Today, a number of PKR Selangor leaders asked Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim to respect his party’s decision to replace him. The PKR leaders said that the power to decide who becomes the Selangor Menteri Besar lies in the hands of the party. Hence Khalid should resign and make way for Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
These PKR leaders probably do not fully understand the process in how a Menteri Besar is appointed. The fact that many have commented that it is the people who elect the Menteri Besar so he must listen to the people further demonstrates this lack of understanding.
A Menteri Besar is not elected. He is appointed from amongst the elected State Assemblymen. There is a difference and this appears to have been lost to these people.
What happens is that the party or the coalition with the highest number of seats in the State Assembly submits the name of the proposed Menteri Besar to His Royal Highness the Sultan. It can be just one name or many names.
The Sultan can accept this name or these names of he can reject them. He can reject them and ask for another name or another list of names or he can counter-propose his own candidate for Menteri Besar.
Much is based on tradition, custom and convention and the State Constitution is silent on this process other than the Menteri Besar must be someone whom in the Sultan’s view commands the confidence of the majority in the Assembly.
In Selangor’s case, since the state has 56 State Assemblypersons, it would therefore be at least 29 State Assemblypersons. And it is 29 from 56 and not 29 from Pakatan Rakyat’s 44. So this means the 12 non-Pakatan Rakyat State Assemblypersons would also be included in that calculation.
The decision as to who becomes the Menteri Besar is the power of the Sultan, not the power of the party. The Sultan can, if His Royal Highness wishes, ask the party for possible candidates.
His Royal Highness does not need to do this and neither does he need to agree to the recommendations from the party. He can just go ahead and appoint someone who is his opinion will command the confidence of the majority in the State Assembly.