From the Selangor Times 6 April 2012. Ask Lord Bobo is a weekly column by LoyarBurok where all your profound, abstruse, erudite, hermetic, recondite, sagacious, and other thesaurus-described queries are answered!
Dear Lord Bobo, looks like there will be a Bersih 3.0 on April 28. Aren’t all these public assemblies kinda boring already? (Meh, via email)
This question came in just as His Supreme Eminenceness’ minions were about to email the column for the week to those good-looking editorial folk at the Selangor Times.
Yes, apparently there will be a “sit down” public gathering on April 28 – the main event will be in Kuala Lumpur, but (as with Bersih 2.0) there will also be similar events elsewhere in the country, and around the world. The venue for the main gathering has yet to be confirmed. Bersih announced that it will take place at Dataran Merdeka, but the de facto ipso facto mucho facto law minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz says that Dataran Merdeka is not legally gazetted to host a public assembly. The irony that peaceful gatherings of citizens are not allowed in “Dataran Merdeka” (Independence Square) does not escape Lord Bobo.
As for public assemblies being boring, that’s ludicrous. Get a grip on yourself, son. Lord Bobo is very pleased to note that there have been several well-organised and peaceful public assemblies in 2012. Much credit is due to the police and organisers for proving that Malaysians can gather peacefully.
Of course, this has not stopped the anti-Bersih voices from (already) complaining about the massive “disruption of lives” that Bersih 3.0 will likely cause. Which is strange, because of course it is fairly obvious that the “disruption of lives” that is being complained about is basically the ability to go to their favourite shopping malls on a Saturday without having to contend with road-closures or massive traffic jams caused by road-blocks – which obviously are put in place by the police, not Bersih.
Anyway, public assemblies for a good cause should always be welcome in any healthy democracy. If you have the time, you should check out what public gatherings are taking place each weekend – get out and be with other Malaysians, for a good cause, instead of window-shopping or hanging out in air-conditioned shopping malls every weekend.
Lord Bobo, I heard the Selangor State Secretary is trying to dissolve the DUN without the MB’s permission? Can ah? (Gossip Girl, via email)
No! What malicious gossipery is this? Lord Bobo is not impressed. According to Constitution of the State of Selangor, Article 70(2), the Sultan of Selangor may prorogue or dissolve the Legislative Assembly, i.e. the Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN).
This may seem like he has the power to do so on his own accord, but this must be read with Article 55(1) of the Selangor Constitution, which basically provides that HRH in the exercise of his functions, shall act in accordance with the advice of the exco or any member acting under authority of the exco. Meaning, HRH cannot dissolve the DUN without a request from the Mentri Besar of Selangor.
Article 55(2)(b) provides that HRH has discretion, without the need to act on advice, to withhold consent to dissolve the DUN, but he cannot dissolve the DUN on his own accord.
Therefore, any attempt to create an instrument by which the DUN can be dissolved without a request by the MB would be unconstitutional. In fact, it would not just be unconstitutional, but it would brazenly fly in the face of our parliamentary democracy and the role of a constitutional monarch.
So, cannot lah.
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