“Not only can the Sultan of Johor interfere with the appointment of a Menteri Besar, he reserves the right to pick anyone from the state legislative assembly even if the person he picks isn’t included in the list of names provided by the Prime Minister. With that, I’m calling on Mahathir’s bluff and demand that he publicly disputes my claims. If he fails, we can rest assured that the fake ‘history lesson’ he gave was to justify the war he’s about to wage against the Palace of Johor, Muhyiddin and Anwar”
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad took to his blog on Wednesday to ‘explain’ the history of the Federal constitution of Malaysia. The move was an apparent attempt to play down claims by certain quarters that the ruler of Johor was entitled to decide who got to become Menteri Besar. Interestingly, the one who made that claim was none other than Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the president of PPBM. If you don’t already know, Muhyiddin was himself the Menteri Besar of Johor once and is all too familiar with the Johor state constitution.
But let’s skip Muhyiddin for the moment. Suffice to say, Mahathir is well aware of a coup attempt being architected by the PPBM president together with Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim and two other PPBM members. The two PPBM guys claim to be Mahathir’s loyalists but have long been leaking his secrets to Muhyiddin, Anwar and one or two orang Istana. While it is true that Mahathir is pissed about the whole affair, we’ll talk about more about in an upcoming article.
For now, let us focus on the ‘history lesson’ Mahathir delivered to us via his blog. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister spoke about the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and how the country’s supreme law was drawn up by the Reid Commission. Not only was the ‘lesson’ unimpressive, it was plain, downright, unspeakably, gracelessly and effingly stupid. Reading it caused me to lose 30 seconds of my already shortened life which I can never hope to get back.
To begin with, there never was a dispute on how the Federal Constitution of Malaysia came into being. If anything, the British left us with a document so fraught with ambiguity, to this day, nobody can tell us for sure if Malaysia is Islamic. They ‘gifted’ us with a codified mess but themselves were relying on Acts of Parliament, judgments and conventions. So, rather than spending precious hours cooking up historical nonsense, Mahathir should instead focus on educating our young about how the British deliberately defined Islam as “the religion of the Federation” and not “the official religion of the Federation” and how the DAP is riding on this.
But educating our young is not what Mahathir is about.
On contraire, he is all about twisting historical facts to suit his fancies. On the 10thof April 2019, he declared that the appointment of the Johor Menteri Besar was by the party that won the general election. The very next day, Muhyiddin flew straight in his face by noting that the Johor constitution was clear on the Sultan’s role in the appointment. Therein the dispute – we have the chairman of PPBM saying one thing and the party president saying another.
So, the correct thing for Mahathir to do is not to entertain us with grossly inaccurate depictions of history but proof that the ruler of Johor cannot interfere with the appointment. But the Prime Minister couldn’t do that, because evidence to the contrary can be derived from both the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and the Johor state constitution. So he did the next best thing by giving us a Char Koey Teow version of history that conveniently ‘nullified’ the Johor and Terengganu state constitutions.
This is what he said:
“The constitutions of Johor and Terengganu which were promulgated earlier (in 1895 and 1911 respectively) were nullified by the new (Federal) constitution (of Malaysia) which was accepted by all the states of Malaysia.”
The Federal Constitution of Malaysia is indeed accepted by all states in Malaysia. But in which article or clause it states that the constitutions of Johor and Terengganu were nullified is as good your guess as it is mine. Article 71 clearly dictates that a state constitution holds true so long as its provisions do not contravene the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. Any constitutional expert who isn’t Mahathir will be able to tell you the following:
that the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, read together with the Johor state constitution, dictates that the state ruler is at liberty to appoint from among members of the state legislative assembly a Menteri Besar, who, in the ruler’s discretion, commands the confidence of the majority of members of the assembly, and;
that the ruler isn’t required to choose exclusively from a list of candidates provided by a sitting Prime Minister or to submit to the dictates of the Prime Minister when making the appointment.
In other words, not only can the Sultan of Johor interfere with the appointment, he reserves the right to pick anyone from the state legislative assembly even if the person he picks isn’t Mahathir’s choice. With that, I’m calling on the old man’s bluff and demand that he publicly disputes my claims. If he fails, we can rest assured that the fake ‘history lesson’ he gave was to justify the war he’s about to wage against the Palace of Johor, Muhyiddin and Anwar.
And yes, he wants you to believe that because the Federal Constitution of Malaysia is supreme, we can ignore the Johor state constitution and tell Sultan Ibrahim to go fly kites.
Over to you, Mahathir.