K-point: Palace’s Codswallop, Sycophants Currying Favour And Bob’s Your Uncle

Pretender Khusrin? @ selangorkini

Pretender Khusrin? @ selangorkini

Why is the Palace talking codswallop, and who is Bob and  the sycophants in the  K-point affair?

Sycophants currying favour

Fauvel was the French name for the “centaur” (half-man, half-horse) and to keep on the right side of him sycophants would spend time grooming Fauvel. The art of grooming a horse is called “currying”. Therefore those seeking to keep in the centaur’s good books were once called “currying Fauvel”. Overtime Fauvel became “favour”.

On 7 January 2011, Star reported this at page 2  regarding the appointment of the purported Selangor State Secretary:
“I am saddened and regret that many of my statements have been manipulated by irresponsible quarters which had caused confusion among the people,” said Sultan Sharafuddin.
The Sultan congratulated Mohd Khusrin on his appointment.
“I would like to stress that the appointment is in accordance with the regulations and procedures of the Selangor and Federal constitutions”.
But the real truth is that the supposed appointment of Mohd Khusrin as the State Secretary of Selangor is not “in accordance with the regulations and procedures of the Selangor and Federal constitutions” as claimed by the Sultan. Just because these good Samaritans have criticised the appointment of this person on sound constitutional grounds they have been branded as “irresponsible quarters which had caused confusion among the people”.  In case you do not already know, most of these good people are practising and accomplished lawyers.  Amidst the confusion of differing views about the constitutional legality of the appointment of Khusrin, these dedicated and generous lawyers took on the onerous duty of giving gratuitous service to society so as to apprise the lay public on the correct law applicable to the appointment of the State Secretary of Selangor. Because they are not sycophants currying favour they should not deserve such a vile rebuke from the Ruler. You can read their well considered articles at LoyarBurok.

Bob’s your uncle

This phrase means something that is resolved in your favour without much effort as in, “just send the form in and Bob’s your uncle”. Its real origin comes from the promotion in 1886 of Arthur James Balfour to Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. When it became known he was the nephew of Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, the joke circulated that if Robert was your uncle, the deed or deal is as good as done.

On 5 January 2011, theSun in its front-page report carried this:
Royal consent given
PETALING JAYA: Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah consented to the appointment of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as Selangor state secretary as it was in accordance with the constitution and conventions of the state.
So that we know that as a result of royal patronage, Khusrin becomes the Selangor State Secretary and Bob’s your uncle. And the Palace is talking codswallop. What was said by the Palace that the appointment of Khusrin was in accordance with the Constitution and conventions of the State is unbelievable.

Brass tacks

Getting down to brass tacks means that we can now get to the heart of the matter. The term is cockney rhyming slang, in which “facts” are dubbed as “brass tacks”.

When it comes to getting down to brass tacks the facts are staring us in the face. We need go no further than Articles 52 and 97 of the Selangor Constitution.

52(1) There shall be constituted the offices of the State Secretary … and the appointments thereto shall be made by the appropriate Service Commission from amongst members of any of the relevant public services.
It is as clear as daylight that the appointment of the State Secretary “shall be made by the appropriate Service Commission” from members of any of the relevant public services.  What is meant by the term “appropriate Service Commission”? For that we have to look at Article 97 of the Selangor Constitution which says:
97(1) There shall be established a State Service Commission whose jurisdiction shall … extend to all persons who are members of the public service of the State.
Article 97(1) confirms that there is in the State of Selangor a State Service Commission which has jurisdiction over all members of the public services of the State.  So that “the appropriate Service Commission” in Article 52(1) is the “State Service Commission” referred to in Article 97(1).

Therefore, by virtue of these two provisions of the Selangor Constitution the State Secretary of Selangor is to be appointed by the State Service Commission of Selangor. The Federal Public Services Commission is not the appointing body for the post of the Selangor State Secretary.

So that for anyone to say otherwise is codswallop – the word means “nonsense”. It is evident nonsense for anyone to say that the Federal Public Services Commission is the appointing body for the post of the State Secretary of Selangor.

Cock and bull

A cock and bull story is likely to be untrue and without any real facts supporting it.

How can the Palace say that the appointment of Khusrin as the State Secretary of Selangor was in accordance with the Constitution of Selangor and conventions of the State? What about Articles 52(1) and 97(1) of the Selangor Constitution then? How can they fly in the face of these two articles of the Selangor Constitution? Without supporting it with any real facts this is just another cock and bull story.

Perhaps they are mistaking the word “secondment” with “appointment”.  The verb “second” means to transfer (an employee) temporarily to another branch, or move a worker to another position or role. The noun is “secondment”. But there is no provision in the Selangor Constitution for such an eventuality. The Selangor State Secretary can only be appointed by the State Service Commission of Selangor: see Articles 52(1) and 97(1). The office of State Secretary cannot be appointed by anyone else. The Federal Public Services Commission is not authorised by the Selangor Constitution to appoint the State Secretary of the State.

On the other hand, the Public Services Commission is a commission of the Federal Government and its powers do not extend to cover State Governments like Selangor. However, Article 134 of the Federal Constitution allows the Federal Government to second its civil servants to any State if there is a request for a secondment by a State Government. Since the Selangor State Service Commission had not made any request for a Federal officer to be seconded to the State for the post of State Secretary and the State Government has yet to appoint someone to be its State Secretary, the appointment of Khusrin is clearly unconstitutional.

Therefore, Khusrin is not the State Secretary because he has not been appointed by the Selangor State Service Commission as required by Article 52(1) of the Selangor Constitution.  Conventions or past practices as claimed by the Sultan of Selangor cannot override express and specific provisions of the Selangor Constitution such as Articles 52(1) and 97(1). Any such claim by the Palace is nothing more than a red herring to mislead and confuse what is largely an uninitiated public.

NH Chan, a much respected former Court of Appeal Judge, is a gavel of justice that has no hesitation in pounding on Federal Court judges with wooden desks for heads. Retired from the Judiciary to become the People’s Judge. Wrote the explosive “Judging The Judges”, now in its 2nd edition as “How To Judge The Judges”. Once famously hinted at a possible “case match” between lawyer and judge by remarking that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (see Ayer Molek Rubber Company Berhad & Ors v Insas Berhad & Anor [1995] 3 CLJ 359 – note solicitors for one party in that case was Messrs VK Lingam & Co). We need more people like NH Chan. That’s why you should buy LoyarBaca’s PASOC and also NH Chan’s book.

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Posts by NH Chan

NH Chan, a much respected former Court of Appeal Judge, is a gavel of justice that has no hesitation in pounding on Federal Court judges with wooden desks for heads. Retired from the Judiciary to become the People’s Judge. Wrote the explosive “Judging The Judges”, now in its 2nd edition as “How To Judge The Judges”. Once famously hinted at a possible “case match” between lawyer and judge by remarking that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (see Ayer Molek Rubber Company Berhad & Ors v Insas Berhad & Anor [1995] 3 CLJ 359). We need more people like NH Chan. That is why you should buy PASOC and his book.

Posted on 22 January 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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13 Responses to K-point: Palace’s Codswallop, Sycophants Currying Favour And Bob’s Your Uncle

  1. Pingback: K-point: Was Attempt To Amend Selangor Constitution Much Ado About Nothing Or Is There A Sinister Overtone? | LoyarBurok

  2. Mat Top

    S'gor gov't failed to amend Art.52 since it can't obtain 2/3 majority.

    In hindsight, I think the S’gor gov’t is just plain stupid. They have been wrongly advised by their so-called constitutional experts.

    Articles written by most lawyers here had clearly shown that the ‘appropriate service commission’ is indeed the State’s Service Comm. They quoted Art.94 and 97 Selangor Consti read together with sect.66 of Interpretation Act 48.

    Ex-Judge NH Chan even said that there has never been an appointment nor a secondment u/Art 134 FC of Kushrin as SS. Yet the State Gov’t following misplaced advices went ahead to try to amend Art.52.

    Wouldn’t it be much better for them to first appoint their own SS based on those Articles mentioned above ie 94 and 97 and let the PSC appointee go to court to challenge the legality of the State appointed SS. And if the Fed court ruled, since the matter being a constitutional issue, that PSC is the appropriate commission, then there is justifiable ground to amend Art.52 of the S’gor Consti. Until such a ruling has been made, then the S’gor Govt shld follow sound legal advice given by established lawyers here and Ex-Judge NH Chan that the ‘appropriate service comm’ is their own State Comm.

    As it is they are putting the cart bf the horse. There is dispute as to who is the ‘appropriate Service Comm’. Fed Gov’t and Umno lawyers say it is the PSC. Independent lawyers and Ex-Judge NH Chan says it is the State’s service Comm.

    I think Khalid Ibrahim has been wrongly advised by those constitutional experts who think that they know the law better than these lawyers and the Ex-Judge NH Chan who have given gratuitous advices. In conclusion, the act to amend the State Consti is a stupid and unwise move.

    The pre 1993 Art.52 stated the Sultan having the power to appoint the SS based on the recommendation of the 'appropriate service comm'and after considering the advice of the MB. One would have no hesitation to conclude that the 'appropriate service comm' mentioned thereat to make recommendation must be the State's Comm and not the PSC since it is a State matter.

  3. Shafeek

    One thing's for certain, as far as knowledge of the law is concern, the sultan of selangor is decidedly a "loyar burok"

  4. Mat

    Excellent article based on sound knowledge and accurate interpretation of the Selangor State Constitution.

    We the rakyat have been duped by the BN government when they showed only Article 52(1):

    …There shall be constituted the offices of the State Secretary … and the appointments thereto shall be made by the appropriate Service Commission …

    WITHOUT showing Article 97(1):

    There shall be established a State Service Commission whose jurisdiction shall … extend to all persons who are members of the public service of the State.

    I for one thought that the 'appropriate Service Commission' as in Article 52(1) referred to the Federal Public Services Commission.

    Now I know that in light of Article 97(1), the 'appropriate Service Commission' actually refers to the Selangor State Service Commission NOT the Federal PSC.

    Hence, the view of NH Chan is correct and the appointment of Mohd. Khusrin as SSS is unconstitutional.

  5. Thank you Judge for another of your well-written articles. However, to buttress NH's well-considered views, I would like to point out Article 139(2) of the Federal Constitution which states:

    "The Legislature of any State, other than Malacca and Penang, may by law extend the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission to all or any persons in the public service of that State…".

    Further, Art. 139(2) provides that "Any extension of the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission may by the Legislature of any State pursuant to Clause (2) may be revoked or modified by a law passed by the legislature of such State."

    Therefore, even if the there is an extension of jurisdiction of the PSC in the public service of Selangor, such exension may be revoked or modified by a law passed by the Selangor State Assembly.

  6. Jeffrey Lim

    The Royalty has to avoid politics to stay relevant.

    The "Star" has to report "without fear or favour" to stay relevant.

    The Federal government has to learn not to undermine the authority of the states or seize power unconstitutionally. Up to now, it is not walking the talk but doing all they can to walk themselves out of office.

  7. Ruhani

    Any educated would know that the 'appropriate service commission' would refer the state service commission when it is state official appointment. Not UMNO …and they know that they can get away with it because any court challenge would always be in their favour.

    The State government should continue to ignore the UMNO appointee and proceed with their own appointment.

  8. Foo

    Do we judges in the higher courts who UNDERSTAND English?

  9. HaHaHa

    If K was appointed, how could he be removed from his post ?

    If K was seconded, how could he be removed from his post ?

    Umno will of course create mischieve when K is removed and the sultan, like a puppet, will dance to the tune of the umno warlords.

  10. sang kancil

    I agreed with Mat Top. In accordance and compliance with the Sealangor's State Constitution, the Selanagor government has the right to appoint its own Secreatry of State and ignore the dUMNO appointee. I am absolutely convinced that the Rakyat will support the state government 100%. Lets show the dUMNOs and the Sultan down the garden path.

  11. Mat Top

    Edmund Bon has clearly pointed it out that the State's Service Comm is the 'appropriate Service Comm' in the appointment of the SS, SLA and SFO in view of Arts, 94 and 97 of the Selangor Consti read together with sect. 66 of IA 48. Judge NH Chan fully concurs with him.

    Now someone please tell us; why the hell the S'gor Gov't wants to amend its Constitution. Judge NH Chan said, ' there has never been an 'appointment' and neither there was a 'secondment'of Kusrin as SS. So, why can't the State's Service Comm goes ahead and appoint a suitably qualified public service officer to be the SS now. And by the way, is there a functional State's Service Comm in Selangor now? Who is its Chairman, Dep Chariman and members? And if there is no functional State's Service Comm, then according to sect.66 IA, the 'appropriate Service Comm' is the MB himself.

    So is there a need to amend the State's consti? A better choice would be for them to invoke Art.144(4) FC and pass an Enactment to designate the 3 State's post as special state's posts. It could be easily pass by the Assy with a simple majority.

  12. 'Bobs' could comfortably be an adjective here.

  13. awangjala

    We now have a situation where the constitution of Selangor is a useless piece of paper, rendered so by its own Sultan.