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Rule of law must prevail

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Ignoring the controversy over his purported appointment as Selangor State Secretary, Mohd Khusrin Munawi reported for work this morning. Is the Chief Secretary to the Government, Mohd Sidek Hassan, trying to undermine the Selangor state government through this unilateral appointment, wonders P Ramakrishnan.

Chief Secretary to the Govenrment Mohd Sidek Hassan – Photo credit: eperolehan.gov.my

The Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, has precipitated a constitutional crisis in Selangor by ignoring time-honoured norms and constitutional requirements in naming the Selangor State Secretary unilaterally.

In any appointment to a state, there must be consultation before a final decision is taken. This sensible approach has been completely sidelined. Mohd Sidek had chosen to ride roughshod over the Menteri Besar of Selangor, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. In doing so, Malaysians are wondering whether he is acting strictly as a civil servant or as a political tool of the Barisan Nasional.

It is a matter of grave concern for Aliran when a functioning state constitution is not respected and its provisions not honoured. It has been pointed out by legal experts that according to Article 52(4) of the Selangor state constitution the state secretary “shall take and subscribe in the presence of the Menteri Besar the following oath of secrecy.” In this instance, the Meneri Besar’s central role cannot be ignored.

Khusrin Munawi

It has been announced that the newly appointed Selangor State Secretary, Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi, will be taking his oath of office in the presence of His Highness, the Sultan of Selangor. This seems odd according to constitutional expert, Prof A. Aziz Bari, who contends that this is a “new practice” and that he was not aware that such a practice existed.

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There is some talk that the MB may convene the state assembly to debate this issue. It may be pertinent to pursue this line of action in order for the state government to exert its authority which is derived from the people.

It would be wrong to set aside what is stated in the written constitution. We must submit ourselves to the rule of law at all times. This is how a democracy functions. Anything short of this will be anarchy.

It is imperative that the state secretary and the MB must enjoy cordial working relationship for the benefit of the state. It is known that Mohd Khusrin and the Selangor state government have been at odds over certain issues. To appoint him as the state secretary in spite of these serious differences would suggest that some foul plot is afoot. Is the Chief Secretary to the Government trying to undermine the Selangor state government?

P Ramakrishnan is president of Aliran

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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P Ramakrishnan has been an Aliran member since its inception in 1977, serving on our executive committee for 36 years, half of that period as Aliran's president (1994-2011). He continues to serve as an Aliran member, highlighting issues of public interest to a larger audience
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22 Jan 2011 3.46am

My views is this…i have read both side of the arguments from legal perspective…both have their basis and are right…laws are interpreted differently…put ten lawyers in a room to go thru an act, they will come out with 10 different interpretations…my point here is, both arguments have their merits…so no point arguing on the law. Barring that aside, i would rather look at the sequence of events…and from the chronoly list issued by the palace, I now have no doubt that the MB Selangor had failed to take the necessary step to address his diasagreement to the appointment…had he been more proactive, such scenario would not have happened. Being an opposition supporter, we always want to be right, but what if we are wrong? Leaders are not Saint, they have mistakes too so does MB Selangor…he just simply did not take the matter seriously, until it was too late. Fact : He knew that the former State Secretary was to retire…he had the opportunity to initiate the appointment of his selection early on, but he didnt. Why? I am a businessmen and the moment my senior… Read more »

4 Jan 2011 9.12pm

This was certainly no smart move by the Goons in federal government. All these little irritations are just seen as a desperate attempt and an insult to the RAKYAT of SELANGOR. I am convinced now that we have voted wisely in 2008 and will continue to do so.

4 Jan 2011 4.57pm

Clearly Sidek Hassan is a lackey of BN/UMNO and answerable to his political masters. He should be sacked…

4 Jan 2011 11.36am

The law is on the side of the state. Matters of contention; 1) Appointment of SS by “appropriate” service commission as stated in the State Constitution refers to the state service commission of Selangor and not the Federal Public Service Commission. This is because going back to the Federal Constitution which I heard is the supreme law of the land, states under article 132.2 “Except as otherwise expressly provided by this constitution, the qualifications for appointment and conditions of service of persons in the public services other than those mentioned in paragraph (g)(that is the public service of each STATE)…may be regulated by Federal Law. 2)Kushrin did not take his oath of service before the MB, thus is unable to fully perfomr his duties (if at all he was capable in the first place). The palace is not involved in the matter of the appointment. 3) Should the palace be involved as stated by the Federal, then the palace, being of a constitutional monarchy, is obligated to be advised by the MB, which did not happen. Hence, the manner in which Kushrin was “appointed” could be… Read more »

4 Jan 2011 8.54am

Malaysian leadership i see an urgency, and hopeless direction in our leadership.We need a new direction. i see that malaysians are afraid of change. we need a solid leader who can make a desicion fora paradigm shift from the old kampong stories . Malaysian needs a a paranio to immediately haeva change in our politic field racial relationahip, education and of of course 100 percent transperancy. Leaders need to be held accountable for all thier actions. This change in leadership will not happen if the people who vote in these leaders cannot themselves cahnge. This must be the begginning of change and it must begin with those who vote in these leaders of tomorrow. A true leader does not make decision so that a certain group are happy but he makes a decision that may or may not be right but his call asa l;eader is what they elect him for. Malaysia needs leaders who havea clkear vision of where Malaysia wioll be in the next 50 years. The old will be dead and gone The young must come in now or we will go back… Read more »

3 Jan 2011 11.48pm

Mohd Sidek Hassan is a puppet for BN, he was so powerless against discount to summonses given out by BN. Yet he is exercising his power arrogantly and unconstitutionally when dealing with the Penang and Selangor PR state governments.

I used to respect this fella for his PEMUDAH initiative, but no more now.

3 Jan 2011 4.42pm

Is the Chief Secretary to the Government trying to undermine the Selangor state government?

Of course, he is – to please his political master, the hastily appointed Umno Selangor chairman – who also happens to be the … former defence minister (under whose watch billions were squandered or went missing), the … deputy PM who engineered the Perak crisis in February 2009…

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