Press Statement

Johor State assembly can only be dissolved by the Ruler on advice of MB or State Exco

10 April 2019

We refer to the statement of the Johor State Opposition leader Hasni Mohammad that he will seek an audience with the Ruler in order for the state assembly to be dissolved or for TS Muhyiddin be appointed MB.

Firstly, the opposition leader has no legal or constitutional role to advise or recommend to the Ruler for the State assembly to be dissolved.

This is because by virtue of Article 7(1) of the Laws of the State of Johore, the Ruler can only act upon the advice the State Exco or an authorised member of the State Exco or the current Johor MB. The opposition leader has no role whatsoever to play in this.

Secondly, Hasni Mohammad is absolutely wrong when he claimed that by virtue of Art 23(2), the Ruler can dissolve the state assembly. On the contrary, the Ruler can only dissolve the state assembly upon the advice of the MB or State Exco.

This is clear from Art 7(2) which lays down the circumstances in which the Ruler may act in his discretion, without taking the advice of the State Exco. By virtue of Art 7(2)(b), the Ruler can withhold consent to dissolve the state assembly. But the Ruler cannot at his discretion and without advice of Exco or MB dissolve the assembly.

In other words, in exercising the power under Art 23(2) to dissolve the state assembly, the Ruler is bound by Art 7(1) to act in accordance with the advice of the MB or State Exco.

Finally, it is absurd for the state opposition leader to recommend dissolution as the PH state government continues to enjoy a secure majority in the state assembly. It is costly and totally unnecessary from both a legal and practical standpoint to dissolve the assembly now.

Issued by:
N Surendran
Lawyers for Liberty