By Lee Wei Lian
PUTRAJAYA, May 6 — A day before the Perak state assembly endorses a palace-appointed mentri besar, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said his understanding was that any state Ruler cannot remove the head of government.
"I don't know how different the Perak Constitution is from the Federal Constitution but if a leader asks the Ruler to dissolve the assembly, the Ruler has the right to refuse. But he cannot remove the head of government either," the country's fourth prime minister told reporters today.
"The head of government will then have to function without a majority and can be removed via a motion of no confidence," said Dr Mahathir, who as prime minister led a successful move to remove the immunity of the Rulers in 1993.
He also said a state assembly speaker can be sued if there are complaints or if laws are broken. However, the judiciary cannot interfere with the speaker's decisions on its own.
"If someone makes a complaint or if there is evidence of a breach of law, the judiciary can pass judgment. If what the speaker is doing is in accordance with the law, that is quite different from rules of legislature which have certain privileges," he said, adding the judiciary can judge only if the privileges are abused.