By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Saturday, April 10 1993:
The Special Court for Rulers is assuming a completely unintended dimension as it would be more preoccupied with adjudicating throne claims and disputes rather than to check criminal and civI wrongdoings of Rulers.
The 1993 Constitution Amendment is assuming a completely unintended dimension as the Special Court for Rulers would be more preoccupied with adjudicating throne claims and disputes rather than to check criminal and civil wrongdoings of Rulers.
The Law, Datuk Syed Hamid Albar, yesterday advised Tengku Datuk Ibrahim Petra Tengku Tan Sri Petra to submit his claim to the Kelantan throne to the Attorney-General, who would then decide the case should be referred to the Special Court.
Hamid said: “The Attorney-General will decide if there is a prima facie case he is satisfied, the matter can be filled for hearing by the Special Court.”
The Law Minister’s statement is most surprising, for he is reflecting the Federal Government’s view that the Special Court for Rulers has the powers and jurisdiction not only to to hear civil and criminal cases involving Rulers, but also claims and disputes relating to the thrones in the various States.
However, up to now, neither the Prime Minister nor the Attorney-General had come out openly to declare that when the Conference of Rulers – with the exception of the Sultan of Kelantan-had given its consent to the 1993 Constitution Bill to setup a Special Court of Rulers, they had clearly understood and consented to the Special Court of Rulers having the powers to override all State Constitutions, State Royal Councils or State Succession Councils and to dethrone Sultans as well.
Tengku Ibrahim Petra Tengku Tan Sri Indra Petra will not be the only one to lay claim to the sultanship. In Kuala Trengganu, Tengku Ali Sultan Sulaiman, a cousin of the present Sultan of Terengganu, confirmed his decision yesterday to claim the Trengganu throne.
The important question is whether the Conference of Rulers and Parliament had intended the Special Court for Rulers to have the jurisdiction and powers to a adjudicate on throne disputes and claims, and to dethrone Sultans and instal new ones. This is why at the coming Parliamentary meeting, I have submitted the following question for answer by the Prime Minister during question time in the Dewan Rakyat:
“To ask the Prime Minister whether in their meetings and discussions with the Rulers to get the consent of the Conference of Rulers for the 1993 Constitution Amendment Bill, and, in particular in theAttorney-General’s explanations and clarifications to the Rulers in February this year, the Federal Government representatives had ever explained that the Special Court for the Rulers under the Bill could adjudicate claims of disputes of succession to the thrones of Malay Rulers; and whether the Ruler had agreed that the Special Court for Rulers; or whether such a matter was never raised, discussed or even thought of.”