State assembly can always reject sultan’s man, says Dr M

Dr Mahathir Mohamad says the Federal Constitution supersedes all other state constitutions.

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad has again insisted that the monarchy has no say in the appointment of the menteri besar or prime minister, two days after the new Johor exco line-up was sworn in amid a debate over the sultan’s powers.

He said the Federal Constitution clearly gives that power to the party that wins the election, which would name the prime minister, the menteri besar and chief minister, who would then be endorsed by the rulers.

“Should the constitutional monarch refuse to endorse and propose his own candidate and endorse him, the winning party can reject him in the assembly (dewan) through a vote of no-confidence,” the prime minister wrote in his blog today.

On Monday, 10 Johor exco members took their oath of office before Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar at Istana Bukit Serene, after a tit-for-tat between the state palace over who has sway in matters of state administration, including the appointment of the menteri besar.

Reliable sources have informed FMT that the line-up was not approved by the PPBM central leadership.

It is also understood that the reshuffle of the state line-up was at the request of the sultan.

Members of the Johor exco taking their oath at Istana Bukit Serene on April 22. (Johor Royal Press Office pic)

The sultan had earlier warned “outsiders” to stay out of Johor’s affairs, saying matters of appointing state leaders would be decided by the Johor constitution.

Mahathir previously said the state constitution should not be out of line with the Federal Constitution.

“The ruler has no absolute power. If it still says so in the Johor constitution, then it is void. Johor, too, agrees with the system of governance in the country,” he said on April 10.

Writing in his blog today, Mahathir said constitutions that existed before the Federal Constitution was drawn up for Malaya would no longer be applicable.

“The constitutions of Johor and Terengganu which were promulgated earlier were nullified by the new constitution which was accepted by all the states of Malaysia,” he wrote in his blog post, which also gave a brief overview of the events which led to the Federal Constitution being drawn.

“It is important that everyone concerned respects the constitution and abides by it. Failure to do so would negate the rule of law.”