Friday, March 11, 2016

Sacking Dr Mahathir as Petronas adviser an abuse of power, says PKR

The removal of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as adviser of national oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) simply because of his political differences with the prime minister is an unlawful exercise of power and is open to legal challenge, a PKR lawmaker says today. N. Surendran also said the Prime Minister's Office has admitted that the sacking was because the former prime minister no longer supported the current government. In statement issued yesterday, the Prime Minister's Office said the Cabinet had discussed the actions of Dr Mahathir, particularly in launching the Citizens' Declaration with opposition leaders last week.  It said the declaration was aimed at toppling the democratically elected government and, therefore, went against the law and the Federal Constitution. Surendran said while the prime minister has extensive powers over the administration and appointments of Petronas, it was not absolute, adding that there was no such thing as absolute discretion in a democracy. The Padang Serai MP said whether or not Dr Mahathir supported the current government had nothing to do with the objectives or administration of Petronas.  "The PM must exercise his powers under the Petroleum Development Act consistent with the objectives of the act. "That objective is for the exploration and exploitation of petroleum by Petronas, any exercise of power by the PM for any other extraneous or collateral purpose would be a colourable exercise of power.  "In short, any exercise of power which falls outside the scope of the act would be a wrongful exercise of power," he said in a statement today. He also said any arbitrary exercise of statutory power offends the equal protection clause in Article 8 of the Federal Constitution, and was open to legal challenge. "Dr Mahathir's removal thus being tainted and unlawful, the PM and his Cabinet have only one option.  "They must restore Mahathir to his position as adviser of Petronas," said Surendran. – March 12, 2016.]]>

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