After giving Terengganu back to Umno in 2004 and giving Kedah back to Umno in 2013, would PAS now want to also give Selangor back to Umno? Hence PAS had better think long and hard what its next move is going to be.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Today, 13th August 2014, is the Tenth Anniversary of Malaysia Today, which was founded on Friday the 13th (of August 2004). Yes, Friday the 13th, a most sweh (meaning cursed and pronounced ‘sway’) day according to Western superstition.
But today I do not want to talk about the founding of Malaysia Today. I want to talk about the founding of Selangor because too many people are talking about Selangor, and the present crisis the state is facing, without understanding one bit what they are talking about.
Selangor did not exist prior to 1745. Before that what we now call Selangor was a territory of Perak and ruled by Sultan Muzaffar Shah III Ibni Almarhum Yang Dipertuan Muda Mansur Shah, the 13th Sultan of Perak. Hence Perak and its Sultanate were already in existence at that time with a population of about 30,000.
The first Sultan of Perak, Sultan Muzaffar Shah I, was the son of the Sultan of Melaka, Sultan Mahmud Shah I, who was ousted by the Portuguese in 1511. Hence the Perak Sultanate started after that, in 1528.
Because of Selangor’s high influx of Bugis from the Riau islands, Sultan Muzaffar Shah decided to give Selangor self-rule and in 1745 Sultan Muzaffar Shah installed Bugis prince Raja Lumu, the son of Daeng Celak of Riau, as the first Sultan of Selangor. The installation of Raja Lumu, who took the name Sultan Salehuddin Shah, was done in Lumut in Perak.
In 1875, because of the Selangor Civil War, the British intervened and forced Sultan Abdul Samad to accept a British Resident who would act as the adviser to the palace. So, after 130 years as a sovereign state, Selangor became a British protectorate but not quite a colony.
In 1946, soon after the end of WWII, the British formed the Malayan Union, which was strongly opposed by the Malays, my grandfather Raja Sir Tun Uda Raja Muhammad, being one of them.
1946 was also the year that Umno was formed and in 1947 Hamza Abdullah was appointed the first Menteri Besar of Selangor. But he was not an Umno member though.
In 1948, because of the nationwide protests, the British abandoned the Malayan Union and formed thePersekutuan Tanah Melayu or the Federation of Malay States. In 1949, my grandfather Raja Uda was appointed the second Menteri Besar of Selangor. He was also not an Umno member.
Othman Mohamad was appointed the third Menteri Besar in 1953 and this was the first Umno Menteri Besar Selangor ever had. But he stayed for slightly over a year and in 1954 my grandfather was again appointed the Menteri Besar for a second term, but still not an Umno member and never was until the day he died.
After my grandfather Raja Uda, Selangor had another ten Menteris Besar, all from Umno, until Khalid Ibrahim in 2008, the 14th Menteri Besar of Selangor.
The bottom line is: you do not need to be a party member to become the Menteri Besar of Selangor. It is entirely the prerogative of His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor. Article 53(2)(a) of the Selangor state constitution merely states that HRH shall first appoint as Menteri Besar to preside over the State Executive Council (Exco), a member of the Legislative Assembly who in his judgement is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly.
It does not say you must be a political party member or that your party must have the majority seats in the House. It is up to HRH’s judgement as to whom in his view is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the House. And do you want to be the mouse that bells the cat by arguing with HRH that his judgement is flawed?
In the first place, will HRH even give his consent for you to have an audience with him to argue your case and state that you disagree with his judgement? HRH can refuse to see you like he did with Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail two days ago. And if HRH refuses to see you what can you do about it? Sue him in court?
You can, of course, demonstrate that HRH’s judgement is flawed by tabling a motion of no confidence in the state assembly against the Menteri Besar of HRH’s choice . However, there is also one problem with this.
For the state assembly to sit, HRH must first give his consent. And if HRH withholds consent the state assembly cannot meet. And if the state assembly cannot meet then a vote of no confidence cannot be passed all the way up to the next general election in 2018 or so.
Anwar Ibrahim or Pakatan Rakyat can challenge this if they want to. They can even take to the streets to protest or sue the Sultan in court. But the Sultan decides if the state assembly sits and the Sultan decides who shall be the Menteri Besar.
And if you think HRH the Sultan does not know the law or the constitution, or is not being advised by the best legal brains, then think again because if you try to take on the Sultan you are going to be in for rude shock.
Pakatan Rakyat is not a legal entity, like Barisan Nasional. Pakatan Rakyat is merely a pact. Hence, currently there is no Pakatan Rakyat government in Selangor. What Selangor currently has, because of the four PAS Exco members, is a PAS government with an independent Menteri Besar as its head.
PAS has 15 seats, 16 if with Khalid. DAP has 15 (14 if minus the Speaker) while PKR and Umno have 13 and 12 respectively. That makes PAS the majority in the state assembly, not Pakatan Rakyat, because Pakatan Rakyat is merely a pact and not a legal entity.
Khalid needs a minimum of four Exco members, which he has. The maximum is ten, of course. If PAS decides to follow PKR and DAP and leave the government, all Khalid has to do is appoint four new Exco members from amongst the 12 Umno state representatives. Then Selangor will have an Umno government with an independent Menteri Besar.
PAS would be wise to not join PKR and DAP by abandoning Khalid. If they do, then Selangor will have Umno Exco members. Technically, Umno would now control Selangor because of PAS.
After giving Terengganu back to Umno in 2004 and giving Kedah back to Umno in 2013, would PAS now want to also give Selangor back to Umno? Hence PAS had better think long and hard what its next move is going to be