By: Roslan Bistamam
In defiance of a royal command—a titah—by the Sultan of Selangor, DAP and PKR have issued a press statement insisting on nominating Dr Wan Azizah Ismail as the sole candidate for the Selangor Menteri Besar’s post.
Yesterday, MB Khalid Ibrahim had an audience with the Sultan to brief him on political developments in Selangor and to get his consent to resign his post.
The Sultan withheld his consent, telling him the matter of his successor had to be resolved first.
The palace then issued a statement asking DAP, PKR and PAS to submit at least three names as candidates for MB.
The Sultan stated that the prerogative of choosing the MB was entirely his and that the choice would be subject to the suitability or qualifications of the candidate. He also said he would follow convention, or what has been the practice in the past.
PKR and DAP retaliated by saying that according to the convention set in 2013, only one name should be proposed; so they want to stick to that convention and propose only Wan Azizah.
This is a sort of in-your-face response to the Sultan. They are basically telling the Sultan they are not backing down and will stick to the one name in defiance of the royal command.
So what is going to happen next? Until this matter is resolved, Khalid cannot resign.
Either the Sultan or DAP/PKR has to back down, and whichever party backs down will suffer a huge loss of face. This is no longer just about the MB but about which party is prepared to admit defeat and be made to eat humble pie.
This is also going to set a new precedence on how politicians deal with the palace. If the Sultan backs down, then in future the palace will have very little say in who becomes Menteri Besar.
We may now be facing a constitutional crisis.
Roslan Bistamam is a FMT columnist