Kedah ruler may have to decide if Mukhriz can remain MB, says lawyer

Constitutionally, Mukhriz Mahathir could request that the Kedah sultan dissolve the state assembly, says lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali.

PETALING JAYA: The Sultan of Kedah would have to likely make an independent assessment to determine if Mukhriz Mahathir has the confidence of the majority of assemblymen to remain as menteri besar, a lawyer said.

“He may have to interview the two assemblymen who quit as to whether Mukhriz still has their support or another candidate has emerged to be the new menteri besar,” said A Surendra Ananth.

Surendra said this in response to a statement from Sidam assemblyman Robert Ling Kui Ee and Lunas assemblyman Azman Nasarudin that they were quitting PKR, saying they no longer had confidence in the leadership of party president Anwar Ibrahim.

At a press conference in Sungai Petani earlier today, the assemblymen declared their support for Prime Minister Muhyddin Yassin, who is also the PPBM president.

It is unclear whether they still support Mukhriz, who is also the PPBM deputy president.

Mukhriz became menteri besar in May 2018 with the support of 19 assemblymen, including Ling and Azman, in the 36-member state assembly.

Surendra said that constitutionally, the appointing authority only looked at which individual representative had the majority support.

“But by convention, which party has the majority support is also considered to determine who becomes the head of the government,” he said.

Meanwhile, lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali said the support for Muhyiddin and loss of confidence in the leadership of Anwar were irrelevant considerations.

“Their support for Muhyddin is also misplaced as they are not MPs to add value to their positions,” he said.

Constitutionally, Mukhriz could request the sultan to dissolve the assembly if he no longer had the support of at least 19 of the 36 elected representatives.

Should the ruler decline the suggestion, Mukhriz must then tender his resignation.

Rafique said all written constitutions had a common phrase “who in his judgment commands the confidence of the majority” of MPs or assemblymen, and that this guided the heads of state in the appointment of a prime minister, a menteri besar or a chief minister.

PAS has 15 seats and Umno two in the Kedah state assembly, so if Ling and Azman support Perikatan Nasional (PN), then Kedah could see a new menteri besar emerging from PAS.

The two assemblymen said they would now stand as independents and would maintain friendly relations with PN.

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