Latest: Sultan strips younger brother's titles
The Federal Court has set Oct 23 to decide whether it has the jurisdiction to hear Sultan Ismail Petra's petitions on the legality of Tengku Faris appointment as the new Sultan of Kelantan, and whether the latter (as a Regent) has the executive power to amend the state constitution.
Looks like the bitter feud between a father and son is far from over. The Palace is ripped into two while the rakyat, too is divided over the issue.
However, there are serious aspects which entailed the crisis to be considered, not only by the Court but also by the government. Reports lodged by both sides had since failed to arouse concern at the Cabinet and judiciary. AG Gani Patail who is directly involved in the case got his mouth sewed while Prime Minister Najib and Home Minister Hishammuddin were tightlips over the matter.
So much attention are given to the murder case of Sosilawati and three others, Namewee's U-Tube and others, with no indication given to events and reports about the royal feud, among which are the U-Tube which clearly showed UTK ambushed the deposed Sultan at gunpoint and the murder of a Palace guard earlier this year.
Former IGP Musa Hassan is seen to have 'washed his hands' from the case but as long as the legal proceedings are concerned, no stones will be left unturned. He will be required to give statements to the court when required, and so will Kelantan police chief and a few officers. Even Tengku Faris and his brother Tengku Fakhry can be summoned for their statements too.
As many had said, the royal feud should be left to the Palace to solve but when so much publicity involving outsiders interference (including the UTK and Bukit Aman) are confusing the public, its not becoming the Palace domain anymore. After all, there wont be a Sultan without the rakyat and Constitution support.
There were some intriguing arguments raised by different parties. Although Faris appointment was said to be valid and approved by the state government, a few issues had brought about some points of contention.
Some of the issues are whether the amendment to the state constitution was done accordingly, whether a Regent is empowered to amend any clause of the constitution, whether the amendment comes into force without having it gazetted for a stipulated period, and why the Rulers Council was not informed of the appointment of a new Sultan.
Sultan Ismail's counsel Param Cumaraswamy said it was premature for the Regent to arrogate to himself the power conferred to the Sultan as the issue was still being considered by the Federal Court, and secondly, it seems invidious that the Council of Royal Succession, whose very existence is in dispute, can choose and appoint the Regent as the Sultan.
The unpleasant news is, Sultan Ismail himself did not recognise Faris as the new Sultan, and his son too did not visit his parents (like other Muslims should do) during Hari Raya.
Of course, the court is just the right avenue to solve the crisis. The question here is whether it will be conducted thoroughly and get cooperation from all parties. Otherwise, the war will rage on...