to be a most commendable exception, with his call to resolve the Perak crisis by returning the mandate to the people.
In the Star report, “Go back to the people, says senate head”, Dr. Abdul Hamid said “the political situation in Perak has reached a stage where it may be time to go back to the people”.
This is wise advice as the compromising of the credibility, integrity and legitimacy of important institutions of the nation, like the monarchy, police, MACC, the judiciary, and undermining vital principles of a parliamentary democracy like the doctrine of the separation of powers will do more harm than good to the Najib motto of “1Malaysia”.
For this reason, I wish to appeal to the Sultan of Perak to dissolve the Perak State Assembly before its sitting tomorrow to end the three-month constitutional and political stalemate in Perak so that the people of Perak and Malaysia can singlemindedly focus on a united strategy to tide the country through the worst global economic crisis in a century.
*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader & MP for Ipoh Timor