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Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has again threatened to dissolve the state legislative assembly if there is a power struggle.
However, he said fresh polls would only be held after the Covid-19 situation is under control.
“If there is a situation that topples my government, I will not hesitate to dissolve the Johor state assembly.
“I think there is no need for assemblypersons if they only think about their own positions, and not the people’s interest.
“When the Covid-19 pandemic is under control, I will hand it back to the people to elect new assemblypersons. After this, properly elect leaders who are honest and sincere to serve the people,” the monarch said.
The sultan said this in his speech at the opening of the Johor state assembly today.
Sultan Ibrahim had similarly threatened to dissolve the state assembly last year if there was an attempted power struggle.
Article 23(2) of the Johor state constitution states that the sultan has the power to dissolve the state assembly.
However, Article 7(1) of the constitution states that the ruler in exercising his functions must act on the advice of the state government.
Article 7(2)(b) states that the sultan may act in his discretion to withhold consent for the dissolution of the state assembly.
However, to suspend elections as mentioned by Sultan Ibrahim, there must be a localised emergency in the state; otherwise, elections must be held within 60 days of the Johor legislature being dissolved.
The sultan is not empowered to declare an emergency.
This can only be done by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as per Article 150 of the Federal Constitution, on the advice of the federal government.
Not the time to be divided
Meanwhile, Sultan Ibrahim in his speech also cautioned representatives not to bring up any motions that are unrelated to helping the people.
He said this was not the time to be divided, and the state lawmakers should work together.
"You should not be selfish. The people out there are struggling, some are hungry, some have lost jobs, some are fighting for their lives because of Covid-19.
"This is not the time to fight, but this is the time to unite and cooperate. Don't ask what others have done to help the people, but look in the mirror instead," the monarch said.
The state assembly sitting adjourned after Sultan Ibrahim's speech.
The sitting was supposed to resume on Sunday - a workday in Johor - but has instead been postponed to Aug 22.
Johor speaker Suhaizan Kayat from Amanah told Malaysiakini the postponement was a measure to avoid the spread of Covid-19.