FOR all the dust it has stirred, the Perak political deadlock has presented a soul-searching opportunity for Malaysians to consider the type of government and onstitutional monarchy it wants.
At the dawn of the Perak crisis, many looked with great hope towards Sultan Azlan Shah, a former chief justice and one of the most revered monarchs in the country, for a resolution.
The leaders of Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional [BN] sought separate audiences with [the] sultan to stake their claim to the Perak state government.
In the end, the sultan favoured the BN and swore in Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as menteri besar.
That marked the beginning of an ongoing, protracted legal battle and public debate in constitutional interpretations – at the federal and state level – as well as greater public interest in the powers and functions of the state legislative assembly, the judiciary, the government and indeed the royalty.
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This article first appeared on 22 April 2009 in www.theedgemalaysia.com under the same title. Used with permission.