KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 ― The Sultan’s consent to dissolve the state assembly for snap polls would be an irreversible decision that may send the state hurtling into chaos, Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari told a forum on the mentri besar crisis last night.
The regularly-cited constitutional expert expressed fears of possible attempts to trigger unrest that may allow Putrajaya to regain control of Selangor via an emergency.
“If it is dissolved, we can do nothing … If this Monday His Highness decides to dissolve it, then it will be dissolved,” Aziz said of the state assembly.
Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is set to meet the Selangor Sultan on Monday, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The Selangor University (Unisel) lecturer pointed out to a previous case of an unsuccessful challenge against the dissolution of the Sabah state assembly, to back his point.
But he asserted that Khalid no longer has the authority to request for a dissolution of the assembly, as he can be considered a “caretaker” MB after a demonstrable loss of confidence in his administration among state lawmakers.
Citing the cases of the 1977 Kelantan Emergency and the 1966 Sarawak Constitutional Crisis, Aziz said an emergency might be declared in Selangor should chaos be instigated by agents provocateur.
“I’m worried it would turn out like that, it created a chaos. Then this provides the ground for the authorities to do what they want,” Aziz claimed.
In the 1966 Sarawak crisis, the federal government declared a state of emergency to reinstate a new chief minister after a High Court declared that the ouster of the previous chief minister Tan Sri Stephen Kalong Ningkan was illegal.
In the 1977 emergency, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong similarly declared emergency at the request of the federal government after street violence and a political impasse.
The impasse and violence happened after Kelantan MB Datuk Muhammad Nasir requested consent from the Regent of Kelantan for a dissolution of state assembly, but was refused instead.
Other panelists in the forum last night was electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and Khairul Ariffin Mohd Munir, the vice-president of Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM). It was moderated by Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan of the coalition Negara-Ku.
Selangor was thrown into a leadership crisis after PKR sacked Khalid for refusing to yield his position to party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Khalid responded by removing all hostile PKR and DAP officials from his executive council, leaving Selangor in the hands of an independent MP and four excos from PAS.
The Pakatan Rakyat parties banded together last Sunday to demand Khalid’s resignation, saying he no longer commanded the confidence of the state’s lawmakers.
Khalid is refusing to acknowledge this until it is tested in a vote of no-confidence in the state assembly.