Sunday, March 23, 2008

Terengganu MB Appointment Unconstitutional, Says Abdullah - Bernama

SEPANG, March 23 (Bernama) -- The appointment of Kijal assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said as the new Menteri Besar of Terengganu is unconstitutional, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh (who was slated for the post) commands majority support (among the elected representatives). This has not changed.

"As such, the appointment of any other person to the post is unconstitutional," Abdullah said when asked to comment on the action by 22 Terengganu Barisan Nasional assemblyman in the state who have protested Ahmad's appointment to lead the state.

Earlier, Abdullah had witnessed the 2008 Petronas Formula One Grand Prix held at the Sepang Circuit here, Sunday. He had also presented the winner's trophy to the race's winner, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Kimi Raikkonen.

The Kijal assemblyman received the letter of appointment as the new Terengganu Menteri Besar from the state's Regency Advisory Council at a closed-door meeting at Istana Tetamu in Kuala Terengganu this morning.

The date for his swearing-in, however, had yet to be fixed.

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Ahmad Said Risks Being Sacked From Umno If He Takes Oath As MB - Bernama

KUALA TERENGGANU, March 23 (Bernama) -- Kijal assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said who received his letter of appointment as Terengganu Menteri Besar risks being sacked from Umno if he takes his oath of office.

State Umno liaison secretary Datuk Rosol Wahid said if Ahmad did that, he would be going against the party constitution for failing to abide by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's decision to retain Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh as the Menteri Besar.

"His (Ahmad's) appointment is not valid. What is happening here is against the Umno constitution. If he is sacked from the party, he cannot be the Menteri Besar.

"I've been made to understand that he will be sacked as Umno member (if he takes the oath of office as Menteri Besar). The action will be taken by the party's Disciplinary Board," he told reporters after leading 22 state assemblymen in handing a letter of protest against Ahmad's appointment to the post, outside Istana Tetamu here, Sunday morning.

The letter was handed over to the secretary of the Regency Advisory Council, Shafie Ali, after the assemblymen were not allowed into the palace. Ahmad, 51, received his letter of appointment as Menteri Besar from the head of the Regency Advisory Council, Tengku Sri Panglima Raja Tengku Baderulzaman, in a closed-door ceremony at Istana Tetamu here this morning.

It was witnessed by two council members, Tengku Sri Laksamana Raja Tengku Sulaiman Sultan Ismail and former Federal Court judge Datuk Abdul Kadir Sulaiman.

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Dispute with sultan's palace the latest headache for Malaysian premier Abdullah - AP

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A Malaysian sultan is embroiled in a rare dispute with the ruling political party after his palace overruled the prime minister's selection of a state official.

The palace of Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin in northeastern Terengganu state stunned politicians late Saturday by appointing a different state chief minister than the candidate favored by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Lawmakers representing Abdullah's United Malays National Organization, or UMNO, submitted a formal protest and threatened to resign unless the palace backed down.

The royal row is the latest headache for Abdullah, who is struggling to assert his authority after the March 8 general elections in which his governing coalition held on to power but suffered stinging setbacks.

The conflict is particularly sensitive because Mizan is also currently serving his turn as Malaysia's widely respected national king.

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Barisan MPs ‘will stay loyal’ - The Star

PEKAN: Barisan Nasional has not identified any of its Member of Parliament who wants to defect to other parties.

“There may be stories being spread right now but we have not identified anyone who will switch to other parties,” said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday.

“All this while, we are confident that they are loyal to Barisan Nasional. They must remember that they are selected by the party to contest and they did so under Barisan Nasional’s ticket,” he added.

He said they would be betraying Barisan if they switched to another party.

In Putrajaya, Barisan secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said talks of crossovers by Barisan MPs and assemblymen in Sabah and Sarawak were “hearsay and not correct.”

He said Umno teams sent to the two states to investigate reports of crossovers could not verify the claims.

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Anti-hopping law proposed - The Star

KOTA BARU: A law to ban “party-hopping” by elected representatives is on the cards in the wake of allegations of defections by some Barisan Nasional parliamentarians.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said this would be among the first actions that he would initiate.

“I will propose to the Cabinet for consideration. It is an issue of integrity and morality. I am sure Malaysians would not want their politicians to hop.”

In 1992, the High Court declared the anti-hop law unconstitutional as it went against the freedom of association as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

According to Zaid, politicians should be barred from defecting because they contested and won on the principles of their original political parties. Crossovers would also affect the Government administration.

“It is a waste of its efforts to support such politicians,” Zaid said at a thanksgiving feast to mark his appointment as a federal minister.

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