There is no water in most parts of Selangor…again. And this is due to the Semenyih river being polluted…again. And The administratively-impotent Menteri Besar, Azmin Ali, has blamed everyone else but the weakness of his administration…again.
I cannot remember how many water cuts has it been since August but this time Azmin has taken the idiot-level a step up by blaming the Barisan Nasional.
Giving him the benefit of the doubt one can only blame the Pakatan-led Selangor government for its failure to gazette water catchment areas, continuing to allow industries to encroach river buffer zones despite having an enactment to enforce a ban, and failure to haul the culprits in previous episodes of water cuts to court. Barisan Nasional is not in charge of administering Selangor so start pointing your finger at yourself!
This is typical of Pakatan Haprak (Harapan + Rakyat). They shout out rhetorics about bringing prices down and only Lim Guan Eng gets a discount for his bungalow. Is Pakatan Haprak really concerned about the welfare of the rakyat? Are they even democratic as claimed? I doubt. The walkout done by them from the tabling of the budget session last Friday is a poignant reminder of that.Blaming provocation Azmin said that the budget delivered by Najib Razak did not address the fundamental issues. If the Pakatan leaders cannot stand mere provocation then how is it going to find the patience to even listen to the rakyat? I got blocked by the various Pakatan leaders on Twitter for asking a simple question that they have refused to answer! I am sure there are many more whom have been treated in the same manner by Pakatan leaders!
Walking out of Parliament like spoilt little girls isn’t the only thing that Pakatan Haprak MPs are famous for; they also did not attend Parliament to vote against the Peaceful Assembly Bill and the Prevention of Terrorism Bill that have now been enacted. Then, they label the laws passed as draconian and restrictive but what have they done to ensure that these Acts never got passed in the first place? At the hint of a struggle, they collapse like jelly.
And I am sure they had to suddenly squeeze those placards out from their rear orifice because they claim that the walkout was not planned.
You can read for yourselves the disappointment that the Pakatan Haprak is:
Is Pakatan Haprak interested in democracy? No.
They are only interested in using the rakyat‘s money to finance their campaign and lifestyle. And Pakatan Haprak will cling on to power so that they can continue this financed lifestyle while you and I will have to endure endless water cuts!
If Azmin Ali feels he is right about Barisan Nasional sabotaging the water supply, provide evidence to the police and arrest the culprits. Or shut up and continue to remain the screwed-up little girl he is!
One morning as I walked from the hotel across the street to the hospital I saw a man, evidently recovering from a keyhole prostate surgery standing outside the hospital building smoking a cigarette. He was from Ireland and was in Sydney for a holiday when he had to undergo an immediate surgery.
He asked me what I was doing there and where am I from. When he heard the name Malaysia his eyes widened and said, “Good God! I would have gone to Malaysia for this surgery if I could. It costs a bomb here. My sister met an accident in Malaysia and was in a government hospital to undergo corrective surgeries and it was dirt cheap and good too!”
It costs RM1.00 for a person seeking outpatient treatment to see a doctor, and RM5.00 to see a specialist. The medicines are given for free. Surgeries would cost a bit more. My daughter underwent an appendectomy and that cost me less than RM100.00. No doubt she had to be in an open Class 3 ward but the pre and post surgery care was better than in most of the private hospitals I have been admitted to.
A foreigner would have to pay a lot more. Even then it would still be cheaper than seeking treatment at a private hospital in Malaysia. My former maid fell and broke her forearm and I was forewarned that it would cost me a lot to send her for treatment at a government hospital. It cost me about RM1,200 if my memory serves me right to have her undergo surgery to have her broken bone screwed into place.
The Full Paying Patient is a program that allows someone who could afford such luxury, or has a good medical insurance scheme, to obtain virtually personal medical care at a government hospital at a very competitive price. Not only that, if you or those close to you suffer from cancer, there is a National Cancer Institute that provides treatment at very affordable price.
Among other initiatives that have been taken by the government is providing Human Papillomavirus (HPv) vaccination to 13-year old schoolgirls and young women nationwide for free. Mind you, each injection costs RM600.00! And Malaysia is among the first countries in this region to implement such a program.
I am also baffled by complaints by fellow veteran servicemen about the lifetime allowances given to athletes who excelled during the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro recently. What the veterans never realise is that apart from the monthly pension that they receive (for those who served until pensionable age) the 85,000 veterans receive free medical care for the rest of their life and that definitely costs more than the RM3,000 that is given to less than twenty athletes. Imagine the cost the government has to fork out as a token of appreciation for services rendered.
In the latest 2017 Budget announced by Prime Minister Najib Razak today the government continues to put importance to health of the veteran servicemen and the rakyat‘s. RM55 million have also been allocated to help veterans handicapped during the counter-insurgency periods. RM25 billion have been allocated for the upgrading of hospitals and government clinics, provision of equipment for cardiology treatment, and the operation of Klinik 1Malaysia, mobile Klinik 1Malaysia, government clinics and also rural government clinics.
Now who says that the government does not care for the well-being of the rakyat? A certain nonagenaric has-been politician even said the government has no money to help the rakyat. Probably due to his age he has forgotten that his medical bills for the repeated treatments at the National Heart Institute is all paid for by the government of Malaysia led by Najib Razak.
As the Malay saying goes: “Kufur Nikmat.” Which is why I often laugh at him nowadays.
Every time I read Mahathir’s postings on his blog, I would imagine him writing it himself and then pass it to probably his trusted aide, Sufi, to do some research and fill in the blanks before passing it back to him for the final touch before the article is posted at chedet.cc. The URL used to be chedet.com if I am not mistaken but due to some dispute with the previous administrators the URL is now the current one. The administrators, while working for him, displayed their support for another contender for the Ketua Pemuda UMNO post instead of for Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz. Anyhow, the contender they supported lost the race, and so did Mukhriz. Mahathir was furious when he found out that they did not support his son and as the story goes, the two quit without ever disclosing the password for chedet.com.
I have never worked for Mahathir or for any other politician for that matter. I just write whatever I feel like writing. But I don’t have the same privilege that is someone to do the research for me. So when I read his latest post The 2017 Budget I felt disappointed that the research done was just as good as mine if not worse.
5. Why will the Government not have the money? It is because Government money is not used for good governance, for the development of the country and the well-being of the people.
This is like shooting blanks. The East Coast Highway began construction in 2001. The project was first announced in 1994 for a new highway that would stretch from Karak to Kuala Terengganu but construction was delayed due to the Asian Financial Crisis. When construction commenced, the highway was shortened to only Kuantan as a lesson by Mahathir to the people of Terengganu whom had voted PAS instead in 1999. You should remember what I wrote in a previous article on how vindictive Mahathir was towards the people of Kelantan and Terengganu for their support for PAS then. So, Mahathir too never spent money for the well-being of the people. Only his cronies prospered whenever projects are implemented.
The 11th Malaysia Plan has lined up many projects that would benefit the youth, the handicapped, the minorities and those who live in traditional villages. Three pilot projects will be implemented for the youths under the 1Malaysia Youth City program in the Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak. For children between the age of 13 and 18 residing in welfare institutions they would be given the opportunity to undergo the Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) to provide them with skill sets for them to face the world when they become independent. A micro-credit scheme would be introduced to the Chinese community under the Chinese New Villages Special Loan Scheme program while a blueprint for the betterment of the Indian community will be prepared.
Six new hospitals will be built while three hospitals namely the Tawau, Kota Marudu and Miri Hospitals would be upgraded. As it is, the Sri Aman Hospital would be completed as soon as possible. On top of that, 165 new Klinik 1Malaysia will be built nationwide to provide basic medical care for those in the rural areas.
Unlike under Mahathir, the Pan-Borneo highway that has begun construction will be toll free. Mahathir had had to make the people pay for the construction of highways despite claiming that the government had much more money under his administration and we in KL especially are still paying for the sins of Mahathir in the form of extended toll concessions to his cronies. And for 22 years the people of Sabah and Sarawak had to endure endless ferry rides to get from one place to another while bridges have been and are being built under Najib’s administration despite not having any money as claimed by Mahathir. AND NO TOLL EITHER!
More Mass Rail Transit and proper extension of the Light Rail Transit to benefit the people in the Klang Valley have and are being constructed as compared to the time under Mahathir’s 22 years when the government seemingly had more money. Double-tracking rail project, High-Speed Rail project and most recent was the announcement on the new East Coast Rail Link that would benefit the people of the very region Mahathir hated very much.
So where was your good governance or your concern for the well-being of the people back then?
7. For this the Prime Minister has created sinecure jobs for a lot of loyalists. There are now nine Ministers, three Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department.
8. There are now 51 divisions in the Prime Minister’s Department. The budget allocation for the Prime Minister’s Department has risen from RM5.2 billion in 2000 to RM20 billion in 2016, a four folds rise. It is 13 per cent of the 2016 budget of RM267 billion. It was less than four per cent between 2000 and 2008.
The Prime Minister’s Department is being run by the Chief Secretary to the Government. It now includes agencies that were not there during Mahathir’s time such as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA/APMM) whose jurisdiction goes beyond the 12-nautical mile statutory limit of most of our Acts, enforces the EEZ but is not under the Ministry of Defence as it is not a military force. So who is to look after the development and the legislative requirements of the agency if not a Minister? The same goes for the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) which looks after the security of Sabah’s east coast from intrusion by foreign paramilitary units. The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) also falls under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department and that has to be headed by a Minister as given by the Act. The Istana Negara, the Parliament, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission, the Elections Commission, the Economic Planing Unit, they all come under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department. Not forgetting Mahathir’s own Secretariat Office for the Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad which did not exist prior to his resignation as the Prime Minister. So is he complaining about the budget that the Prime Minister’s Department is giving his people so they can write lies and bite the hand that feeds them? Maybe Mahathir’s cook needs to be pulled out. I don’t know what has the cook been feeding the old man that his mind has gone from that of a statesman to that of an estate’s man.
10. Under BR1M, 7 million people got initially RM500 each. Now they are promised RM1,000. There will be more increases next year.
11. At RM500 it will cost the Government RM3.5 billion. At RM1,000 it will cost RM7 billion.
12. Perhaps the very poor would benefit but for most of the recipients RM500 for a year is meaningless. The better thing to do is to give the really needy, the hard core poor sufficient monthly allowances to support their lives. For the rest create jobs and train them. But the Government is not encouraging job creation. Local industries are not supported. But imports are encouraged.
RM7 billion it would cost the government to give out BR1M.
BR1M would be chicken-feed for Mahathir. His cronies spend RM1,000 at Chawan in front of Bangsar Village or at the Bangsar Shopping Centre to feed his bloggers.
It may be a one-off thing but that means a staggering amount of RM7 billion gets circulated in the economy. Being a layman my understanding of that would be that when there is more money in circulation, jobs are being created as people have more spending power. At RM500 or RM1,000 per person it may not seem much, but by having that extra money to spend encourages spending. Purchases will be made, demand is created, production needs to be increased, more business opportunities for new industrial players, and therefore more jobs are created.
It may not matter to Mahathir that it increases the disposable income of the lower income groups; it boosts consumer sentiments as it increases domestic consumption – the higher the amount of BR1M, the higher the domestic spending. With subsidy cuts and spending more on BR1M Malaysia’s deficit has been reduced with a much larger chunk of the economic wealth going to those who need it the most.
And under the 11th Malaysia Plan the government is committed towards having 11,000 physically-challenged individuals to work for the government while in the five economic corridors in the Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak alone 470,000 jobs will be created.
19. The level of borrowings by the Government has reached record levels. Future generations will have to pay these loans.
20. All these will not show up in the budget. But the people will know as they struggle to make ends meet.
Singapore has a US$1.76 Trillion external debt with a Debt to GDP ratio of 106%. Our debt stands at RM630.5 billion (US$150.6 billion) while our GDP is at RM1.157 Trillion (US$276 billion) making our Debt to GDP ration 54.5%. If Singapore is not panicking then why should we?
In fact, if we compare the first seven years of Mahathir’s administration against Najib’s we can see that we should have gone bankrupt (in the words of Mahathir’s lackey Kadir Jasin) when our Debt to GDP ratio was well over 100% for two years in a row!
We could see that not only debt had increased during Mahathir’s first seven years, GDP also fluctuated and was at its highest point in 1987 yet debt was much higher!
Compare that to Najib’s first seven years and we can see
As a matter of fact, the bad performance of Debt to GDP ratio during the 1986-1987 period under Mahathir was not the only time when the economy was in a critical situation going by Kadir Jasin’s definition, the country’s GDP was at negative 7% when Mahathir carried the country through the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998 – which was worse than when Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ran the country during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 which was at negative 1.5%!
So is Malaysia on the verge of bankruptcy? “Although we were faced with the drastic fall in global crude oil prices in 2015/2016, which caused the government to lose more than RM30 billion in revenue, the country still recorded a positive economic growth which was 6% in 2014, 5% in 2015 and 4.1% in 2016 (6 months),” said Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.
And despite losing that much revenue, the government could still finance its projects – thank you in large to the implementation of the GST which has allowed the government to have an alternative source of income and reduce the dependency on the the price of oil. To add the strawberry on top of that cake is that the inflation rate of 3.43% upon the implementation of the GST program has been reduced to less than 2% this year.
Perhaps Mahathir ought to fire whoever it was who helped research for that article of his. Such a waste of allocation from the Prime Minister’s Department. Seriously!
Oh! Why such a title for this posting? Let me quote this rather amusing blog post:
Small in numbers, about 5% of the total Mamak population but rather loud and “glaring”. Though mostly from the 3rd Graded colony, they have graduated well and have an ability of a Chameleon (or think they can) with the Malays. Some examples of these low dignity Melayu Celups are Ahmad Rizal Naina Merican, Sheik Hussein Mydin and Zambry Kadir carrying the Mamak trade mark glaringly. But if they are lucky they will look like the controversial Sharifah Zobra or Mahathir Mohamed. Let me give you a secret, any names that ends with Naina, Kadir, Mydin, Merican, Pakir, Jabeen, Shaik, Mubarakh, Mohammad (no reference to the Prophet Mohamed S.A.W.) are downright, flat out, no doubt, true blue Mamak Tongkang or the immediate descendant’s.
I think the Mamak’s tongkang has just been sunk.
Five years from now, Johor will not even be an Umno stronghold if those in control of the party are “beraja di mata, bersultan dihati” even among their fellow Umno people.
Do mark my word on this.
It took merely almost three and a half years before that actually happened following the departure of Jorak assemblyman Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh from UMNO to join Mahathir’s Pribumi. For the first time in 61 years, the Barisan Nasional/Alliance holds its two-thirds majority in its Peninsular safe deposit, Johor, by a single thread.
Losing two-thirds majority in UMNO’s bastion used to be unthinkable right until the 13th General Elections when the Chinese Tsunami swept many state and parliamentary seats. It lost 12 seats in the last general elections compared to GE12 in 1998, and this time around the biggest gainer was the DAP with nine extra seats. Barisan Nasional ended up initially with 38 out of the 56 seats. With the departure of Jorak, it now holds the two-third majority with the bare minimum number of seats.
Despite the progress and development that are taking place in Johor, Ghani was trounced not because he did not do his job, but because of blatant racial sentiment. As with the previous three general elections, Ghani would not be seen sitting comfortably in his office at least two years prior to the elections. He would be on the ground making sure that the machinery is ready to face the next battle, and there would be elections simulations held at various levels of the state’s BN. Ghani would also make sure that his relationship with the Johor Civil Service (JCS) remain at the highest level.
Life of Annie also pointed out that when Ghani pointed out to Khaled that his Pasir Gudang division was in danger of falling into the Opposition’s hands, Khaled did not take that rather well and rubbished the findings. The simulation was almost correct – Barisan Nasional held on to Pasir Gudang with less than 1,000 votes ahead.
With Ghani ousted, Khaled wanted to make his own mark as the Menteri Besar. The job as the Menteri Besar of Johor is not exactly an easy one. With a Sultan who can be somewhat overbearing and often puts his hands into the affairs of the state administration, the Menteri Besar would have to know how to manage both the Sultan and the state administration without upsetting either one. Ghani was an old hand at this and knew exactly how to handle the Sultan, having had to also manage the unconventional behaviour of the Almarhum Sultan Iskandar previously. He had a good relationship with both Sultans, knowing when exactly to pull the strings and when to let it slack. Khaled is said to let the Sultan have things his way so much so that even the promotion of JCS officers is left for the Sultan to decide. While Ghani was often seen patting the back of JCS officers for the good job that they do, Khaled lets the Sultan do the Menteri Besar’s job for him. While the Sultan might like it, this doesn’t augur well for the state Barisan Nasional. Any administration would want to have some form of control over its civil service and a good rapport to go with.
The number of gatekeepers one needs to go through to get to Khaled is another common complaint by the common people. Journalists covering Khaled also complain that at almost every event, Khaled is being surrounded by his posse of young lieutenants, even to the extent of having the nearest table to the VIP table occupied solely by this group of people. This makes Khaled look like the overgrown hipster. It only makes the Menteri Besar less approachable even to the Ketua Bahagians. It is said that he was advised by UMNO veterans to go down and meet the grassroot leaders. His response was, “Aku tak kenal orang Johor (I don’t know the Johor leaders).”
It is already less than two years to the next general elections. Unlike Ghani before him, Khaled is still mostly seen in Johor Bahru. Ghani and his executive councillors would have been scouring the state to see what else that have been missed. Speaking to a Puteri UMNO division head recently she expressed her worry that none of the division heads have actually begun to activate their election machineries in a concerted manner. This particular Puteri UMNO head has had to conduct her own voters and membership registration drive; an effort which is puny compared to the ones that have and are being done by the DAP in Johor alone. If you were to ask the UMNO division chiefs in Johor, they would tell you that all is rosy, and that is until you speak to them on a one-on-one basis. However, Khaled has told reporters that the Johor Barisan Nasional still holds a comfortable majority despite it being razor thin after the departure of Jorak. To the UMNO grassroots, Khaled’s confidence is extremely worrying.
It is no secret that the DAP will be working with Pribumi to wrestle control of Johor from the Barisan Nasional come GE14. It is hardly an impossible task too! Muhyiddin might be a figure to be reckoned with both in Pagoh and Muar, but outside those two areas, he is still remembered as the person who sold Johor Malays’ rights to the Chinese. Mahathir knows this very well as he was the one who rescued Muhyiddin when the latter became a persona non grata in Johor in the early 1990s. Mahathir knows that Muhyiddin carries a lot of baggage with him and would not be the correct person to lead the country if the Opposition wins. There is already an attempt to kill Muhyiddin politically. You hardly hear of any statement being made by Muhyiddin while Mukhriz is seen going around in Johor conducting membership registration drives. No clues needed for the question on who is Mahathir’s choice for PM.
DAP on the other hand, wants to conquer the western Johor belt, where there is a significant number of Chinese population as compared to the eastern belt. During a dinner at the Landmark Hotel with Batu Pahat DAP members, DAP’s MP for Kluang Liew Chin Tong and ADUN for Senai Wong Shu Qi related the plan to wrestle Parit Sulong, Pulai and Pasir Gudang. With Batu Pahat already in PKR’s hands, all that is needed is for Muar to fall, and it is most likely that Muhyiddin would contest there, if not the often-clueless Syed Saddiq, a Muarian himself.
Even Azmin Ali does not want to be left out by the Mahathir and Pribumi bandwagon. He was seen recently in Muar together with Mahathir at a Pribumi event. It is no secret that he is heading the drive for PKR to work together with Mahathir – a sentiment not shared by the pro-Wan Azizah camp that includes Wan Azizah loyalists Rafizi Ramli and Wong Chen. There is even talk that Azmin might work towards dissolving PKR and jump en masse into Pribumi. While that is not totally impossible, the departure of Ezam from UMNO to Pribumi has certainly strengthen that theory.
The Johor conundrum is something that the Barisan Nasional (read UMNO) cannot take lightly if it were to gain more seats in the next general elections. If Khaled is not moving, then someone should take the lead and face the Opposition head on. There are two FELDA regions that need to be handled with care. Khaled should realise that there is more to Johor than just Johor Bahru. He has to go down on the ground and get the feel himself instead of relying on reports from the UMNO divisions and the various sugar-coated reports from agencies. If you do not know the terrain and its people, you will lose the war. Don’t be like Hamid Karzai who was dubbed the ‘Mayor of Kabul‘ despite being the President of Afghanistan!
And in the words of Life of Annie opus citatum:
If this is how Khaled’s people want to behave, then I dare say that he will be just a one term MB and Johor will fall five years from now.
“Melayu Mudah Lupa.“
Demikianlah ungkapan pada suatu ketika dahulu oleh seorang insan yang kini berduka cita akibat kehilangan kuasa memerintah secara proksi. Ungkapan ini amat sesuai dengan seorang Melayu Kelantan yang mudah lupa mengenai pemerintahan kuku besi penuh kronisme dan nepotisme yang pernah beliau sendiri kutuk pada suatu masa dahulu. Bukan lama pun, enam tahun yang lepas sahaja.
Melayu Kelantan Mudah Lupa ini baru-baru ini telah memberi kata-kata manis mengenai Insan Kecewa yang telah menjanjikan pemulangan royalti minyak kepada negeri Kelantan sekiranya Parti Pribumi dapat menguasai negeri Kelantan dan Kerajaan Pusat.
Ini merupakan suatu janji berupa pembohongan yang pernah ditaburkan oleh Anwar Ibrahim sebelum pilihanraya yang lepas. Apa dikisahkan dosa dan pahala? Asalkan hajat dicapai.
Kepada yang tidak mudah lupa, atau separuh lupa, atau akil baligh semasa Pilihanraya 1990, Mahathir lah anasir yang telah menghentikan royalti minyak kepada negeri Kelantan sebagai hukuman buat para pengundi Kelantan kerana memberi sokongan kepada PAS hinggakan kerajaan negeri Kelantan pimpinan Barisan Nasional tewas kepada PAS yang disokong oleh Semangat 46, parti pimpinan seteru kuat Mahathir, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Hukuman yang sama telah dikenakan terhadap negeri Terengganu setelah Barisan Nasional pimpinan Mahathir tewas kepada PAS di negeri tersebut pada tahun 1999.
Adakah Mahathir dan Zaid beranggapan bahawa orang Kelantan adalah bodoh dan mudah lupa seperti mereka? Atau sengaja ingin mengucar-ngacirkan pemikiran rakyat Kelantan kerana khuatir akan kerjasama di antara PAS dan UMNO?
Mahathir akan lakukan apa jua untuk berkuasa, termasuk menjadikan lain-lain orang sebagai proksi beliau untuk terus mempunyai kuasa menindas rakyat demi kepentingan diri sendiri dan keluarga beliau. Mahathir juga sanggup mengaku bahawa beliau seorang yang pelupa apabila disoal di dalam mahkamah mengenai perkara-perkara korup yang melibatkan beliau seperti skandal rasuah PKFZ dan lain-lain.
Rakyat Kelantan khususnya dan Malaysia amnya wajib menolak makhluk perosak yang mengaku Melayu ini yang mahu merosakkan wadah perjuangan orang Melayu dengan memecah-belahkan perpaduan demi nafsu serakahnya.
Sesungguhnya Mahathir telah lupa dosa-dosa beliau terhadap negara. Sama-samalah kita ingatkan beliau semula.
Sultan Muhammad V, the 29th Sultan of Kelantan, has been elected to become the 15th Yang DiPertuan Agong by the Council of Rulers today. His Royal Highness shall be replacing Tuanku Al-Haj Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, the Sultan of Kedah whose tenure will end on the 12th December 2016.
For months whispers have been flying around that HRH Sultan Muhammad V would not be eligible be elected as the YDP Agong as he is not married. However, there are only three reasons for a nominated Sultan to be disqualified;
- He is not an adult,
- He has made known to the Council of Rulers that he wishes not to be nominated, or,
- Five of the Rulers vote against his nomination for reasons such as being mentally or physically challenged, or for some other reason.
The second and third reasons were used during the discussion to elect the First Yang DiPertuan Agong where Sultan Abu Bakar of Pahang was the most senior Ruler after Sultan Sir Ibrahim of Johor who had declined the nomination due to old age (Sultan Sir Ibrahim passed away on the 8th May 1959). He became the Sultan of Pahang on the 24th June 1932. However, Sultan Abu Bakar’s nomination was rejected FIVE TIMES by the Rulers because he was a controversial figure – he had financial difficulties and had wanted to marry a perempuan ronggeng (Abdullah Ahmad, 2016 p.141). Tunku Abdul Rahman, who was then the Chief Minister of Malaya advised Sultan Abu Bakar against marrying this woman named Hathifah binte Abdul Rashid if he wanted to become the Yang DiPertuan Agong. Sultan Abu Bakar agreed.
However, Sultan Abu Bakar married Hathifah anyway and Tunku only discovered so when they were honeymooning in Hong Kong (Straits Times, 21st April 1957).
Being single is not a prerequisite for a Sultan or Raja to be elected to the throne of the Yang DiPertuan Agong.
Early this morning, the infamous portal Malaysiakini and the Malaysiakini-wanna-be Malay Mail Online both reported that the Sultan of Johor had declined the offer to become the next Yang DiPertuan Agong, quoting a Facebook page and not official sources.
It has been a norm that the Raja or Sultan with the most seniority would be considered as the candidate for the post of the Yang DiPertuan Agong. All the nine states have since provided a Yang DiPertuan Agong and the list of seniority is as follows:
- The Yam DiPertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan,
- The Sultan of Selangor,
- The Raja of Perlis,
- The Sultan of Terengganu,
- The Sultan of Kedah,
- The Sultan of Kelantan,
- The Sultan of Pahang,
- The Sultan of Johor,
- The Sultan of Perak.
With the ascension of the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, as the ninth Yang DiPertuan Agong, a new official list was made based on the seniority of the states that have provided a Yang DiPertuan Agong previously. Whether or not Johor was offered is not known but such offer could only be made had the Sultans of Kelantan and Pahang declined the nomination. It would seem impossible for the Sultan of Kelantan to reject such offer only to accept it later when the one that should have been offered next is the Sultan of Perak.
Such is the uniqueness of the office of the Yang DiPertuan Agong that was institutionalised on the 31st August 1957. It was first to be called the Yang DiPertuan Besar but was rejected by the Rulers Council in favour of Yang DiPertuan Agong. Every five years the Rulers would meet to elect the next Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Timbalan Yang DiPertuan Agong. Although some say that this is similar to that practised in the United Arab Emirates, the office of the President of the UAE is a hereditary office of absolute monarchies. They are the government whereas in Malaysia the government is elected by the people and is dismissed by the people through general elections. And unlike in the UAE, the Rulers council cannot dismiss a Prime Minister or anyone else without the advise of the Prime Minister. Therefore, a recent attempt by Parti Pribumi member named Mahathir to get the Rulers Council to intervene and dismiss the Prime Minister is just a futile and cheap attempt to lie to the people of Malaysia. Of course, there would be those mentally-challenged people who would believe that he is right.
With the election of Sultan Muhammad V as the 15th Yang DiPertuan Agong it is hoped that this would bring about a much better cooperation between the PAS-led Kelantan state government and the Barisan Nasional-led Federal government. Such cooperation would be very beneficial to not only the development and people of the state of Kelantan, but also to the Malays and Islam in Malaysia that are coming under constant attacks by Malay liberalistas, evangelists and chauvinistic politicians opposed to Malay unity and the position of Islam as the Religion of the Federation.
King Bhumibol became the world’s longest serving monarch by chance. King Rajadhipok abdicated in 1935 making Bhumibol’s brother Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII) the King of Thailand at the age of nine. The throne was thrusted upon him when Ananda was found dead with a gunshot wound in the Grand Palace in 1946.
Under military rule, Bhumibol was nothing more than just a constitutional monarch with very little role to play. That changed in August 1957 when Sarit Thanarat and the Royalists seized power from Plaek Phibunsongkhram. From then on, Bhumibol strived to make the Royal family relevant to the people of Thailand once again and Sarit assisted in making Bhumibol the ‘Development King‘. Bhumibol embarked in rural development projects especially in areas then controlled by the Thai Communist Party. He was always seen with his second daughter, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who would help take down notes during visits to the rural areas.
Although his subjects are required to not stand or walk any taller than the King, even prostrating at official occasions, Bhumibol would always sit on the same level with the peasants he visited – a gesture that allowed his subjects to open up to him about their problems. It is such gesture that not only made him most revered by the Thais, but made the Royal institution relevant in the eyes of the people too.
In later years, Bhumibol’s role would slowly be taken over by Princess Sirindhorn making her the more favourable heir to the Chakri throne than her elder brother, Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Vajiralongkorn may well be succeeding Bhumibol but whether he would have the same touch as his father had with the subjects remains to be seen. He must now shine on his own and not be overshadowed by the legacy created by his father and sister Sirindhorn. The Thais would now be looking up to him as Rama 10.
And for the Thais, they have lost the only King they have ever known in their lifetime, and an excellent one too – a gift from God, they say.
Rest well, King Bhumipol Adulyadej. Rao rak Nai Luang.