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)

16 April 2010


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通告 Notification

人民之友 对我国第14届大选意见书
(华 巫 英)3种语文已先后贴出

作为坚守“独立自主”和“与民同在”的立场的一个民间组织,人民之友在今年9月24日对即将来临的第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(标题是:Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”!)已于10月22日张贴在本部落格。马来文译稿(标题是:Undilah "calon yang membantah pengislaman negara": Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Mencegah puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa!)也已接着在11月13日在此贴出。



Pandangan Sahabat Rakyat terhadap PRU14 telah diterbitkan dalam tiga bahasa (Melayu, Cina dan Inggeris)

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 bertajuk "Undilah calon yang menentang Pengislaman Negera: Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Jangan benarkan puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa! " (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"!)dalam Bahasa Cina pada 24hb September 2017.

Penterjemahan Bahasa Inggeris kenyataan tersebut yang bertajuk Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”! telah diterbitkan dalam blog kita pada 22hb Oktober 2017 manakala penterjemahan Bahasa Melayu telah diterbitkan pada 13hb November 2017.

Selain daripada itu, Sahabat Rakyat juga akan menyebarkan kenyataan ini seluas mungkin kepada pertubuhan dan individu semua bangsa, strata, profesyen dan agama seluruh Negara melalui email, wechat, whatsApp dan pelbagai saluran lain. Kami amat mengalu-alukan pertubuhan dan individu yang berpendirian dan pandangan sama dengan kami untuk turut menyebarkan kenyataan ini kepada lebih ramai orang!

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 amalan masa depan.

The Chinese, English and Malay renditions of Sahabat Rakyat’s opinions about GE14 have been published consecutively

As an NGO which upholds “independent and autonomous” position and "always be with the people" principle, on 24 September 2017, 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!” (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"!)

The English rendition of this statement entitled "Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”!" and the Malay rendition entitled "Undilah "calon yang membantah pengislaman negara": Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Mencegah puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa!" had been released on 22 October and 13 November respectively.

Apart from that, Sahabat Rakyat will also make every effort to disseminate this statement as widely as possible to organizations and individuals of all ethnic groups, religions and all walks of life throughout the country via email, WeChat, WhatsApp and other channels. We welcome organizations and individuals with the same position and views to spread this statement to more people!

We hope that our position and views pertaining to the upcoming General Election expressed in the statement will be accurately and widely disseminated and also examined by the popular masses of various ethnicity and social strata through their involvement in the struggle of the 14th General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.

Malaysia Time (GMT+8)