It was actually not one letter, but three, one each to PKR, DAP and PAS. This is because Pakatan Rakyat is not a registered coalition and hence not a legal entity. And the Sultan does not want to talk to an organisation that does not legally exist.
The letter clearly asked for three names from PKR, DAP and PAS. The three parties could all submit the same three names or different sets of three. But each must submit at least three, and more if PKR, DAP or PAS so wish.
PKR and DAP announced that they would not be complying with this royal command even though the Sultan made it clear, as the military would say: this is an order.
PKR and DAP submitted not three but one name, that of PKR President Wan Azizah Ismail.
The Sultan replied to the letters from PKR, DAP and PAS and told them to refer to the letter of Aug 27, which asked for three names.
PKR then issued a statement thanking the Sultan and telling the entire world that His Highness did not reject Wan Azizah.
How PKR came to that conclusion is a mystery. The Sultan did not even mention Wan Azizah. What was mentioned was the letter of the 27th, which means the three names that should have been sent but were not.
After probably discovering that they had made the mother of all blunders, the people in PKR issued a second statement 20 minutes later, withdrawing the first statement and telling the entire world to pretend that the first statement never happened.
Later today, PKR is going to issue yet another statement, a third statement in a series of statements over the last 24 hours. What will this statement say? And will the comedy turn into a piece of absurd theatre?
Roslan Bistamam is a FMT columnist