Nazri: Between ‘open secret’ and common sense

– Ravinder Singh
The Malay Mail Online
July 07, 2013

JULY 7 – Nazri is correct in saying that it is an “open secret” that the Conference of Rules (COR) can object to any law (or any sections, words or phrases in it). That is the prerogative of the Rulers.

On the other hand, it is common sense that if the COR does object to any part of a law that has been sent to it after going through the Cabinet and Parliament, the COR must send it back to the Cabinet / Parliament for the parts objected to to be reviewed, amended or dealt with in any other way deemed proper by the Cabinet / Parliament.

It is also common sense that after having approved / amended a bill, it is not the function of the COR to send it for printing / publication / gazetting. This is the duty of the executive.

So how is it that up today not only Nazri but the whole Cabinet and Parliament do not know whether the COR had actually objected to the Cabinet decision of April 2009 on the issue of the conversion of minors?

What Nazri has stated is not fair to the COR. If the COR had really objected to the Cabinet decision, did the COR by-pass the Cabinet and Parliament and send their objections directly to the AG’s Chambers which is responsible for the final drafts of all legislation? Is that why the proposed amendment to Clause 107 of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 appeared in the form it did?

Nazri has much to explain about the Cabinet being in the dark whether the Conference of Rulers had objected to the Cabinet Decision of April 2009. Common sense states this is not possible as the convention is that if something goes to the COR from the Cabinet, the COR will surely return it to the Cabinet with its approval or comments for the next action to be taken by the Cabinet.

Nazri’s “explanation” is therefore not convincing at all. He should not insinuate that the Conference of Rulers might have been responsible for the form in which the amendment appeared before Parliament despite the Cabinet decision April 2009.

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Monday, 8 July 2013 - 9:28 am

    We all know the Conference of Rulers (COR) meet regularly but we, the Rakyat, do not know what they discuss or decide. I think it would be good if the people is made aware of their deliberations and especially their decisions since these will affect them. How does the COR, in our context, fit into the Constitutional scheme of things?

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