Khamis, 21 Mei 2009
Prof Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi : Public Wishes a Closure to This Perak Temasya
THE Perak political crisis can be likened to a malignant cancer that is voraciously spreading to the lymph nodes of our other institutions – the Sultanate, the judiciary, the federal executive, the civil service, the police, the law officers of the Crown, the court registry, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Election Commission.
The longer we wait, the farther the affliction will spread. It is time, therefore, to stop this madness, this divisiveness, this polarisation. The issues are so complex and so interconnected that arguments from both sides of the divide have depth and richness.
In sych a politically-charged situation, the courts cannot supply any satisfactory solutions. The judiciary is suited to resolving legal issues, not political ones.
The courts usually provide piecemeal solutions to simple, succinct questions. But when there is a bottomless cesspool of polarising and contentious issues, no court, here or anywhere, can wipe away the discord and restore harmony and sanity.
The political crisis in Perak is like a hydra-headed monster that cannot be eliminated so easily by ding-dong judicial decisions.
Let us stop this insane and naked show of unprincipled politics.
Let us accept that in this stalemate, there are no winner-take-all solutions.
There are four more years to the next general election.
Barisan and Pakatan can agree to share two years each at the helm.
Alternatively, there is the political possibility of appointment of a neutral, caretaker government advising dissolution and state elections within 60 days from the date of dissolution.
There is the legal sledgehammer of federal intervention through an emergency proclamation under Article 150 of the Federal Constitution, as happened in Sarawak in 1966 and Kelantan in 1977.
This may restore order out of chaos to pave the way for a state poll in due course of time.
The country as a whole is more important than the fate of Barisan or Pakatan in Perak.
Perak politicians have no right to paralyse the rest of the country or to distract us from the many urgent and daunting tasks staring us in the face.
The public is fed up with political intrigues and wishes a closure to this Perak temasya.
Perhaps the Conference of Rulers can exercise its powers under Article 38 (3) to discuss issues of national importance and to propose some viable solutions to the Perak crisis.
Perhaps the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can draw on his vast prerogative power to advise, caution and warn about the long-term effects of Perak to the integrity of our legal and political system.
Prof Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi is a Professor of Law at Universiti Teknologi Mara