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Unconstitutional DIssolution - Karpal Singh
By web aNtu
26/12/1999 9:35 am Sun
Karpal Singh: Dissolution of Parliament Unconstitutional
Press Statement by Mr Karpal Singh, National DAP deputy chairman on the
constitutionality of the dissolution of Parliament on 11 November 1999,
which he issued on 22 December 1999:
What is more far-reaching, and has grave consequences, is the
dissolution of Parliament by the King effective on 11 November
(Proclamation by the King, attached) to enable the holding of General
Elections to the Dewan Rakyat.
Article 44 of the Federal Constitution states: "The legislative
authority of the Federation shall be vested in a Parliament, which shall
consist of the Yang Dipertuan Agung and two Majlis (Houses of
Parliament) to be known as the Dewan Negara (Senate) and the Dewan
Rakyat (House of Representatives)" Clearly, by virtue of this article,
Parliament comprises the King, the Dewan Negara and the Dewan Rakyat.
Article 55 (2) empowers the King to prorogue or dissolve
Parliament. In dissolving Parliament on 11 Novewmber, the King has not
only dissolved the Dewan Rakyat but also the Dewan Negara and himself!
Effectively, from 11 November, the positionof King no longer exists in
Malaysia. What follows from this, is that the Prime Minister as head of
the caretaker Government pending the General Elections to the Dewan
Rakyat could not have advised the King who no longer existed to summon
the Dewan Rakyat after the elections. Neither could the Prime Minister
do so after the Cabinet was sworn in after the elections as there is no
King to advise to summon the Dewan Rakyat to enable new MPs to be sworn
in and get on with business constitutionally and not have themselves
including the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, disqualified (under
Article 59 (2)) within six months for not having taken a lawful oath.
It is obvious all is not well with the Federal Constitution. The
provisions of the Constitution of India ought to have been adopted.
Article 79 of the Constitution of India states: "There shall be a
Parliament for the Union which shall consist of the President and two
Houses to be known respectively as the Council of States and the House
of the People.". Article 85 (2) states: "The President may from time
to time (a) prorogue the Houses or either House; (b) dissolve the House
of the People." This article refers to the prorogation of the Houses of
Parliament and the dissolution of the House of the People. This implies
that Parliament is regarded as a permanent institution though they may
be changes in the Houses.
In my view, a constitutional crisis of significant proportions has
arisen. Without a King, no laws can be operative. Even a
constitutional amendment to resolve the problem can be of no avail as
the King must a#sent to such an amendment, and he does not exist.
I call upon the Attorney-General to respond to my arguments. In
the public interest he should forthwith do so, particularly having
regard to the provisions of article 55 (1) which states: "The Yang
di-Pertuan Agung (King) shall from time to time summon Parliament and
shall allow six months to elapse between the last sitting in one session
and the date appointed for its first meeting in the next session."
Dated this 22 day of December 1999.
Link Reference : Proxy List Dec 1999