Friday, October 7, 2016

Agong can sack a sitting PM, and Conference of Rulers can remove Agong when he fails to do so.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Given that Malaysia's Supreme Ruler or Yang DiPertuan Agong is elected every five years by the Conference of Rulers from among its members, it follows that it is the best interest of the sultans that no one person when elected as Agong act in any way that might be detrimental to their collective interest.

In fact, it does appear as if this right to protect , even defend, their collective interest is provided for in the Constitution of the Federation of Malaysia,which states in Article 38(6)(a):

The members of the Conference of Rulers may act in their discretion in any proceedings relating to the following functions, that is to say;
(a) the election or removal from office of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or the election of the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong;

There does not appear to be any other provision in the Constitution that limits their discretion.

The 14th and current Yang di-Pertuan Agong , Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah, faces a situation where the exercise of his Constitutional and reserve powers are under intense scrutiny given the 1MDB scandal that implicates his prime minister Najib Razak in theft, money laundering and various other criminal matters that are being investigated in a number of jurisdictions. At stake is the proper governance of his country, and he faces ongoing calls from his people to dismiss his prime minister who has entrenched himself using both political machinery and legislation.The latter has involved the introduction of the National Security Council Act ,which the Conference Of Rulers advised should not be passed without "refinement". In addition, the Agong has been presented with a petition containing 1.3 million signatures imploring him to act.It has been reported that he has refused to consider that petition.

The Agong's refusal has implications for future holders of that office and the Conference Of Rulers as a whole for he oversees both  an erosion of powers and a loss of confidence of  their subjects. 
That loss of confidence will lead to questions about the relevance of the institution of the sultanate ,and surely they must already realize that these questions are in fact being raised. The Conference Of Rulers is clearly in that situation where it has to consider removing the Agong, and perhaps his soon to be appointed successor should he persist  in his predecessor's behaviour, in order to preserve the institution of the sultanate, hereditary rule,and all the privileges that come with it. 


See also 

Agong,Malay Rulers, And Their Powers To Dismiss A Sitting Prime Minister-More

NSC Act pits Chief Of Defence Forces against his Commander In Chief, The Agong-Might the Agong order the CDF be court-martialled?

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