Constitution was never changed, says Dr M

(The Malaysian Insider) – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday the federal constitution has not changed, despite the 1993 amendments that limited the powers of the monarchy.

The former prime minister said the federal constitution has always stated that the prime minister, the chief minister or the mentri besar is to advise the Sultan on matters of government.

“Whether the ruler will take the advice is something else,” Dr Mahathir told reporters after launching the movement Viva Palestina Malaysia here last night.

When asked if he supported the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government’s attempts to amend the constitution to return it to the pre-1993 version, Dr Mahathir said: “There is nothing to go back [to]. The constitution has not been changed.”

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim aims to amend the state constitution in a bid to resolve the ongoing impasse over the appointment of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the new state secretary.

He recently said the amendment to the Selangor constitution will ensure powers are restored to the state and the Sultan who shall act on the advice of the mentri besar.

Article 52 Clause 1 of the 1959 Selangor state constitution now states that the Selangor Sultan, upon the recommendation of the “appropriate service commission” shall appoint individuals holding permanent posts as the state secretary, state legal advisor, and state financial officer.

Pakatan Rakyat officials, however, are anticipating defeat in their attempt to amend the constitution.

PR is three seats shy of the two-thirds majority necessary to pass the amendments during the emergency state assembly sitting tomorrow.

Dr Mahathir pointed out yesterday that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong also acted on the counsel of the premier.

“Even now, the Agong acts on the advice of the prime minister,” said Dr Mahathir.