KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 (Bernama) — Political parties have the power to determine the administration and leadership at the federal and state levels, including choosing the prime minister and menteris besar, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister said this was because it was political parties that get the mandate from the people to administer the nation or a state.
He stressed that if the power to choose the prime minister and menteris besar came under the Malay rulers, then Malaysia would no longer be a democracy.
“If the people have chosen the party that has the right to appoint a menteri besar, but this is denied, then we are not a democracy, we are an absolute monarchy.
“If this is the case, we can have a debate on it. Whether we accept the existing system, that is a constitutional monarchy, where the King acts on the advice of the prime minister at the federal level and at the state level, the menteri besar advises the ruler, or the system is abolished whereby we no longer need to hold elections,” he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.
The Prime Minister was commenting on a statement by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar earlier today asking outsiders not to interfere in the affairs of the state because it still had a sultan.
The statement came in the wake of Datuk Osman Sapian resigning as menteri besar of Johor on Monday.
Elaborating further, Dr Mahathir said the government viewed the matter very seriously.
“This is a very serious thing because when we formed the Federation of Malaya, we introduced a constitution. In it we have stated that the Federation of Malaya and states in it practise the constitutional monarchy system and not absolute monarchy.
“If we were to ask if there are still provisions in the Johor constitution that give absolute powers to the sultan, it becomes null and void because Johor also agreed to the system of government in our country,” he added.
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