Putrajaya won’t interfere in selection of new Agong, says law minister

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the federal government will not interfere in the selection of the new Yang di-Pertuan Agong. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said the federal government will not interfere in the selection of the new Yang di-Pertuan Agong. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 — The federal government will not interfere in the selection of the new Yang di-Pertuan Agong to replace Sultan Muhammad V after the latter’s abdication last Sunday, law minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong said today.

In a statement, Liew said the government’s decision to not interfere was also a symbol of the government’s “respect” towards the country’s royal institution.

Liew also said that there was nothing to question about Sultan Muhammad V’s abdication, which he described as being in line with the Federal Constitution’s Article 32(3).

Among other things, Article 32(3) states that the Conference of Rulers shall elect the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for a five-year term and that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can at any time resign from office via writing to the Conference of Rulers.

Sultan Muhammad V, who is also the Kelantan ruler, started his rule as Agong on December 13, 2016 and made the unprecedented decision to abdicate mid-term.

In addressing speculations and comments made previously on social media, Liew said Malaysians should all have an in-depth understanding of the country’s system of parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy to avoid confusion.

Liew noted the important role of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, especially as the head of Islam for the states without a Malay ruler and for the Federal Territories.

The country’s Malay rulers will be electing the new Yang di-Pertuan Agong and deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong on January 24, with their swearing-in to be held on January 31.

For more about how the country’s Yang di-Pertuan Agong and deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong is elected, read here.