Sword hangs over Selangor


PETALING JAYA - Now that DAP has declared Pakatan Rakyat dead, what happens to the Selangor government?

The answer to the question can be determined using one of two ways, says a constitutional law expert.

The first is by a vote of no-confidence against the state government when the 56-member state assembly convenes. The second is to convince the Sultan of Selangor that the state government has lost majority support from the House.

Universiti Teknologi Mara Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi said that despite DAP's announcement, Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali was not required by law to prove that his state government comprising DAP, PAS and PKR, was still standing.

"It's the job of those who believe otherwise to show that he does not have the numbers," said Dr Shad Saleem.

With the assembly currently not in session, the other option is to seek an audience with the Sultan.

"As in the case of former Perak mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, the Sultan is empowered to use his judgment to decide if there is a loss of confidence."

Dr Shad Saleem said that if DAP and PAS were to split in Selangor, the state's sole independent assemblyman, former mentri besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim could end up playing a major role.

"There is no crisis as yet but if PAS were to announce a co-operation with Umno, Khalid along with other assemblymen who switch sides could alter balance of power and be kingmakers," said Dr Shad Saleem.

Another political analyst described DAP's announcement as ambiguous.

Prof Datuk Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said while the DAP had announced that there was no longer a Pakatan, it failed to state whether PAS was expelled or had been asked to leave.

"At this point, DAP has made a unilateral decision but one of no consequence or substantial impact," he added.

Mohamed Mustafa felt the announcement was a ploy by DAP to pressure PAS to leave Pakatan, so it would not be accused of sacking the Islamist party.

"That is why DAP is vague on the issue. If there is no more Pakatan and PAS is no longer a friend, the Selangor government is in limbo. DAP does not want to be blamed should Selangor collapse."