KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 4 — Powers for the Yang diPertuan Agong to approve laws passed by Parliament are necessary to preserve Malaysia's constitutional monarchy, said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The Pakatan Harapan and PKR de facto leader said his lawsuit to undo the constitutional amendments from the Mahathir administration would restore the Malay Rulers' role of being a control mechanism to the government's authority.
“The restoration of the mandatory requirement of the Royal Assent is imperative to maintain the constitutional balance between the elected government and our hereditary monarchy,” he said in a statement.
The former deputy prime minister reminded the ruling Barisan Nasional that it regularly asserts to be defenders of the Malay Rulers, and urged the coalition to demonstrate this by not challenging his legal action.
The Agong's approval had once been necessary for the passage of new laws and amendments, but this was removed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's administration following a constitutional crisis in the 80s.
After the amendments, laws are now automatically deemed to be approved by the Agong 30 days after they are provided for his consideration, regardless of whether royal assent is expressly given.
Coincidentally, Dr Mahathir yesterday claimed the PH pact would support Anwar's lawsuit to undo the changes introduced when the former had been in power.
On Tuesday, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail filed the suit on her husband’s behalf.
Anwar sought leave under Article 4(4) of the Federal Constitution from the Federal Court to challenge the validity of a amendments made in 1983, 1984, and 1994 that removed the Agong’s powers to give the final approval for Bills passed by the Dewan Rakyat.