SHAH ALAM: The polemic of who is going to be the Menteri Besar of Selangor appears to be hotly debated by Pakatan Rakyat component party leadership namely PKR, PAS and DAP as no final decision has been made to date.
Despite the storm brewing up among the leadership of the three parties, the political factor is not the determinant of who will be appointed as menteri besar because it is the absolute right of the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.
As recorded in history, the late Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah was very firm on deciding who was the replacement for Tan Sri Muhammad Muhamad Taib who resigned as Selangor Menteri Besar on April 14, 1997 as the Sultan wanted a candidate that had been screened and reviewed to ensure the person was really clean.
The late Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz stressed that the candidate should be honest and sincere and the Sultan would reject a Menteri Besar who enriched himself.
In a meeting between the Sultan and the then Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on April 21, 1997, the Sultan said the suitable candidate had not been selected and on May 2, he chose Tan Sri Abu Hassan Omar as Selangor Menteri Besar.
Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) professor and legal advisor, Prof Datuk A. Halim Sidek said the impending appointment of the Menteri Besar of Selangor by Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah is based on the 1959 Selangor State Constitution and two important articles.
"Firstly, the Sultan has the right to appoint a member of the State Legislative Assembly who in his judgement enjoys the confidence of the majority of the assembly.
"Secondly, the person appointed must be a Malay and a Muslim," he said when contacted by Bernama.
Prof A. Halim said this in reference to Article 51 (1) and based on Article 53 (2)(a); and Article 51 (2) subject to Article 53 (4) of the state constitution 1959.
Also of interest is Article 51 (1A) which mentions the Sultan having the right to appoint a deputy Menteri Besar of Selangor.
The outcome of the 13th general election (GE13) showed both PAS and DAP obtaining 15 seats in the assembly while PKR obtained 14 seats.
"It is clear from the seat count, the three parties are equally eligible but with the power of the Sultan based on the articles above, DAP is not eligible as it does not have a Muslim Malay candidate in Selangor.
"Whether the candidate is from PAS or PKR is not the question even though PKR has one seat less than PAS but they could come to an agreement to nominate one candidate.
"But eventually, the power of consent for their candidate rests in the hands of the Sultan, which shows the Sultan has absolute power to choose the Menteri Besar of Selangor," said Prof A. Halim.
Malay Consultative Council's Muslim Transformation Bureau chief, Datuk Dr Mohamed Ghazali Md Noor said the importance of the Selangor Menteri Besar being a Malay and a Muslim is to ensure the Sultan has a capable advisor on the issue of Malays and Islam.
"The Sultan is an umbrella for the Malays and a pillar of Islam and therefore needs a Menteri Besar of Malay origin and a Muslim. If otherwise, how is one going to advise the Sultan?" he said.
Dr Mohamed Ghazali said one more factor which should be considered is the historical factor that this country was built by the Malay Sultanate and the government formed by the Sultanate has survived till today as the government of Malaysia.
The Malaysian Council of Former Elected Representatives (MUBARAK) president, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Rahman said the power to select the Menteri Besar of Selangor is clearly with the Sultan and the three parties should not make it a political game among themselves.
He said they needed to stop being arrogant by saying they can choose who is to be Selangor Menteri Besar when the right to choose is in the hands of Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. -- BERNAMA