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Thursday, March 31, 2016

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OK to ask King to tell PM to quit, says expert

 | March 31, 2016
'The Agong cannot remove Najib, but his voice carries weight.'
PETALING JAYA: Submitting the Citizens’ Declaration to the Yang diPertuan Agong is by no means a futile exercise although he has no power to make Prime Minister Najib Razak resign, according to law expert Gurdial Singh Nijar.
“Anyone can ask someone to resign; it’s our constitutional right as citizens, and everyone, from the man on the street to the King, has this right,” he said in an interview with FMT.
“However, if the King were to advise Najib to resign, then of course it carries more weight.”
The Universiti Malaya professor acknowledged that the Federal Constitution did not give the Malay rulers any power to force Najib to step down. But he added that there was nothing wrong with former PM Mahathir Mohamad’s proposal to submit the declaration to the King as an appeal from a nation’s subjects to their ruler.
Gurdial noted that calling for the resignation of a prime minister was not a novelty in Malaysia. He pointed out that Tunku Abdul Rahman and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi stepped down after they were asked to.
Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh of DAP, who is a lawyer, also told FMT that the King had no power to force the Prime Minister’s resignation.
“Basically, it’s a democratic process,” he said. “The monarchy has no power to ask Najib to step down. It’s up to the electorate to decide in the general election.”
On Sunday, Mahathir expressed hope that the Conference of Rulers would look into the Citizens’ Declaration if millions of Malaysians were to sign it.
“We are asking something out of the constitution,” he said. “I hope the rulers will hear the rakyat. It is an extraordinary request.”

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