Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Constitutional crisis has worsened since last polls, says Bar Council

The March 8, 2008 political tsunami did more than eat into Barisan Nasional’s half-century monopoly on Malaysian politics. It also triggered off a series of constitutional crisis, according to the Malaysian Bar Council.

The council's chairman of the Constitutional Law Committee Edmund Bon Tai Soon said: "The constitution already had a lot of conflicts since 1957.

“But the situation is even worst now since the March 8 general election, as many states have come under the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition."

According to Edmund, there are numerous differences and similarities between the state and the federal constitution, which will be discussed in a forum to be held tomorrow.

"For example, the appointment or expulsion of a Menteri Besar and State Executive Councillor (exco) is the same in both state and federal governments," he said, alluding to the Perak crisis.

In a landmark ruling last month, the Federal Court ruled Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as the valid Perak Menteri Besar over Pakatan Rakyat’s Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin despite the fact that opposition Pakatan Rakyat was constitutionally elected to power by the people of Perak in March 2008.

Edmund said the forum titled “Conversations on the constitution" would focus on federal–state relations.

"Should states be given more power? This forum aims to discuss whether, based on the constitution today, the powers of state have been diluted in theory and in practice. We will also discuss whether the powers of the central government have been abused to the detriment of the state," he said.

The forum is the third phase of the Bar Council’s MyConstitution Campaign.

Speakers invited to the forum include Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and constitutional lawyers Sulaiman Abdullah and Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

The forum, which is open to public, will be held tomorrow at 2pm at The Annexe Gallery of Central Market Annexe in Kuala Lumpur.

courtesy of FreeMalaysiaToday

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