King Must Guard Against Abuse of Power, Say Rulers

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Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, who serves the conference of rulers, said the eight monarchs who met with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on the government’s request to declare a state of emergency had emphasised on the need for check and balance, and he role of the King in ensuring fairness and to guard against abuse of power.

FMT

Sultan Abdullah, after consultation with the eight monarchs from Terengganu, Perlis, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Perak, Kedah and the regent of Pahang, decided to reject Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s request to declare a state of emergency.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

Sultan Abdullah is also the Pahang ruler.

Kelantan ruler Sultan Muhammad V was absent.

Muhyiddin had argued that a state of emergency was necessary to combat the Covid-19 pandemic but critics have said it was an attempt to cling on to power amid speculations that a group of Umno MPs planned to abandon him, which will cost him to lose his already fragile majority.

Syed Danial said during the meeting at Istana Negara this afternoon, the rulers had shared their opinions in an open and frank manner to help guide the king in his decision.

He said the rulers expressed their gratitude to the Agong for seeking their consultation after considering the possible implications on the country’s reputation, people’s wellbeing and investor confidence.

“The rulers were of the view that it was important to respect the mechanism of check and balance between all branches of the government and also the Agong’s role to balance various demands in ensuring justice and curtailing (membatasi) any elements of abuse of power,” he said.

The word “membatasi” was the only one to be highlighted in red in the statement. The other words were printed in black.

“The rulers also stressed that it is important to translate the principles of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy into a culture of governance that upholds the supremacy of the Federal Constitution, rule of law and welfare of the people,” he said.

The Agong also urged MPs against “irresponsible actions which can affect the stability of the government” and emphasised the importance of the 2021 federal budget, which will be tabled on Nov 6.

There had been speculation earlier in the week that MPs might vote against the budget which would automatically lead to the resignation of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his Cabinet.