November 2, 2010
Rulers for All Malaysians– By Senator Tunku A. Aziz
“I can understand the rulers’ unease and apprehension after what Mahathir did to denigrate and run their institution into the ground, spewing filthy lies and uncharitable innuendoes against them individually and collectively. And, generally, he succeeded in causing public disaffection. Why was he not charged?
The rulers seemed, at that time, to have accepted Mahathir’s lese majeste without a murmur and UMNO, now their avowed protectors, went along with, and did nothing to restrain, Mahathir’s megalomaniac excesses against their own rulers.”–Tunku A. Aziz
“RESPECT CONSTITUTION” screamed the New Sunday Times front page. There is really no need for the “Malay rulers” to have undue misgivings about their humble subjects occasionally dipping into the Constitution and questioning some aspect or other they do not fully understand.
Common, ordinary people like me are not Constitutional experts, unlike at least one of their Highnesses. Fear us not because we are not thinking even remotely of storming the Bastille. Such an unworthy thought has never crossed our minds, and certainly not mine.
We only want to know, as citizens, where we stand in Constitutional terms. It is our right to be enlightened. In other words, what are our Constitutional rights and obligations?
I can understand the rulers’ unease and apprehension after what Mahathir did to denigrate and run their institution into the ground, spewing filthy lies and uncharitable innuendoes against them individually and collectively. And, generally, he succeeded in causing public disaffection. Why was he not charged?
The rulers seemed, at that time, to have accepted Mahathir’s lese majeste without a murmur and UMNO, now their avowed protectors, went along with, and did nothing to restrain, Mahathir’s megalomaniac excesses against their own rulers.
The rulers now tell us to respect their position. They can count on us to do that but it has to be on a quid pro quo basis. I am sure their royal highnesses have no problem with that.
The rulers also exhort us to understand history and, from what I understand, UMNO under Mahathir certainly dealt their royal highnesses a cruel hand and reduced our rulers to contempt and ridicule. That is a historical fact. Yet, Mahathir got away without being held to account.
It does seem an awful pity that their royal highnesses are apparently quite happy to describe themselves as “Malay Rulers.” Does this not jar on the ear, I wonder? Since when in the post Merdeka period has the palace become an exclusively Malay institution?
The customs and traditions of the Malay court themselves, for a start, predate the arrival of Islam in the peninsula, and there is little or no substantial element of “Malayness” for example, in the installation ceremony of the rulers and other ancient court ceremonial rituals.
May I humbly and respectfully suggest to our rulers that they drop the word Malay and refer to themselves, much more accurately, in my view, as the Sultan of Kedah, Perak, etc as the case may be? That would be a gesture of inclusiveness, reflecting the reality on the ground and in keeping with today’s mood.
I am no respecter of institutions that cannot justify their existence, especially those rendered dysfunctional on moral or ethical grounds. I am afraid many of the institutions of government put in place as part of the Constitutional arrangements to protect us, the citizens, have been systematically interfered with and cynically exploited and viciously compromised during the long Mahathir years of impunity. He had them reduced into dens of iniquity to serve his unbridled personal and political ambitions.
Mahathir has the gall to spout the somewhat spurious standby mantra of all corrupt politicians which goes something like, “Whatever I have done, I have done in the national interest.” With that we are expected to burst into Negara-ku.
With the collapse of nearly all of the crucially important national institutions, the institution of rulers takes on a new aspect in a country whose government, for decades, has sleaze for constant companionship.
It is our last hope in a country totally bereft of moral and ethical values, with little left of the core values that once featured so proudly in our Constitution. Years of tinkering with the Constitution according to Mahathir’s version of the “national interest” has but disembowelled the heart and the essence of a once great Constitution.
The skeletal remains must be given a new lease of life and more flesh so that it will once more be the anchor of the nation’s legitimate hopes and aspirations. This will be given practical effect when Pakatan Rakyat accepts the unconditional surrender of Najib’s heavily defended fortress.
It will fall because the voters will ring out the old, and ring in the new in the next general elections. They want change. Putrajaya, that symbol of all that is squalid, will fall because corruption has weakened the government’s legitimacy to government; the moral fabric is in tatters.
While I do not expect our rulers to interfere in the political process, I do however expect our much loved and respected rulers of ALL Malaysians to help in protecting the integrity of the Constitution. After all, they occupy a central place in our Constitution.
They can use their considerable influence and leverage as Constitutional rulers to protect the citizens by defending the Constitution. It is their duty.–http://www.themalaysianinsider.com