When Lim Kit Siang told DAP assemblymen to boycott the swearing in ceremony of the Perak menteri besar they called him "biadap" (disrespectful).Although Kit Siang later apologised to the Sultan and the Regent, UMNO insisted he makes a public apology.
The crisis in Trengganu is set for a showdown between the Prime Minister and the Sultan, who is also the Agong, supreme ruler of the nation, nominated once in every five years on rotational basis by the Ruler's Council.
The palace have appointed Ahmad Said as the new Menteri Besar of Trengganu and rejected PM Abdullah's choice of Idris Jusoh who purportedly enjoys majority support of the state assemblymen.
Abdullah has sent directives to all UMNO assemblymen not to attend the swearing in ceremony at the palace and warned Ahmad Said not to accept the appointment and that he would be sacked from the party if he does. The crisis deepens, Ahmad Said accepted the appointment and was sacked. Is Abdullah "biadap" ? I would say no.
It depends.For the man in the street Abdullah would be seen as "biadap" but for those who understands the constitution of the state and the Malaysian constitution he is not.
The sultan has erred in his judgment by appointing a menteri besar of his own choice.
Although there are provisions in the state constitution which allows him to exercise such rights, it must be done in good faith.
It was without any doubt that Idris Jusoh, appointed by the PM enjoys the support of the majority and would, therefore, by letter of the constitution be the menteri besar.
Support of the majority has nothing to do with those of UMNO divisions in the state.Even if he gets zero support from all the divisions and gets majority support from the state assemblymen, constitutionally he is still entitled to be menteri besar.
If the Sultan insisted on swearing in Ahamd Said, legally he becomes the Menteri Besar until he goes to the assembly and is removed by "vote of no confidence". A new menteri besar supported by majority members of the house would have to be sworn in. If the house is divided than a fresh state election would be called.
Constitutional monarchs should stay within their ceremonial status and play that role and not that of an absolute monarch. An absolute monarch has no constitution or body of law above him.
Of course Abdullah could have erred on the side of caution, be more discreet and as a show of respect just let the Sultan appoint the menteri besar with out any confrontation and later remove him by vote of no confidence. He would than not be seen as "biadap".