PETALING JAYA: Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali should remove his three PAS executive council members or alternatively the trio should tender their resignations following the decision of the Islamist party to sever ties with PKR, a law expert said.
Abdul Aziz Bari said in the Westminster model, on which the Malaysian political system is structured, elected representatives should exit once their party supreme body or top leadership has taken a stand.
“The chief executive, be it the prime minister, menteri besar or chief minister, can remove the members of their cabinet,” he said.
Aziz said this in response to Azmin’s statement yesterday that there would be no change in the state leadership line-up since voters in the last general election had chosen PAS as well as DAP and PKR to jointly form the state government.
PAS executive councillor Iskandar Abdul Samad today said they would remain in the Selangor government pending a decision by the party’s top leadership.
This evening, PAS’ highest decision-making body, the Syura Council, confirmed the decision to end ties with PKR.
The council left it to PAS’ central committee to decide if the three PAS assemblymen should leave the Selangor government. It said any decision should be based “on the interests of the people and Islam”.
Aziz said PAS should also take a principled stand, similar to what their former president Asri Muda had done in 1977.
At that time, Kelantan Menteri Besar Mohamad Nasir of PAS, who was leaning towards Umno, lost the “no confidence” vote in the state assembly but refused to resign.
As a result, Aziz said Kuala Lumpur (now Putrajaya) declared an Emergency to bring the state directly under BN’s federal government.
PAS had joined the BN coalition in 1973 and Asri was a federal minister.
“But Asri resigned from the cabinet in protest at what happened in Kota Bharu,” Aziz said.
Similarly, he said cabinet members from the time of Tunku Abdul Rahman to Najib Razak had resigned or had been removed for not being in tandem with the prime ministers.
“So, there are no two ways about PAS representatives remaining in the Selangor administration following the stand of the general assembly, which legally is the highest decision-making body in a political party.”
Aziz said from the legal point, the Syura Council’s decision today was merely advisory and had no legal effect.
Should PAS detach itself from the Selangor government, its appointed representatives in the local authorities and mosque committees would also be affected.
The Selangor assembly has 14 DAP, 13 PKR, 13 PAS, 11 Umno, two Amanah and two independent representatives. The Sungai Ayer Tawar assembly seat is vacant following the death of the BN representative.
This means the Pakatan Harapan state government will control a total of 29 seats in the 56-member legislature, without PAS’ support.