Respect the Constitution

It is paramount for Malaysians to continue upholding the Federal Constitution instead of individual’s state sets of law, says Dr Mahathir

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by ISMAIL CHE RUS

THE constitutions of Johor and Terengganu, which were promulgated earlier, were nullified by the new Constitution which was accepted by all the states of Malaysia, said Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture).

He said it is paramount for Malaysians to continue upholding the Federal Constitution instead of individual’s state sets of law as any initiative to overrule the supreme code would jeopardise the spirit of the country’s formation.

“It was agreed that Malaya would be a democracy where the people would choose the government. The Rulers would be constitutional heads without executive power.

“Their position would be guaranteed by the Constitution which would be the supreme law of the country,” Dr Mahathir said in his entry in his official blog chedet.cc yesterday.

As such, the PM said all parties should respect the people’s call in upholding the country’s democratic system, which ultimately grants power to the winning political party to exercise their duty.

“Accordingly, on the May 9, 2018, the people of Malaysia went to the polls to elect the government of (the federation) Malaysia and the governments of the states.

“It is important that everyone concerned respects the Constitution and abides by it. Failure to do so would negate the rule of law,” he added.

Johor’s Constitution was established in 1895, while Terengganu’s Constitution was drawn up in 1911 and are still in effect.

Dr Mahathir said all state Constitutions which came into force prior to the 1957 Malaya independence are deemed nullified, hence cannot override the federal law.

He said the country independence committee, the Reid Commission, which was tasked with drawing up the Constitution had agreed that Malaya would be a democratic state where the people would choose the government.

Dr Mahathir’s statement was issued two days after the new Johor state executive council members line-up was sworn in amid a debate over the Sultan’s powers.

Last week, Johor also received its new mentri besar (MB), Dr Sahruddin Jamal, after his predecessor of 11 months, Datuk Osman Sapian, resigned.

Prior to Dr Sahruddin’s appointment, the southern state Ruler had warned “outsiders” to stay out of Johor’s affairs, saying that the matters of appointing state leaders would be decided via the Johor Constitution.

Dr Mahathir reiterated that the appointment of the PM or MB, and the chief minister (CM) would only be endorsed by the Rulers only after the winning party named their candidates to the position as what has been empowered by the Constitution.

“The party winning the election would name the PM (or the CM/MB) and the constitutional head would endorse.

“Should the constitutional monarch refuse to endorse and proposes his own candidate and endorses him, the winning party can reject him in the assembly — ‘dewan’, through a vote of non-confidence,” he added.