May 13, 2010
Zaid, UMNO and Royalty
by SakmongkolAk47 (May 11, 2010)
I have always been against the use of a show of force to enforce opinions, thoughts, ideas etc. In this context for example, I treat with sadness the approach taken by a group of PERKASA young men, demonstrating in front of the PKR Headquarters, Merchant Square, Tropicana.
It was in effect a show of force, sadly unrestrained by the Police nearby as they claimed to have received no instructions to intercede (sic). It also shows, those people who resorted to a show of force, have no reasonable answer to challenge Zaid’s essay.
Stating that Zaid is disloyal to the King is also hurting UMNO’s credibility because UMNO had also in the past clashed with the Royal Houses. UMNO’s confrontation with the Malaysian Monarchy then was more severe and intense leading to widespread belief, that Malaysia was going the Republic way. Some of those people calling for the emasculation of the Monarchy are still around today in UMNO, projecting themselves as shameless paramours of democracy for the people. What they meant was power unto themselves.
Even in this instance, the thunder was stolen from present day UMNO because the group that is now standing and being counted as defender of the King is PERKASA. It is led by the Pied Piper of Malaysian politics–one Ibrahim Ali. UMNO Selangor through its deputy head could only muster a feeble riposte by beseeching HRH Sultan not to receive Zaid. Why should the Sultan be dissuaded to see Zaid if HRH chooses to? The King is King to all his subjects– UMNO and non-UMNO people. The King does not belong to UMNO.
I found one stupid trait among UMNO people as regards people not from the state but who have adopted their current state of domicile as their own. In Pekan where I come from, for example, we have many Kelantanese voters who have stayed in Pahang for over 30 years. Whenever these people ask for land or assistance or facilities from the state, the UMNO people will always create a ruckus. Shamelessly, during elections, all UMNO people want are their votes ignoring and treating the state of origin of the voters as non issue. By his admission, Zaid says he has stayed in Selangor for over 30 years. On that basis, he is entitled to the same treatment and rights as Noh Omar who is a Selangorian . Zaid has as much right to see the King as Noh Omar.
Needling Zaid is counterproductive
Needling Zaid on the Royal House issue is counterproductive. First it will serve as opening up of old wounds inflicted on the Royal houses by UMNO of 1988. Second, it exposes UMNO’s weakness in the mosque centered activities department- UMNO is weak when it comes to carrying out mosque and surau -based activities. UMNO people want to be office bearers because of the power therein and the social standing the posts confer, but are insignificant when it comes to posturing in the mosques.
All this while, aren’t the mimbars and pulpits in the mosques employed to disseminate current issues of use and benefit to the government of the day? It’s a tit to UMNO’s tat. UMNO is now forced to answer this weakness by finding ways to enliven its own role in this department. Sermons by UMNO preachers are not endearing the devotees.
So when Noh Omar asks his rhetorical question, people ask back- why you are not doing the same. And don’t hide behind the cloak of honoring the sanctity of Royal commands. People already know what UMNO has done and is capable of doing to royal commands. Only when UMNO is weak, does it overplay its royal cards.
What did Zaid do? Zaid had opined that the statements given by HRH Sultan of Selangor were personal opinions and don’t carry the force of law. The Selangor Sultan was said to have expressed his unhappiness at pulpits in mosques being used as political platforms.
Those statements were quickly seized by UMNO people as royal command which, if met with non compliance or even contrarian viewpoint, are tantamount to disloyalty and perhaps treasonable. By taking an early position on the high ground, UMNO sounds to the world, that only UMNO owns loyalty to king. In any case, isn’t loyalty to the King enshrined in Article 3 of UMNO’s constitution? Unfortunately such manifest expression of unrivalled loyalty to the King by UMNO, coming from self-serving UMNO types must be treated with circumspect.
UMNO is feudal
Zaid says we don’t live in a feudal society anymore where the word of the Sultan is law. Even with regard to Islamic religion, the Sultan needs to sit in council, which is the Majlis Agama Islam of their respective states, to have his opinions enforceable as law. In Kartika Sari’s case, the Sultan of Pahang was advised by the Majlis Agama and Fatwa Negeri Pahang.
Here is where we part company with Zaid. Zaid got it wrong when he wants us to think that it is only the monarchial system in Malaysia which represents the actual feudal system. The actual feudal system, my dear Zaid, is the one practiced by UMNO.
Look at the essence of UMNO power hierarchy. Just like William the Conqueror, UMNO’s power structure was based on similar principles. William, King of the Normans rewarded his chiefs, vassals and others with land in exchange for loyalty and for the supply of military and material support when facing common wars. Everyone owed allegiance to his immediate superior.
The King (UMNO) was at the apex demanding and receiving allegiance from the 190 Ketua Bahagians, who demand and are owed allegiance by the many many Ketua Bahagians and Ketua Bahagians demand and are owed allegiance from Ketua Cawangans. The bottom was occupied by the rakyat who are herded and corralled. Each successive leadership level is held captive by the promises of material reward.
Wasn’t it UMNO in the 80s which went around cutting the clips on the Monarchy here in Malaysia? Indeed I can still remember, Musa Hitam announcing to the world at large, the presence of UMNO’s 7 heroes including at that time Anwar Ibrahim and Dato Seri Najib? He made that announcement in Batu Pahat I think. He regarded the 7 as the magnificent seven.
And so, if suddenly now, UMNO rediscovers the value of an institution that preceded its own deliverance to the world today 64 years ago (May 11), I say, all praises be for the Almighty.