Monday, December 28, 2009

Kelantan Royalty in news again-2nd wife of Sultan prevented from visiting- Meanwhile Kelantan prince on warpath over ‘succession’ issue

A photo of the Sultan of Kelantan with his second wife, Elia Suhana during the reception ceremony.

A copy of a marriage accreditatiton card provided by Ella Suhana to prove she had
married the Sultan on Dec 23, 2007.

The Kelantan royalty is in the news again. A woman claiming to be the second wife of the Sultan of Kelantan Sultan Ismail Petra today alleged that she was prevented from visiting her husband who has been warded at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore since May 14.

In a signed statement faxed to the Press, Elia Suhana Ahmad said she and the Sultan were married on Dec 23, 2007 in the presence of family and palace officials, but things were kept under wraps for personal reasons.

Her wedding photograph, e-nikah card and documents from the religious department were e-mailed to theSun to prove their union.

Our call to a handphone number given in the statement was picked up by a man who claimed to be her spokesman but who refused to reveal his name. He said Elia Suhana was overseas and would only be back in "one or two days".

Some photographers went to the address given in the statement but failed to meet her.

Her statement was issued in response to a Dec 21 report in the Malay Mail online titled “Police Ruckus in Royal Ward" which said palace police had helped her gain access to the Sultan.

Elia Suhana claimed that the Sultan’s consort, the Raja Perempuan Kelantan Tengku Anis Tengku Abdul Hamid’s body guards had prevented her from visiting the Sultan.

The news report said royal guards sneaked "two unknown women" into the royal suite of the recovering Ruler at the hospital in the wee hours of the morning of Oct 8.

It also stated that some 20 royal guards, who are also police personnel, besieged the ward and allegedly insulted Tengku Anis.

Explaining what happened, Elia Suhana said: “My personal assistant and I went to visit the Sultan in the wee hours of that morning accompanied by palace police officials.

“The police report lodged by the Sultanah’s bodyguard -- on orders of the prince Tengku Temenggong Tengku Muhammad Fakhry -- stating that the police had brought in two female strangers into the ward is totally irrelevant,” she said.

“The Kelantan royalty generally knows of my existence, that I have no ill intention against the Sultan and that I have never ignored the palace officials,” Elia said.

She said police officers generally act on orders from their superiors and not individuals, thus their integrity in this matter should not be questioned unless those involved do not like the police's methods of upholding justice.

The news report has put both the police and the Sultan in a bad light, she added.

Elia Suhana said: “As a lawful wife, it is my responsibility to be together with the Sultan, especially at a time when he is critically ill.

"Because of circumstances, I was unable to be with the Sultan throughout his stay at the hospital but managed to visit him a few times," she said, adding that she chose to visit him at odd hours so as not to hurt the feelings of members of the royal family.

Elia Suhana said she had laid low up till now but had to go public because she had to clarify the news report.

Kelantan Prince fighting for the throne with brother while dad Sultan is sick in hospital.

Tengku Fakhry (in sunglasses) is on a collision course with brother Tengku Faris

All is not well within the Kelantan royal household as Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra, who is the Tengku Temenggung of the state, is seeking to challenge the validity of his elder brother, Tengku Muhammad Faris’s decision in removing him from the Council of Succession.

The Council of Succession (Majlis Perajaan Negeri) is responsible for determining who will succeed the Sultan of Kelantan in the future as the rightful ruler, and also whether there is a vacancy on the throne by reason of a prolonged absence from the State by the reigning Sovereign.

These provisions are spelled out under the second part of the Laws of the Constitution of Kelantan.

It is understood that Tengku Fakhry, the youngest of three princes, received a letter of termination dated Sept 16, 2009 from his elder brother, who is currently the Regent of Kelantan.

The letter states that Tengku Fakhry has been relieved of his duties as a member of the Council of Succession.

He was subsequently informed the termination was made on the orders of Tengku Faris, 35.

Also named in the application for judicial review are the state secretary; the state mufti; the Kelantan government; and four other members of the royal household. The state secretary is also secretary to the council.

The Kelantan prince is seeking to quash the decision of his elder brother on the grounds that the Regent’s decision cannot be exercised by him (Tengku Faris) and must be exercised personally by the Sultan himself.

Tengku Fakhry claims his brother acted beyond his powers as Regent, therefore opening an avenue to review his actions in the Court of Appeal.

Tengku Fakhry’s lawyer, K. Shanmuga had submitted a skeletal submission stating that his removal from the Council of Succession was unlawful as it was done in a “manner inconsistent with and contrary to Article 8 of the Federal Constitution, and in breach of the principles of natural justice.”

The decision was viewed as being objectively unfair as the Kelantan Prince was not given an opportunity to be heard, and no reason for the removal has been given to date.

Additionally, Tengku Fakhry is also seeking the annulment of Tengku Faris’ decision of appointing Datuk Haji Hashim Datuk Haji Yusoff; Datuk Tengku Hajah Salwah Al-Marhum Sultan Yahya Petra; Datuk Sukri Haji Mohamed; Datuk Haji Che Mohd Rahim Jusoh; and Kol. Dr. Mohammad Razin Kamarulzaman (being the 4th to 8th respondents) to the Council of Succession, on the grounds that their appointments are inconsistent with Article 7 of the Laws of the Constitution of Kelantan.

Tengku Fakhry filed the application for judicial review on Dec 1 to challenge the regent’s decision to dismiss him on Sept 16.

Tengku Faris was appointed as the Regent on May 25, 2009, as the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Ismail Petra has been critically ill since May and is currently undergoing treatment in Singapore.

It is said that the Sultan now appears to be recovering from his illness. Earlier today, Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat said the state government would be bringing the Sultan back for further treatment in a local hospital, pending medical tests on his condition.

Tengku Fakhry has attested that the regent’s right as the heir to the throne can be challenged because the Council of Succession supposedly has the right in determining the next ruler.

Senior Federal Council (SFC) Datin Azizah Nawawi is challenging the application on the grounds the regent’s action cannot be tried in court.

Judicial Commissioner Mohamad Ariff Md. Yusof has fixed Dec 31 to decide whether the young prince’s application for judicial review will proceed.

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