PETALING JAYA: Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali has the exclusive right to reshuffle his state executive council, retired Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram said.
“In so doing he can drop the current exco members and appoint new ones,” he told FMT.
Sri Ram said the political chief executive, at the federal or state level, could recommend to the head of his state to appoint anyone of his choice.
He said this in response to PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan’s statement today that the three excos from his party would remain in Azmin’s administration as long as there was no decree from Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah to vacate their positions.
Takiyuddin, who is a lawyer, said the three excos would ignore any directive from Azmin as the appointments were made by the ruler.
Sri Ram said in appointing the administration members, the head of state acted on the advice of his prime minister or menteri besar or chief minister.
“The excos are chosen by the menteri besar of Selangor as he is entitled to decide who he can work with,” he said.
Takiyuddin’s interpretation of the situation was definitely wrong under constitutional law, he added.
PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had also earlier taken a similar view to that of Takiyuddin, the MP for Kota Baru.
Sri Ram said the head of state (Yang Dipertuan Agong, ruler or governor) only had the discretion when appointing the political chief executive (prime minister, menteri besar or chief minister).
Sri Ram said Article 43 (2) (a) of the Federal Constitution states that the King appoints a member of the Dewan Rakyat who, in his judgment, commands the confidence of the majority in the legislature as the prime minister to preside over his cabinet.
Article 43 (2) (b) states the King appoints other ministers from the Dewan Rakyat or Dewan Negara on the advice of the prime minister.
Article 40 states that the King shall act on the advice of the cabinet or a minister who includes the prime minister.
Sri Ram said the state constitutions were framed similarly to the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the land.
It was reported last Saturday that Azmin had asked the three excos — Iskandar Samad, Ahmad Yunus Hairi, Zaidy Abdul Talib — to surrender their posts.
According to a report in The Star Online, the menteri besar made the stunning request during a meeting with the trio and new state PAS commissioner Sallehen Mukhyi on Friday.
It is understood that during the meeting, Azmin assured the PAS exco members that the Islamist party could still remain as part of the state administration in line with the mandate won in the 2013 general election.
Azmin said PAS representatives would remain as municipal councillors and sit on village committees and also continue to enjoy state development allocations.
The PAS Syura Council, the party’s highest policy-making body, on Thursday endorsed the decision of the PAS muktamar to end their political cooperation with PKR.