Friday, 16 April 2010

Forum on “Constitutional Crisis in Malaysia- Why 2 Menteri Besars in Perak?”

Forum on “Constitutional Crisis in Malaysia-
Why 2 Menteri Besars in Perak?”


Why do we hold the Forum?


In 2008. the March 8 General Election conveyed a clear message of the people of Malaysia for political reform. Five states, including Perak fell into the hands of the Pakatan Rakyat. In Perak , the Pakatan won with a three-seat majority and it gained control over the State government. Mohd. Nizar (from Pas) became the Menteri Besar of Perak.

However, after 11 months in power, three state assembly persons of the ruling Pakatan resigned from the party and proclaimed themselves as BN-friendly independent members. The Menteri Besar Nizar had an audience with Sultan Azlan Shah for the purpose of dissolving the state legislative assembly so that a fresh state election could be held.

But the Sultan did not accede to the request. Instead, the Sultan ordered immediate resignation of Menteri Besar and the Executive Council. Sultan Azlan Shah even suggested that the positions of Menteri Besar and the Executive Council be deemed vacant if they did not resign. The Sultan also declared that BN had achieved majority in the state assembly.

Such declaration was highly controversial. A popularly-elected government was deposed by a mere directive from the Palace. No vote of no confidence had been taken in the state assembly. This was inconsistent with the constitutional monarchy practised in Malaysia.

After a series of legal suits, a panel of 5 judges in the Federal Court unanimously handed down a decision that Zambry from the BN is the lawful Menteri Besar. In brief, the court ruled that:

1. There is no requirement in the State Constitution for a vote of no confidence to be taken in the State Assembly. There is no doubt that Zambry has the majority support of 31 out of 59 members of the state assembly.
2. If the Menteri Besar refuses to resign, the Sultan has the power to dismiss him.

Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy. The Yang diPertuan Agong and the rulers of the States are the symbolic heads of the country. The state power is being wielded by a government elected by the people. But the ruler of the State of Perak has exercised the power of the State, and dismissed a State government popularly elected through a democratic process. The Federal Court has legitimized the unprecedented act of the ruler.

Does all this mean that democracy in Malaysia is sliding down the slippery road of retrogression? As some social scientists and legal experts put it: our country is in the midst of constitutional crisis. The Federal Court decision would set the trend of moving our country from the present constitutional monarchy back towards the archaic absolute monarchy.

Friends of Suaram (FOS) will hold a forum on the constitutional crisis in Perak to explore the issue. Our panelists include an experienced legal practitioner, a social activist and a politician. They will share with us their respective views on the issue.

Details of the forum are as follows:

Date : 15 May 2010 (Saturday)
Time : 8.30pm
Venue : Tropical Inn, JB.


Admission is free. We welcome the attendance of the general public who are concerned in the future of Malaysia.


FOS (Friends of Suaram)
Johore

16 April 2010

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通告 Notification

人民之友对下届大选意见书
英巫文译稿将在此陆续贴出

作为坚守“独立自主”和“与民同在”的立场的一个民间组织,人民之友在上个月对即将来临的第14届全国大选投票,发表了一篇以华文书写的意见书,题为:投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!。

这篇意见书的英文译稿,将在近期内在本部落格贴出。马来文译稿将在下个月内贴出。敬请关注!

我们希望,我们在意见书内所表达的对下届大选的立场和观点,能够准确而又广泛地传播到我国各民族、各阶层的人民群众中接受考验,并接受各党派在这次全国大选斗争和今后实践的检验。


The English and Malay renditions of Sahabat Rakyat’s opinions about next election will be published here consecutively

As an NGO which upholds “independent and autonomous” position and "always be with the people" principle, Sahabat Rakyat had released a Chinese-written statement of views with regard to the voting in the upcoming 14th General Election, entitled “Vote for candidates who are against State Islamisation: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent the return to power of Mahathir’s faction!”

The English rendition of this statement will be published in our blog in the near future whereas the Malay rendition will be published next month (November). Please stay tuned!

We hope that our position and views pertaining to the next General Election expressed in the statement will be accurately and widely disseminated and also examined by the popular masses of various ethnicities and social strata through their involvement in the struggle of the next General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.


Akan datang: Penerbitan penterjemahan pendapat Sahabat Rakyat mengenai pilihan raya ke-14 dalam Bahasa Inggeris dan Bahasa Melayu

Sebagai sebuah pertubuhan masyarakat yang berpendirian teguh tentang prinsip "bebas dan berautonomi" dan “sentiasa berdampingan dengan rakyat jelata”, Sahabat Rakyat telah menerbitkan kenyataan tentang pandangan kami terhadap Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 yang akan datang yang bertajuk "Undilah calon yang menentang Pengislaman Negera: Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Jangan benarkan puak Mahathir kembali memerintah! "

Penterjemahan Bahasa Inggeris kenyataan tersebut akan diterbitkan dalam blog kita dalam waktu terdekat manakala penterjemahan Bahasa Melayu akan diterbitkan pada bulan hadapan.

Kami berharap pendirian dan pandangan kami berkenaan pilihan raya kali ini yang dinyatakan dalam kenyataan tersebut dapat disebarkan dengan tepat dan meluas untuk diuji dalam kalangan rakyat semua bangsa semua strata sosial melalui penglibatan mereka dalam amalan pelbagai parti politik dalam pertempuran pilihan raya umum kali ini mahupun masa depan.

Malaysia Time (GMT+8)