— Gurdial Singh Nijar
The Malay Mail Online
August 25, 2014
AUGUST 25 — The Selangor Constitution obliges the Sultan to appoint as the MB “a member of the State Legislative Assembly who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly”: Article 53(2)(a).
30 of the 56 members of the Assembly have already sworn on oath a declaration that they support Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah. This constitutes 53.5% of the members of the Assembly – a clear majority; and in any event a majority that is higher than that which led the Sultan of Perak to appoint an MB on the basis that he commanded the majority. This exercise of discretion was accepted by the Federal Court in the Perak case (Nizar v Zambry).
Secondly, PAS has also expressed its support for Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah, although the Party also proposed an additional name. This means that Dato Seri Dr Wan has the cumulative support of 43 out of the 56 members of the Assembly — an overwhelming 77% of the majority of the members of the State Assembly.
Significantly, BN has not indicated its support for any candidate. That is, it has abstained in this exercise.
This means that Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah has the support of a very clear majority of the members of the Assembly; with no one opposing her appointment as MB.
Where it appears abundantly patent who is likely to command the majority, the Sultan’s discretion must be exercised in favour of that person – based on the facts, the Constitution, constitutional convention (practice) and the Perak case. — Reuters pic
* Gurdial Singh Nijar is a Professor at the Law Faculty of University of Malaya.