MB, palace on collision course

(The Star) – Selangor will face a serious constitutional crisis if the swearing-in of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the new Selangor State Secretary takes place before Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, lawyers here said.

“The Sultan must seek legal advice to determine if it is constitutionally right for him to swear in the state secretary,” said veteran lawyer Karpal Singh when contacted.

He added that Mohd Khusrin’s appointment could be challenged and declared null and void if there was no constitutional basis to the swearing in by the Sultan.

However, a source close to the palace said the event may not take place due to current developments.

A top-ranking state government official also said that Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim was scheduled to have an audience with Sultan Sharafuddin on Monday and would make an announcement after the meeting.

The state government and palace are locked in a dispute over the appointment of Mohd Khushrin, the former Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) director. He replaces Datuk Ramli Mahmud.

Khalid had reportedly said that Mohd Khusrin’s appointment was not a final decision as he was not consulted on the matter.

Furthermore, the state government had shortlisted three names for the position.

Chief Secretary to the Govern­ment Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan had earlier announced that Mohd Khusrin’s appointment would take effect from today.

Karpal said he was currently perusing all legal documents concerning the matter as requested by Khalid.

“I am going through the state constitution right now,” he said, adding that the state could make a stand and take the matter to court in the event Mohd Khusrin was sworn in.

“This, however, should be avoided at all cost,” he said, adding that this could put the state in a difficult position.

Fellow lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar agreed that swearing in Mohd Khusrin without consulting Khalid may trigger off a constitutional crisis in the state.

“The core issue surrounding the controversy was the Federal Go­­vernment’s failure to consult Khalid before deciding to make Mohd Khusrin the new state secretary.

“We are seeing a situation where the state is showing concern over the appointment of this person (Mohd Khusrin) whilst the palace appears to be comfortable with it,” said Malik.