The Pathetic Gyrations of Tunku Abdul Aziz

by Din Merican

When I worked in Bank Negara in the mid-1960s, I came under the tutelage of its first Malaysian Governor, Tun Ismail bin Mohamed Ali. Nobody who served the Bank under this outstanding Malaysian could be impervious to his influence. His integrity and intellect simply permeated the place.

I believe an integral aspect of a good leader’s influence is the way he not only encourages his wards to read the books he does but he also reads the stuff they may, on occasion, commend to him and to stimulate discussion on these works. The ensuing combustion is one of the delights of a relationship based on intellect, rather than sycophancy.

Among the many books the Tun, an avid reader, commended to me was Arnold Toynbee’s magnum opus “Study of History”, a twelve-volume analysis of the rise and fall of civilizations. I appreciate Toynbee for his emphasis on culture and religion as driving forces in civilisation. You could not imbibe Toynbee and not be sceptical of Francis Fukuyama’s “The End of History and the Last Man” which postulated about the end of history with the advent of liberal democracy following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. A reading of Toynbee would leave you convinced that cultural and religious conflicts are perenials in history and so like Plato on war, only the dead have seen its end.

But I value Toynbee more for his view that the responses of a society’s elite to the pattern of challenges posed by civilization determine whether it would survive or vanish. In other words, the way the best and the brightest respond to challenges thrown up by society is crucial to its longevity.

I am reminded of this Toynbeean insight by the arguments deployed in a column in the New Sunday Times (July 27, 2008 ) by Tunku Abdul Aziz, my friend from Bank Negara and Sime Darby days. I do not think I am flattering him if I hold the view that the Tunku belongs to society’s elite; his cultural background and lineage, education and career, particularly in their latter manifestations in Transparency International (Malaysian Chapter) and Special Advisor on Ethics to Mr. Kofi Annan, then Secretary-General of the United Nations, all place him in the upper crust of Malaysian society.

So what he wrote on July 27 in the New Sunday Times comes as a fantastic and shocking surprise in its abandonment of the norms of democratic discourse you would think a man of Tunku Aziz’s credentials would find little difficulty in abiding.

Few would contest the view that Malaysian society is displaying acute symptoms of political and social pathology that indicate it has arrived at a critical pass: either we check and reverse the evident rot in the institutions of civil society or we not just slither but careen down the road to perdition. The personal and political predicament of Anwar Ibrahim is emblematic of this juncture in our nation’s history.

One may tax me for seeing this situation in apocalyptic terms: If Anwar goes down, the country follows suit; if Anwar goes up, our country has a chance to escape the political and social cul de sac the last ten years of our history have conduced. More than any other leader, the recent odyssey of Anwar Ibrahim has come to embody the potential for disaster or deliverance for Malaysia from its present malaise.

The prologue to this point is that the UMNO-dominated Barisan Nasional has been oozing the moral and political legitimacy to govern our country. The haemorrhaging of its moral legitimacy, derived from right conduct and deportment of the governing elite, started in 1988 when Lord President Tun Salleh Abas was judicially extirpated. The political legitimacy to govern began deserting the government from the day Anwar Ibrahim was sacked and then gaoled for moral and political misconduct on trumped up charges.

When in September 2007, an already freed and partly exonerated Anwar exposed a video clip that retrospectively cast doubt on the validity of the two charges against him in court cases in 1998 and 1999, the steady erosion in the moral and political legitimacy to govern accelerated to the point where on March 8, 2008, Malaysian voters, excepting those in Sabah and Sarawak, endorsed the view that the rot was beyond the capacity of UMNO-Barisan Nasional to stop. The loss of two thirds majority by UMNO-Barisan Nasional meant that a psychologicl threshold had been breached. It was a political tsunami that left Badawi and his cohort reeling in disbelief. Ipso facto a politicl crisis obtained.

Tunku Aziz in his column contends that Anwar has been playing this crisis with self-serving threatrics that constitute an infernal distraction to the legitimate duty of governance that behooves Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi.

This is a more fallacious argument that if one were to ay that the maneuvers of the UMNO-dominated Federal Government in early 1994 were a deliberate undermining of the legitimacy of Parti Bersatu Sabah, which had won a tenuous majority in the state election, to govern. The PBS government fell through crossovers brazenly engineered by Datuk Seri Mahathir bin Mohamad.

And today, there is strong reason to suspect that the state election of 1994 in Sabah was tainted by the participation of hastily imported labour from the Philippines and Indonesia who were dubiously given the right to vote. In fact, the effect of this electoral larceny — the disproportionate enlargment of the population of Sabah — is top on the agenda of grand rectification sought by BN-Sabah legislators elected in Malaysia’s 12th General Elections.

The lapse in Tunku Aziz’s ability to recall recent past history borders on amnesia in the saga of the alleged report of sodomy against Anwar Ibrahim. I say “alleged report” because till today the supposed accused has not been shown the alleged victim’s police report. Is it not imperative of the Police to show the alleged perpetrator the complaint made against him by his supposed victim? Is the no-show indicative that the said report is a work-in-progress, a contrivance built around gerrymandered evidence?

Instead Tunku Aziz sheds an aria of persiflage by attacking Anwar’s refusal to give a DNA sample to the Police. He has not only forgotten the saga of the purloined DNA sample of Anwar’s in the episode of the “semen-stained” mattress threatrically paraded in the 1998 case, he is obviously amnesic about his role in the Royal Commission on the management of the Malaysian Police Force (December 2003-March 2005). What caused this Royal Commission to recommend the creation of an independent Public Complaints and Misconduct Commission for the Police Force, for which no action has been initiated? What would Tunku Aziz, a key member of the said commission, surmise as the reasons for the failure to implement this recommendation — surely not, a sudden surge in the probity of the Force!

Tunku Aziz describes as “preposterous” Anwar’s claim that the latest allegations of sodomy is “part of a diabolically clever plot” to stop him from becoming Prime Minister. How conveniently he forgot that at a public forum in Corus Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, in late September 2007, in the presence of Anwar Ibrahim and others, he commented on the Lingam video clip that the whole episode was reflective of the ethos that the end justifies the means. If that is the case, then today Anwar has every reason to be circumspect.

Furthermore, it is presumptuous of him to think that the public support for Anwar is beginning to “wear thin”. The evidence is that, even in the UMNO-BN bastions of Johor and Melaka, the crowds at Anwar’s recent ceramah are waxing rather than waning. Tunku Aziz’s speculation that Anwar is losing ground is akin to his patron’s (Abdullah Badawi’s) pre-election dismissal of Anwar’s threat as “nothing”.

It is clear to me at least that Tunku Aziz’s article is in response to international criticisms by the United States, Europe and Japan and prominent personalities, academics and scholars on the latest treatment of Anwar. This is not a proxy war, but an outrage against actions taken by the government to persecute an internationally respected and admired leader of the movement for democratic change and good governance in Malaysia.

Our legal process is vulnerable to political interference and manipulation. We have enough grounds to suspect that the phenomenon has not ended. The recent Royal Commission headed by former Chief Judge of Malaya, Tan Sri Haidar Noor, confirmed the need to undertake serious judicial reforms to restore the badly battered image of our criminal justice system. For Tunku Aziz to suggest otherwise is indicative of the powers that can be brought to bear upon scribes like him who are trying to work within the system and perhaps change it.

Which bring us back to Arnold Toynbee on how civilizations endure. The leadership elite’s ability to respond creatively to challenges determines a civilization’s destiny. Tunku Aziz belongs to that elite in Malaysia. On the basis of the arguments he has adduced in his article, can Tunku Aziz say that he is responding creatively to our crisis. The answer is an unqualified NO.

The sycophancy he displays undermines his reputation and credibility as an exponent of transparent governance and ethics. He does not belong in Toynbee’s creative elite because he has enlisted as a chorus boy for a corrupt and dysfunctional regime. In the end, what he writes now demeans his former selves in Transparency International and at the United Nations. He has become no less and no more than a poseur, the sort that can, at the drop of coin, switch sides with no compunction.

In Dante’s gradations of hell, Tunku Aziz has become the kind who in times of great moral and political crisis do not just abandon a politic neutrality — those that Dante in “Divine Comedy” consigns to the hottest places — but he takes sides, the wrong one at that. And that is the tragedy of my erstwhile friend.

32 thoughts on “The Pathetic Gyrations of Tunku Abdul Aziz

  1. Din Merican,

    Can I salute you for helping me to reply to this pathetic transparent Tunku Abdul Aziz.

    BTW transparent can also mean hallow, empty,light simply pass thru’ not absorbed by the body nor the soul.

    Transparent can also mean NOT REFLECTING body and soul …. meaning not manifesting the Islamic behavourial conduct.

    Well, the Greek Sophists and Stoics [Sceptics] seem to pass thru’ without savouring the Islamic Credence and Prophetic conduct.

    [I remember you promised to help Anwar & PKR]

  2. Your writings are totally impressive!!! I am wondering what is happening to all those who used to be against injustice. I have therefore written a blog abt Karpal Singh’s recent public condemnation of Ian Chin J. It seems we are witnessing sudden switches of allegiance and principles on quite an unprecedented scale, and among quite unexpected personalities. Perhaps in days to come, we will see more of such switches!!

  3. “We already have Rukun Negara and our constitution. Let us make them work. —Din Merican”

    I thought this was what you have to say about the country’s Federal Constitution 1957: “As far as I am concerned we have a printed document which is meaningless given all the abuses of power we see in Malaysia”.

    This is why I think you will not make a good politician. I’m not sure you’ll make even a good propaganda Minister for Anwar. I say that with all honesty. I’m sorry.

    I respect my country’s Constitution. I will not use a word like “meaningless” or “not worth the paper it is written on” to describe my country’s Constitution. I may disagree with certain amendments made to it since the country’s independence. But as the country’s Constitution, it deserves my respect if nothing else.

    The Rukun Negara was made in the same tradition as Indonesia’s Pantjasila and China’s little Red Book which explained the national ideology of the Chinese Communist Party.. But in our case it didn’t quite take off. If it did take off, it never remained around long enough. Wonder why??
    Mr Bean, the Constitution is meaningless if the leaders do not abide by its provisions or if they make amendments using their 2/3rd majority to suit their convenience or serve their political interest. So I still stand by my statements. Read my statements carefully again. Obviously we disagree,but let us not get personal.—Din Merican

    PKR and Pakatan would do well not to appear to be another experimentation with the same BS formula as UMNO-MCA-MIC. It will do well to step out of the shadows and come clean with its own ideology – if there is one.

    The call for unity within diversity is a recognition of the need to forge a national culture out of the separate and diverse multicultural traditions that Malaya was then and now. Malaya began as a country of substantial ethnic minorities in the mid 1950s, and not what it is today with a predominantly Malay population of 60% and increasing. The political and cultural landscape has since undergone significant transformation as do demographics.

    The decision in 1953 to adopt the ‘united but separate’ approach to politics which is what the electoral alliance between three disparate political entities is all about, is out of step with the call for ‘unity within diversity’ with its emphasis on the forging of a national culture through time – part of the nation building concept that was floated around in the 1960s. But the experimentation with a hitherto untried and untested formula, to everyone’s surprise, worked. The mistake today is not the formula itself but our obstinate adherence to an anachronistic formula in later years (many general elections later). Our leaders were comfortable with the material comfort it brought to them and their families, refused to publicly acknowledge that what they did was in effect to strap a time bomb across our bodies.

    It took a former deputy Prime Minister many years later, in his personal struggle to prove his innocence, recover what is left of his integrity and salvage whatever is left of his credibility as a leader and a nationalist to convince Malays, Chinese and Indians of the need for a new and different formula.

    The Malays now leading PKR have a long way to go, to show to the rest of us that they have indeed seen the light, had a political epiphany, if you will, that they are not in reality former UMNO members who experienced a falling out with the party’s leadership. Anwar still needs to convince the rest of us that he is more than just the charismatic leader with a personal agenda.

    I am with Anwar, of course, for in him I see the journey my country has had to embark on, which it should have done years earlier. He is the vehicle on which true patriots among us who want nothing but the best for their country, would want to hop into to ensure we reach the finishing line. Anwar is no longer that unidentified flying object.

    But I also have my share of doubts. Why has PKR not completely distanced itself completely from the failed policies of UMNO/BN? A good example is the NEP.

  4. Tunku represents the ugly face of the pseudo intellectualism that thrives in jokes. He thinks he is an intellectual while he is not. Like Chinua Achebe said, an intellectual is a patriot who demands the best of his nation. This octogenarian demands the worst of our nation simply because he wants to pussyfoot the current regime led by an inpet, immoral being whose exsistence even the High Heavens loath and that tells you Malay intellectualism. God the Almighty.

  5. “Tunku Aziz describes as “preposterous” Anwar’s claim that the latest allegations of sodomy is “part of a diabolically clever plot” to stop him from becoming Prime Minister.”

    Is this was what he really said? Maybe he experienced an epiphany of sorts. Anwar experience his while incarcerated.

  6. Since he is your close buddy at Sime Darby, you should call him and ask why he said what he said, instead of ditching him in such a public manner!
    Mr. Bean,

    I did sms Tunku Aziz when he wrote an earlier article (a few weeks ago) and said he was “over the top”. He never consulted me when he wrote this article (July 27) and published it in the NST for public read. I have right of my reply as my leader is attacked with untruths. Two can play the game, but I will not confuse the public to please anyone. Stick to the facts, and be consistent.

    Principles matter, although in today’s world that is no longer in vogue, even in the US. You ought to read Dr. Cornell West‘s widely popular book, “Democracy Matters” (New York: Penguin Press, 2004).Many aspects of American democracy as practiced by Bush and his inner circle which are higlighted and discussed at length in his book, and also by the democrats in Congress, apply here in Malaysia. It is called political nihilism or elite gangsterism (Najib and his inner circle comprising IGP Musa Hassan and AG Gani Patail and others, for example).

    As Dr. West says, “[S]erious commitment to truth, integrity and principle gives way to mendacity, manipulation, and misinformation in the increasingly unprincipled political marketplace. Political nihilism now sets the tone for public discourse, and market moralities now dictate the landscape of a stifled American democracy.” (p.28).

    Malaysian democracy too is being stifled. Do we Malaysians in general care? No, but Anwar and his colleagues care and that is why we are working hard for democracy, freedom, and justice, and now more and more Malaysians understand and support our cause.—Din Merican

  7. It’s good that Tunku Aziz showed his true colors (once again) just prior to the inevitable change in regime. That way when he comes snivelling to the new Prime Minister for a job as special advisor on transparency and accountability we would all see how transparent that effort would be.

    From another perspective, its quite odd that someone presumably as smart as Tunku Aziz would take such a preposterous and contradictory position (on the police, judiciary, government, Anwar) at a time when the verdict is still out and Anwar is himself still on the brink of political power.

    This is of course the normal pattern of behaviour whenever Anwar poses a threat in the paper. Roll out Chandra. Roll out Tunku Aziz. The “mainstream” voices to villify him. This isn’t political. This is the voice of reason from the people. Not to mention 90% of Malaysians believe the allegations are a political conspiracy. Not to mention there is no police report. Not to mention there is no legal basis for submitting DNA evidence in this type of case. Not to mention (Tunku Aziz is no expert on forensics) that DNA profiles don’t change with age and any matching that needs to be done can be achieved with existing police records.

    I would hope that more of Tunku Aziz’s peers who have been able to tolerate his Harvey Dent style of commentary will make the right decision by distancing themselves from the comments and if issued sincerely (or insincerely) from the man himself.


  8. cannot agree with you more that the country is at a crossroad. if BN continues to rule unfettered, the country will fall into the abyss and climbing out will be a near impossible task. dont be surprise if we wil be looking up to thailand, vietnam, cambodia and loas in 2020 if we continue to allow the mismanagement by BN (or more like UMNO).
    yl, the choice of which we wish to choose in a collective one. Right now, given the biased media and spin, things can be murky. I am afraid most Malaysians against the weight of inertia prefer to keep the status quo.—Din Merican

  9. He has his share of controversy even when in Sime Darby. Never free from scandals. He partook in the kind of behavior no blue-eyed boy of the boss would think of doing when he was heading Sime Darby’s Hong Kong operations in the mid 80s. Like Mahathir he is a study in contradictions.
    Bean, I do not know about that. But I am more concerned about what he wrote last Sunday and felt the need to respond. He seems to have changed his tack and I am not sure what made Tunku Aziz write what he wrote. I will not speculate about his current stance on issues dear to him. Maybe others can provide some reasons for his tilting towards Badawi in recent days.—Din Merican

  10. I suppose even they must now admit that it has not been that bad, after all, for those who were not expected to pick more than a few crumbs off the floor… Abdul Aziz, Tunku

    I am deeply offended by this statement and without rebutting other points which sound like a list of grouses which have made Aziz’s life difficult even in delivering this silly personal public laundry.

    If as a special advisor on ethics to the UN SecGen, and as an ethical Muslim, Aziz did not put up a whimper of a protest, it wouldn’t take an avid Toynbee disciple to frown that the silly little old man is a jerk.

    I think he should stand up for the cancellation of Inul’s heartstopping gyrations than receive the article’s stipend he doesn’t need but which would have paid my ticket to the show! I’ll be quite proud to declare I’ll like it anytime and every time.

  11. Hey Salak,

    Keep this discourse on track and let’s not have it derailed by discussions on the gyrations of a belly dancer. We are talking about gyrations of a different kind.

    I’ll move over to your blog and help you gyrate in tandem with Inul. That will be fun!!

  12. Dear Din:

    I am reminded of the hadith of our Prophet Muhammad, s.a.w., which says (approximately translated) that when we see evil being perpetrated, we should try to stop it with our hands; and if we do have strength enough to do that, then we should do it with our tongue; and if we have not the strength enough to do even that, then we should (at least abhor it) from our heart; and that is the least of our faith.

    This burden falls especially heavy on those whom society considers its elite. Din, you may not be considered part of the elite, but in pointing out the hypocrisy of those in that group, you have indeed fulfilled the obligation imposed upon us by our Prophet, s.a.w.

    As an aside, it is an accepted precept of justice, at least in the civilized world, that one is innocent till proven guilty, and that it is the duty of the state to establish its case beyond a reasonable doubt. It is NOT for Anwar to prove his innocence. It is not even a duty of his to cooperate with the authorities, especially when the authorities have proven to be corrupt, incompetent and malicious.

    Those who would have Anwar “cooperate” with the police by giving his DNA or swearing on the Quran have it backwards. The authorities have to first assure themselves that the accusation has validity before even pursuing the matter further.

    M. Bakri Musa
    Thanks for your kind comments. You know how tough it is out here. But we must never quit. Victory is now in the realm of possibility, and what a difference it will make when it becomes reality.—Din Merican

  13. “…one is innocent till proven guilty, and that it is the duty of the state to establish its case beyond a reasonable doubt. It is NOT for Anwar to prove his innocence” Dr Bakri

    But politics, Sir, is all about perception!

  14. When I read Tunku’s article in today’s NST, my first reaction was one of disbelief, wondered if he had been sick or where had he been the past weeks with so much happening all around or could he have had too much to drink when writing that piece of garbage!

  15. Tunku Aziz is like Mr.Johnny come lately. He waited until its quiet safe for him to take the side of the government before he wrote the article. Not that because he actually believed whatever he wrote. A man of his experiences and exposures would be able to read the situation and interpret the actual happenings surrounding the sodomy case correctly accurately. Tunku Aziz is quiet aware of the politics behind the accusation. He casted his dies, nevertheless. Why? I think it is a Chandra Muzaffar act as pointed out by Rusman.

    Sadly to say, Tunku Aziz casted his dies just a tad too early. Just another day, RPK’s expose on the medical report would probably have made him calling the NST and stopped the article. Our good doctor (Dr.Mohamed Osman who checked Saiful ruled out sodomy – by Anwar or any other person) is also now missing. Is this coincidence with PI Bala surprising?

    Tunku Aziz has numerous issues to answer with regard to the article. He will never be considered as an objective, discerning and levelheaded writer anymore. He probably overpaid the price !

  16. Well, Pak Din the cat is out of the bag. After all the huha about accountability, transparency and the works we now know what stuff Tunku Aziz is made of. He’s nothing but an Umno apologist to the core, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, so to speak.

    Too bad there are people who would do anything for a fistful of ringgit. They’ll sell their souls for the right price. Another Saiful may be lurking around the PKR’s office. Just be wary.

  17. Din,
    You are an angry man and justifiably so. I can feel you outrage.

    Sometimes I have real difficulty understanding ‘intellectual Malays’ who sell their souls in return for promises of positions and perks. Tunku Aziz is just one of the many.

    I have seen many Malays who switch parties and loyalty with a straight face – who sell their honour for a pittance.

    (e.g. Tengku Razaleigh who condemned UMNO Baru when he was Semagat 46 president, Rais Yatim, Sharir Samad, Ezam and many more).
    ‘And it were the ‘intellectual Malays’, who conspired with the cruel regime to demonize Anwar in 1998. It were intellectual Malays’ who humiliated Salleh Abas and emasculated the Judiciary.)

    I will not be surprised if Tunku Aziz has been promised a fat reward and an overseas assignment for this tirade against Awar or rather against Morality and Conscience.

    Even my dogs would not switch sides as these men have done. They are more faithful then these scums of the earth!
    Mr. Smith, I am not angry; I disagree with him.—Din Merican

  18. Din Merican,

    You are not alone. We all feel the outrage, and disappointment as you do. So much for his accountability and transparency, they have all gone out the window.

    We shall leave him alone, and move on, life is too short and so much has to be done!

  19. Thank you, Din, for a spot-on analysis that rightly and logically puts Tunku Aziz in his proper place–that whatever his so-called intellect, he is no more than a prostitute. And who better to do this than you.

    A couple of weeks ago, he wrote in The NST about his problems with netizens, especially bloggers. Among others, he said he could count only less than a handful bloggers that he could trust. Ok, but since only less than a handful, who then were these bloggers? He did not say. Instead, he went on to blast all the other bloggers, and the commentators who write in. One main problem he had was that commentators from all walks of life could now readily offer their views in blogs, and often unfiltered. Instead of seeing this as largely a positive development of empowerment for the people to speak up and share their views openly, he denigated it as socially damaging. It was unmistakable that he longed for the good old days of the MSM, with their gatekeepers, controlling what got printed or aired for public consumption. He failed pathetically to see how the MSM have acted mostly as a mouthpiece of the BN government. And to think that he was with Transparency International!!

    Tunku Aziz’s column in the NST of two weeks ago appeared at a a time when Shafie and Ahmad Zaid were both telling Malaysians to be wary of anti-establishment bloggers (as opposed to pro-BN bloggers) because they claimed they could undo the peace and stability of the past 50 years of Malaysia. Hardly new an argument because is this not the same tune played out in different ways for the past 50 years until the March 8 elections? If bloggers truly are guilty of the accusation by Shafie and Ahmad Zaid, how come there has not been any violence since the PR won four new states from BN and denied the latter the two-thirds majority control of Parliament? The fact that Tunku Aziz ignored all that shows how idiotic his argument was, not to mention how much of a dinosaur he is, elite or not.

  20. Dear Din,

    The Malaysian public is much too smart for so called predigrees like TA. They can read between the lines even if they are not so vocal.

    TA has given his integrity to the dogs. So be it. At least we now know what stuff he is made off.

    Honour is something a man gives himself. It cannot be thrusted upon him nor bestowed. He is tried to be an intellect or an elite….well, he has uncovered himself to be nothing more than another stray leaning on those whom he hopes will house him.

    I had thought he is a towering Malaysian.
    Edwin, I am not sure whether the average Mat and Minah in the kampongs and small towns, where the internet is still a luxury can get our message. They have access to TV1, TV2 and TV3 etc and radio which have been putting out misinformation and smokescreens every minute of the day. We have to find a way to reach them. Ceramah will help, but the Police control the permit and that is a problem. We have Suara KeADILan (circu 120,000) and Harakah Daily (around 200,000) but their permits subject tothe control of Ministry of Home Affairs.Problematic, isn’t it? So we have to think hard and be innovative.—Din Merican

  21. Thanks for your erudite commentary on Tunku Aziz’s column. His self-serving and time-serving nature was exposed yet again for all to see. This is a man who not long after vacating the post of President of the Royal Selangor Club urged the Government (in his Sunday column) to re-take the Club’s historical premises at Dataran Merdeka. Treachery that would bring a tear to Judas’ eye!

  22. Dear Pak Din

    I am a newcomer to your blog. I just want to say “Thank You” and “Syabas” for your excellent and objective pieces that have often appeared in Mkini and elsewhere, Your response to TAZ is a very good example of arguing on the issues without getting personal. May God continue to give you courage and wisdom in the journey towards justice and peace in Bolehland.
    Thanks, Martin for your kind words. I too have been reading your comments in malaysiakini. Stay engaged. It is not easy to change things around, but if we all gave up and turn cynical, the game is over and the culture of impunity will continue ad infinitium. Cheers, Din

  23. And so it has come to pass…

    We have here someone with a different opinion and see how he is attacked. When he is critical of the administration, hail him. When he isn’t, damn him. (witness the comments made on how he was at Sime Darby down to his actions as ex-president of RSC). Is this what democracy/free speech is?
    dRitz, it is not about damning anyone as that would be personal. It is about taking someone’s point of view, studying his arguments, asking why and if they make sense, and then challenging them. That is democracy (and free expression).—Din Merican

  24. Tunku Aziz has the same constitutional right the rest of us have i.e. the right to lose his marbles at a time of his own choosing. It is the timing that bothers us.


    Re: On the subject of Federal Constitution 1957

    I wouldn’t say our country’s Constitution is “meaningless”. It is a sacred document with no less than 500 amendments since it was passed by the country’s highest legislative body some fifty years ago. One may ask how could a document be sacred when there have been more than 500 amendments since it was passed some fifty years ago – and the Constitution of the world’s largest democracy , the United States has only 27 amendments since it was passed 200 plus years ago?

    Some of that could be explained, though not all it, by the generality of the provisions in constitutions like that of the United States. Our Federal Malaysian Constitution 1957, on the other hand, is very specific in what it has to say and hence the need for some of the amendments; and almost all the key provisions are qualified in some manner by other provisions. Critics have been too quick to point to the 500 or more amendments as the reason why the document has lost all its sacredness. I would not give myself the luxury of such a sweeping statement.

    Let’s us briefly look at the U.S. Constitution and what it has to say about “fundamental liberties” i.e. freedom of religion, of speech and assembly.

    U.S. Constitution: First Amendment

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble…”

    In contrast, this is what our Federal Malaysian Constitution 1957 has to say about religious freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

    Article 3 (1) Islam is the religion…..”
    Article 11(1) Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Clause (4) to propagate it.”
    Article 11 (5) This Article does not authorize any act contrary to any general law relating to public order…”
    Article 5 (1) No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law.”
    Article 8 (1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law….”
    (2) Except as expressly authorized by this Constitution …”

    Is it a coincidence that the country has had one authoritarian régime after another – teetering at times on the brink of totalitarianism – and now with the real prospect of beiing replaced by an Islamic fascist regime? Is it surprising that an embattled Prime Minister was able to attract support to his declaration that the country has always been an “Islamic state”?

    Have the provisions under “Fundamental Liberties” in particular Articles 5, 8, 10 and 11 been amended since the Federal Constitution 1957 was passed? No. So why are we so ready to attribute everything that has gone wrong that could go wrong to the ability to amend the Constitution single handedly by the Barisan Nasional?

    Our original Constitution as passed by the first Parliament offers all the powers a government not too convinced about the benefits of democracy, would need. The Alliance and later its successor the Barisan Nasional merely used those powers, refining and fine-tuning them, as it went. Can we really blame them?

    The fault lies squarely with our Constitution and not the fact it has become less than sacred through that “mutialiting” process practiced by Barisan Nasional.

    It is Dr. Frankenstein and not his creation.

    It is my country’s Constitution nevertheless and I should respect it for what it is – warts and all.

  25. Keep this discourse on track and let’s not have it derailed by discussions on the gyrations of a belly dancer. We are talking about gyrations of a different kind. – Bean

    As most of these jerks are the likes of Rais Yatim, Dr.Mat Tab Saleh and Abdul Aziz, Tunku, they are fakes and phony intellectual effiminates. They can’t really sodomise anybody!

    With all the blog network now humming, let’s hear all the damnations on these people, facts and all and let’s stone them at Padang Merdeka!

  26. I always look forward to reading Tunku’s articles and after reading his latest on Sunday I half expected an apology from the editor in today’s (Monday) NST to say that an editorial slip had been responsible for putting the good Tunku’s name to an article submitted by another reader. But nothing today as far as I can make out. Well, well, well.

    A great many responses have already been made and many more will I hope appear in the NST (or will they?) but all I can say is that if I were Anwar Ibrahim and had already once been shabbily treated by this Government apparatus I would be very, very careful this second time around. If this is theatrics so be it.

    The other point is that he has not been shown the exact report that has been made against him. Does not look very fair to me.

    And then the DNA business. Will someone please correct me if I am wrong but I always thought that a person’s DNA does not change with time. And his DNA is already available? So what is the big deal about this?

    Am I the only one who notices that there is also an Islamic aspect to the justice that is given to a person? Several years ago, six good judges (and Anwar Ibrahim) were by all accounts denied justice, In Islam it is forbidden (HARAM) to deny a person justice. Yet can anyone remember a single one of our Islamic leaders, Muftis, Imams etc saying anything at all about this? And should they not be the ones to lead the way EACH time a person is denied justice? And now all signs are that there might be a vigorous attempt to deny justice once again.

    As for Tunku’s comments…what can one say…
    Naseer, thanks and good to have you back.

    Don’t forget the NST is controlled by Badawi’s boys on the 4th Floor, Prime Minister’s Department, Putrajaya. I am afraid Tunku Aziz may have been used by them to hit at Anwar. I was merely criticising what the Tunku wrote last Sunday. I have hosted a number of his articles on the blog. Those were not well written but balanced. On this occasion, he was way over the top and I felt justified to respond. My critical piece would not appear in the NST.—Din Merican

  27. The so-called elite in this country have emasculated the institutions of government in their effort to recycle their cronies.

    We have to dedicate ourselves to ensure that our strength is further strengthened and weakness identified and immediately sterengthened.

    The hand that took it yesterday has resulted in our young people not being able to realise their full potrntial That is a shame because we have so many young people who do not have the opportunity to excell in what they do and in a vast number of cases are not enen not given the opportunity to serve Malaysia.

    I hope that those in positions and can make a difference to the way Malaysia can move forward will refrain from Personalising National Affairs and Nationalising Personal Affairs.

  28. Dear Din,

    Tunku Aziz’s latest output brought me to dismay. If you may recall, I had preferred to believe the timing of his remarks on Bersih 3.0, his resignation from DAP and venting over ntv7 are more due to bad judgment than more nefarious motives.

    I had thought it premature to accuse him of being “bought over by Umno”, because time will tell us the truth in due course.

    I was wrong. It’s now obvious he didn’t even lose any time in showing his true colours and motives.

    Between his impressive lifetime exposure, (pseudo?) intellectual credentials, and his barefaced glossing-over of the true agenda behind DS Anwar Ibrahim’s recent legal tribulations, there is only ONE conclusion that we lesser mortals can arrive at.

    He has turned. That is, if he wasn’t a mole in the first place.

    All I can say is, good riddance. DAP, for all her faults, can thank God this happened sooner than later.


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