KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — Writing that “a shameful scene is unfolding in Perak”, Tengku Razaleigh tonight said only the state assembly can remove embattled Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and any other means was unconstitutional.
“To formally test the mandate of the current government, whether in Perak, Sabah or the Federal government, the question must either be put to the people through state elections, or to the assemblymen through a formal vote in the dewan. These are the only tests that count in our constitutional democracy,” the Gua Musang MP posted in his weblog.
His latest post came hours after the Perak ruler had asked Nizar to step down from government in favour of a Barisan Nasional government which claims majority support with 28 lawmakers and three independents who quit the Pakatan Rakyat government. Including himself, Nizar controls 28 seats in the 59-seat state assembly.
Perak’s Sultan Azlan Shah has refused Nizar’s request to dissolve the assembly or asked him to get a vote of confidence in the assembly but the Pas Menteri Besar has provoked a showdown by being adamant to stay on in his post.
Tengku Razaleigh pointed out that the government of the day is established according to rules and principles codified in the constitution and “this is the difference between legitimately formed government and tyranny, which is rule by the law of the jungle”.
He added that legitimate constitutional government draw all its authority from “the consent of the people and only from that consent”, saying the people provide the consent as the government is formed according to the constitution and leaders chosen through free and fair elections.
“It doesn’t matter how many men with flaming torches march chanting your name in the middle of the night. You need to prove you have the support of voters in a free and fair election,” he wrote.
The Kelantan prince said the constitution also provided definitive ways to test a leader’s command of the majority in an assembly.
“Only the answer of the assembly counts. It doesn’t matter how many sworn statements, defections, press conferences, and declarations you have, nor what forms of advertisement, display, inducement or force you bring to bear on the question
“This is what it means to be a parliamentary democracy. To remove and install governments in any other way is to violate the Constitution, erode the rule of law, and to run the risk of forming an illegal government,” said the veteran Umno leader popularly known as Ku Li in political circles.
“The invisible laws make our government, nation and society possible. I won’t begin to describe the harm we would do these things if we began to ratify power achieved without regard for the rule of law in this country,” Tengku Razaleigh wrote, adding the constitution was the foundation and source of legal authority and the Rulers are sworn to protect and uphold it. -ref-