Role of Rulers in picking Menteri Besar

A Concerned Malaysian has expressed his worry over the role being played by Sultans in the appointment of the Menteri Besar. His Royal Highnesses have clearly refused to take the advice of the Chief Minister i.e. the Prime Minister. Instead they have chosen on their own a member of the state legislature to head the Government.

We hear a lot of opinions on the propriety of the action by the Sultan. Some say he has the right to do this while others point out that as a constitutional ruler he could not do this.

The Constitution says that the Ruler or Head of State must choose the elected member who enjoys the support of the majority of members in the legislative body to be the Prime Minister or the Menteri Besar. Subject to this provision the Ruler it is who chooses and appoints the Prime Minister or Menteri Besar.

The Prime Minister, as Prime Minister has no role in the choice of the State Menteri Besar or Ketua Menteri. His naming of candidate who should be the Menteri Besar is purely a party matter. Obviously if the State is captured by the Opposition Party he cannot name the candidate.

However if the Ruler chooses someone who does not enjoy majority support he could be deposed at a sitting of the legislative body through a vote of “no confidence”.

After that another member can be appointed by the Ruler to take his place. But if for some reason there is no other candidate or the candidate with majority support is considered unsuitable by the Ruler, a new Government cannot be formed. The Ruler may then dissolve the legislative body and a new election may be held.

may lead to the same impasse. The Ruler may not like the member with majority support.

However, it should be noted that this kind of thing had never happened during the premiership of the four previous Prime Ministers. Concerned Malaysians should wonder why.

Is it just that the particular Ruler is being difficult, unwilling to accept the principles of democracy, wanting to return to feudalism and the absolute authority of the monarch?

I do not think so. There must be a reason why the Ruler refuses to accept the candidate named by the party. But the Ruler chooses not to reveal the reasons and indulge in public debates. He merely expresses his displeasure by refusing to do what normally the Rulers would do. Concerned Malaysians must ask what has the particular candidate done which is so wrong that it incurs the displeasure of the Ruler.

There are lots of talks in the town. Terengganu is blessed with petroleum deposits. It should get 5% of the total earning from oil production. The Federal Government; fearing the previous PAS Government might use this money wrongly had withheld payment.

But when the Barisan Nasional regained Terengganu the money, now called “Wang Ehsan”, was lavishly spent by the Federal Government on Terengganu. It is not a small sum. Over these years “Wang Ehsan” totaled several billions.

We know that since the Barisan Nasional regained Terengganu in 2004 all kinds of projects have been developed in Terengganu. This include The Monsoon Cup, luxury housing for sale to foreigners, Crystal Mosque and theme park, university etc etc. Some of these projects are very good but many are totally unnecessary and wasteful.

But what the Terengganu people are saying is that all these mega projects costing billions of Ringgit have been contracted out to people outside Terengganu. Terengganu contractors got practically nothing.

But additionally they say the contracts all went to one person and they are suspicious that behind this person are members of the first family. The rumors also say that the previous Menteri Besar was responsible for these things happening and of course they think that he might have benefite financially. The rumors went on to say that the Prime Minister might have influenced the Menteri Besar into doing wrong things.

These are all rumors. It will be quite impossible to prove anything as the perpetrators are skilled in hiding themselves.

This is not good for a Government keen to abolish corruption and be transparent. To clear its name an investigation should be made.

But the public is leery of investigations by Government agencies and departments. Even Royal Commissions are not highly regarded. The people believe, not true of course, that the Government has been interfering with the work of the Anti-Corruption Agency, the Police and the Attorney General’s Chambers. The say this is borne out by the results of investigations by these agencies.

When a Deputy Minister was accused of accepting money for the release of a detainee, the Attorney General said there was no case because the detainee said he did not give any money to the Deputy Minister. It is so easy. If you have a case involving someone all the enforcement agencies need to do is to ask him whether he was involved. If he says “no” than there is no case.

For some reason judges are finding that people accused of murder are not guilty because of insufficient evidence by the police. Yet people who are totally not involved in a case, who were not accused of any misdeeds and who did not appear in court at all and been given a hearing are found guilty and publicly condemned.

The public cannot be blamed for not having faith in Government agencies doing investigations. The public cannot be blamed for suspecting cover-ups by the Government or worse still the Government may be using these enforcement agencies to threaten people.

To clear its good name the Government should get credible foreign agencies to do the investigations. Of course they must be given full access to the documents etc.

Now my detractors are going to say I did worse things when I was Prime Minister. Well if that is so let us have the foreign agencies investigate me also. I am aware that people are looking into possible misdeeds by me during my 22 years so as to threaten me and ask me to shut up. So far they have not found anything.

Not only have I not taken anything that was not due to me while I was Prime Minister but I have given back to the Government and the people everything that I had received as gifts during my tenure of office. The Government had offered me land in Kedah and Langkawi and I had refused to accept. I have a 5-acre piece of land in Putrajaya which I paid for even though the Government was offering it to me free.

Unless there is a frame-up I think there should be nothing to pin on me. Even other accusations against me including the dismissal of judges were not my doing and I do not feel obliged to apologise. Ask the Tribunal to apologise.

The person asking that the Government should apologise for what happened to Tun Salleh Abbas may have forgotten that as President of the Muslim Lawyers Association, he fully supported the action that was taken. He castigated the Bar Council for condemning Tun Hamid Omar over the dismissal of judges. Now he wants to be more correct than correct.

I wonder why.

Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad

Published in: on March 28, 2008 at 09:13  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. syabas TDM! we miss your wisdom and pragmatism!

  2. Hidup Tun !

  3. a senator is not someone chosen by the people and i think if the rakyat feels this one senator dude is an asshole, he should do the right thing and bow out.

  4. whoa bro, the last para, had some resemblance to ur previous article.


    Tun writing always simple , factual and very very easy to understand to lay person.

    Bravo Tun Dr M.

    Incredibly coincidence, isn’t it? Then again, one can never ‘trust’ a BigDog now, can we? 🙂

  5. “Terengganu is blessed with petroleum deposits. It should get 5% of the total earning from oil production. The Federal Government; fearing the previous PAS Government might use this money wrongly had withheld payment.”

    Wasnt Mahathir the master schemer of this plan? What happened to the wang ehsan that was passed down to the UMNO liaison officers during his time?,this old mudah lupa or buat-buat lupa! Many of them became instant millionaires.Now he is preaching like an innocent guru faulting Pat Lah for mistakes he had created.


  6. […] Role of Rulers in picking Menteri Besar […]

  7. Real good spin doctor! “4th Floor” should’ve learned from him. emmm…bit too late now.

  8. Whatever you do, don’t listen to Mahathir!

    Before anyone gives any credence at all to anything that Mahathir may say, I would just like to say a few words of caution.

    I am quite sure that Mahathir knows that it all started when he went against Tunku Abdul Rahman (who was until then by his own admission “the happiest Prime Minister in the world”) – that was what they wanted after all, power and money.

    It was not just him alone, but a whole group within UMNO at the time who went by the name of the “ultras” and who supposedly advocated an anti-Chinese stand (but nevertheless all had some Chinese towkay or another behind them), even today with their “Hidup Melayu!” while at the same time siphoning off as much money as they can through sheer abuse of their positions, both within and outside of government.

    This marked the real start of money politics in UMNO and UMNO’s foray into business and the corporate sector – so that not very long after the implementation of the NEP, the first victim of UMNO’s greed was the very bank set up to “help” Bumiputras, Bank Bumiputra. Many other scandals involving enormous waste of government funds and mismanagement followed, all of which could be covered up under the guise of the NEP and through control of all mass media.

    Mahathir himself and his UMNO (also MCA & MIC) cronies who got rich from all the money which they siphoned out of the system through sheer abuse of the NEP – and which was partly used to place him in power to take over as PM and to keep him there for 23 years, as well as to keep the BN in power for so long under UMNO – are largely to blame for all these abuses.

    Abdullah and Najib have followed that lead and as inheritors of that systemic abuse are also responsible as serial abusers themselves. The evidence is clear – if only ACA was given a free hand to investigate.

    It really does not matter whether Abdullah stays on or is replaced by Najib, as Mahathir wants – and we all know that Mahathir is a man with his own agenda – the national interest being certainly not a part of it.

    If they have not learned their lesson and continue to abuse their positions, that will certainly be the death knell of UMNO and the BN with it. Then again perhaps that will be better for this country.

    Mahathir talks as if things would be different under him or perhaps even Najib (and the BN would not have lost so badly) and that Abdullah’s arrogance and misplaced faith in his son-in-law was to blame. Perhaps this may be true, but that is the system which they inherited from Mahathir (and of course continued to abuse). In any case, I doubt if Abdullah’s arrogance could out-do Mahathir’s anytime.

    All I can say now is that if UMNO and the BN and their leadership and members do not undertake the necessary self-reforms at the Federal level, they can expect to be overthrown in the next general elections.

    However, if Sabah and Sarawak desert the BN NOW, which they should, the people will not have to wait for the next general elections for at least some hope of reform to begin so that all Malaysians can get on with life under more just, equitable and fairer conditions instead of letting all these elites continue to bleed the country dry while the rest of us and the country’s resources pay for it.

    Whatever it is, don’t listen to Mahathir!

  9. Tiada dalam pendaftaran pertubuhan maupun mana mana organisasi pertubuhan tentang kewujudan Barisan Rakyat atau Barisan Alternatif. Satu nama pakatan yang tercipta secara populariti ataupun “accidental”, tetapi anwar mengambil kesempatan dengan megiktirafkan dirinya sebagai “defacto leader”.
    Lagak seorang gila kuasa. DAP & PKR anda BETUL-BETUL SETUJU? Fikirkanlah.
    Anwar akan menggunakan kelebihannya sebagai melayu dan menghalang kaum lain utk berkuasa. Dan siapa selepas anwar? Nampaknye serupa saja kemelut dalam BN dan DAP/PKR/PAS.
    Anwar sendiri pernah gunaka ISA terhadap Lim Guan Eng.
    Raja masih BERKUASA.

  10. 1965 – Singapura keluar dari Malaysia. Ahli-ahli PAP menubuhkan DAP. Perjuangan mereka masih kekal sampai sekarang. Karpal Singh pernah mengatakan “Langkah mayat saya dulu sebelum menubuhkan Negara Islam”. Itulah perjuangan Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Karpal Singh, yang kini diagung-agungkan oleh Melayu Toyol seperti istialah yang digunakan oleh ayi. Orang Melayu mereka ini memang tidak layak digelar Orang Melayu. Patut ditembak sahaja. Betul kata Tun Mahathir, “Melayu mudah lupa”.Jangan jadi Pak Kadok, menang sorak kampung tergadai. Seronok sangat, terlupa yang kita pakai baju kertas, sedar-sedar dah telanjang.

    Dan untuk mereka yang menyanjung Anwar

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