The Sultan of Selangor has said three state officials from Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) will remain in their posts until the next election, thus ending a row between the Islamic party and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), which heads the state government.
Questions over whether the three PAS executive councillors should resign arose after the Islamist party said it would sever political cooperation with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). The trio refused to quit their posts, saying any decision to remove them must come from the Selangor palace.
The palace, in a statement yesterday, said the Sultan, having discussed the matter with the Menteri Besar, has consented to the latter's wishes to let the three PAS officials remain in their posts until the next election.
Article 53 Clause 7 of the State Constitution states that an executive councillor shall remain in his post as long as it is in accordance with the wishes of the Sultan, but that a councillor may resign at any time.
Constitutional lawyers said the Sultan is bound to act on the advice of any person or group of persons in the state executive council, which includes Menteri Besar Azmin Ali.
"The power to dismiss the executive councillor is in the hands of Azmin, unless he has lost the majority support of the state assembly," said lawyer Syahredzan Johan.
"There are circumstances whereby His Royal Highness has the discretion to act without the advice of the Menteri Besar, but that doesn't include withholding or denying the request to dismiss executive councillors," he added.
Datuk Seri Azmin, who is PKR's deputy president, has faced pressure to remove the trio since PAS decided to sever ties with his party.
The decision also left many wondering how the Selangor state administration will continue to function. Malaysia's richest state has been jointly ruled by PKR, PAS and the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party (DAP) since the 2008 General Election.
Although PAS left the tripartite alliance in 2015 after falling out with DAP, it maintained a working relationship with PKR in Selangor.
"PAS Selangor has reiterated that the decision to sever ties is related to preparations towards the upcoming election and is unrelated to the state government's governance," said PAS Selangor state commissioner Sallehen Mukhyi in a statement.