KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has taken to explaining the history of the Federal Constitution, in the wake of support from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Supreme Council members for him over the unexpected change in the Johor state executive council.
This also followed the revelation by Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman that ties between him and Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim have soured.
In a post on his blog chedet.cc, the prime minister explained the sequence of events that led to the formation of the Federal Constitution, such as the alliance of Umno, MCA and MIC winning 51 of the 52 seats in the 1955 general elections and forming a home-rule Government, despite skepticism from the British overlords.
“Immediately there was a clamour among the people and the parties in the Government for independence. Negotiations were held in London and eventually it was agreed that Malaya would become independent in 1957,” Dr Mahathir said.
Preparing for this, the Reid Commission headed by Scotland’s Solicitor-General and Appeal Court judge Lord William Reid was tasked to draw up a constitution for the Federation of Malaya.
“It was agreed that Malaya would be a democracy where the people would choose the Government. The rulers would be constitutional heads without executive power.
“Their position would be guaranteed by the Constitution which would be the supreme law of the country. The party winning the election would name the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister – Mentri Besar and the constitutional head would endorse,” he said.
Dr Mahathir emphasised that in the event the constitutional monarch refused to give endorsement and instead proposed his own candidate and endorses him, the winning party could reject him in the assembly through a vote of no-confidence.
“The constitutions of Johor and Terengganu which were promulgated earlier (in 1895 and 1911 respectively) were nullified by the new constitution which was accepted by all the states of Malaysia.
“Accordingly on the 9th of May, 2018, the peoples of Malaysia went to the polls to elect the Governments of (the Federation) Malaysia and the Governments of the states,” he said.
Dr Mahathir reiterated the importance of respecting the Constitution and abiding by it, for failure in doing so would negate the rule of law.
Bersatu convened an emergency meeting on Monday evening, where the main focus was the new Johor exco line-up, which occurred after Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal was sworn in as the new mentri besar on Sunday.
Supreme Council member Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said the party would stand by the rule of law, and that no one is above the Federal Constitution.
Subsequently, yesterday during a media interview, Syed Saddiq said the formerly-close relationship he had with the Johor Crown Prince frayed when Tunku Ismail made demands that he said were political in nature, leaving Syed Saddiq feeling uncomfortable.