Where Should The Allegiance of the Armed Forces Lie

Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans

I received this copied in a Veterans’ WhatsApp group. I omitted some parts of the message as it was just gibberish talk:

_Copied from write up by Mej **** ***** TUDM (Rtd)_

Good afternoon to all. The fight for a free Malaysia must go on!
Let us get one thing clear – the country and the government are separate entities. Governments come and go, the country is eternal.

We owe our allegiance to the country, not to the government. Therefore, saying bad things about a bad government is not being anti-national. Most important of all, voting against a bad government is not being anti-national. A bad government does not deserve loyalty. Disloyalty to the government is not disloyalty to the country; in fact, voting out a bad government is being loyal to the country.

Clean elections
Clean government
Right to dissent
Save our economy


Fine words they are, but for someone with some legal training to write as such shows how much understanding the author has of the Federal Constitution.

Let us address this “call”:

Point 1:

“Good afternoon to all. The fight for a free Malaysia must go on!
Let us get one thing clear – the country and the government are separate entities. Governments come and go, the country is eternal.

We owe our allegiance to the country, not to the government. Therefore, saying bad things about a bad government is not being anti-national. Most important of all, voting against a bad government is not being anti-national. A bad government does not deserve loyalty. Disloyalty to the government is not disloyalty to the country; in fact, voting out a bad government is being loyal to the country.”

The country and the government cannot be separated, neither can a state be separated from its state government.  Yes, governments come and go, but a government is still a government.  Officers and men of the civil service, the Armed Forces, the Police owe their allegiance to the King and Country.  The King rules the Country, as do the Sultans their respective state, through a government that was picked by the people. Be they the Federal Government or the State Government, they administer the country and the states on behalf of the King and Sultans, as well as the Governors.  This is prescribed by Article 39 of the Federal Constitution where the Executive Authority of the Federation is vested in the Yang DiPertuan Agong by him, or by the Cabinet, or by any Minister authorised by the Cabinet.

In the case of the Armed Forces, the King exercises his power through the Minister of Defence.  Which is why the officers and men of the Armed Forces are required to salute the Minister of Defence who represents the King’s executive power over the Armed Forces, and the Prime Minister who is the King’s Chief Executive, representing the King.

Article 41 states that the King is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and therefore those representing the King as prescribed by Article 39 are performing their duties on behalf of the King.

Therefore, it is imperative that the Armed Forces, as well as the civil service and the Police, remain loyal to the government of the day as the government of the day represents the King – be it bad or otherwise. Whether or nor a member of the Armed Forces, or the civil service, or the Police subscribes to the government of the day politically is a secondary matter.  The oath that was taken was to be loyal to the King and Country; therefore loyalty shall be given to the government of the day.

The Minister who represents the King in matters of defence is also made the Chairman of the Armed Forces Council which is responsible for the command, the discipline and the administration of the Armed Forces, except for matters relating to their operational use.  This is prescribed in Article 137 of the Federal Constitution.

And it is the Parliament that passed an Act to amend and consolidate the law relating to the establishment, government and discipline of the Armed Forces is made which is called the Armed Forces Act, 1972.

It is also the Armed Forces Act, 1972 that gave the powers to the Armed Forces Council to enable Brigadier-General Datuk Fadzlette Othman Merican Idris Merican be promoted to Major-General while she is being seconded to a Federal Government Department.  Section 5C of the Armed Forces Act, 1972 determines that she remains a member of the regular forces but her remuneration shall be paid by that Federal Government Department.

By the same token, even the ordinary people who are citiens of Malaysia must realise that the Federal Government represents the King, the state governments represent the resective state’s Ruler.  These are governments chosen by the people but was appointed by the Rulers to administer the country and states on their behalf.  The only way to change these governments is by a democratic process called ELECTIONS (unless you have not heard of that word before).

Point 2:

“Clean elections”

Since 1955, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Selangor and Sabah have all seen a change in government.  If the elections were not clean, would it have been possible for the Opposition to have won cash cows such as Pulau Pinang and Selangor?

Point 3:

“Clean government”

I must admit there are bad hats in the government, be it the Federal government or the states government.  This is why we have seen people like Harun Idris, Mokhtar Hashim, Khir Toyo, Lim Guan Eng charged in court for corruption. All but Lim Guan Eng have served jail time.  Guan Eng, who said that he is not afraid to go to prison, has been delaying his corruption trial using technical issues.

Many more state excos have also been arraigned in a court for corruption.  This is not possible without agencies such as the Auditor-General’s Office and the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission which act as checks and balances to ensure that the Federal as well as states governments are run efficiently and cleanly.

Of course there are those who have yet to face the music. For example those responsible for the Maminco scandal in 1985 that saw a loss of RM1.6 billion (about RM2.56 billion in today’s terms); the Perwaja scandal in 1982 that saw a loss of about RM10 billion (RM18.73 billion in today’s terms); the BMF scandal of 1983 that had caused a loss of RM2.5 billion (RM4.5 billion today); the 1986 Deposit-Taking Cooperative Scandal that caused a loss of RM1.5 billion (about RM2.58 billion today); the RM30 billion loss by Bank Negara Malaysis through foreign exchange gambling in 1994 (RM45.25 billion today); the Malaysia Airlines scandal of 1994 with the loss of RM9.4 billion (RM14.18 billion today); the PKFZ scandal of 1999 with a loss of RM12.5 billion (RM13.5 billion in today’s terms).

The above all happened during the tenure of a certain former Prime Minister.  The grand total of losses is RM67.5 billion (or RM101.3 billion in today’s terms).  The amount shown does not include the bailouts reported in various books, Opposition leaders’ blogs and so on.

I do hope that the cry for a clean government will also call for the arraignment for the Prime Minister during whose tenure the financial scandals happened.  Had the RM101.3 billion been put to good use during those 22 years, Sabah and Sarawak would have had SIX toll-free Pan Borneo Highways, or 1,013 80-bedded Government hospitals all over the country!

Instead, it enriched the few and killed one person.

Point 4:

“Right to Dissent”

I have not seen any Opposition-leaning media being taken off print or air, unlike during a certain 22-year period of my life.  Malaysiakini et al are still spinning their version of what they call “balanced news” (read: news the way we want you to see it).  The way these media operate reminds me of a character in Netflix’s limited series called “Godless” called A.T Grigg, a newspaper owner-editor who writes news the way he sees it, not how it truly happens.

The ISA was repealed six years ago by this present administration. Although replaced with SOSMA and POTA, it doesn’t give powers to the authorities to hold anyone without trial as the ISA did. And the ISA was being used a lot against political dissenters especially in the late 1990s during the tenure of a certain former Prime Minister.

This administration also introduced the Peaceful Assembly Act, 2012 that has allowed more freedom to assemble peacefully, unlike during those days of a certain former Prime Minister where at the slightest hint of a political dissent, you get whisked away to the University of Kamunting.

Has the author of the message been arrested yet?  Of course not.  Even when he actually committed sedition against Malaysia by encouraging Sarawak to secede from Malaysia.

How is it that a legal-trained person does not know that his act is seditious escapes me

Now, how is that seditious?  If you look at Section 2 of the Sedition Act, 1948 it tells you the following:

Section 2 defines how an act is seditious. He has committed a seditious act by definition of Section 3(1)(a)

This former Armed Forces officer also committed a crime of sedition under Section 3 (1) (b) of the same Act for encouraging Sarawak to leave Malaysia:

Section 3 (1) (b) of the Sedition Act, 1948

And you thought that the Federal Constitution protects freedom of speech?  Yes, it does.  But as with all other liberties, they are subjected to restrictions.  Article 10(1) guarantees that every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression, but at the beginning of the Article it also says the following:

You cannot just say anything you like although you have the freedom of speech and expression

To dissent is okay. To dissent seditiously, or criminally, or dangerously, or incitingly, is not okay.

Any legal-trained person ought to know this, right? What more a former officer of the Armed Forces!

Point 5:

“Save Our Economy”

In April 2017, the World Bank forecasted that Malaysia’s GDP would be at 4.3 percent.  This was revised in June 2017 to 4.9 percent due to an acceleration in domestic economic activities (people in Malaysia are actually spending more) by 5.7 percent year-on-year.  The GDP growth was revised again in October 2017 to 5.2 percent.

Let me quote several reports here by the World Bank.

World Bank Group lead economist Richard Record said at a media briefing on the update that Malaysia’s robust GDP growth in the first half of 2017 was largely underpinned by strong private-sector expenditure, with additional impetus from an improvement in external demand.

“Private consumption expanded firmly this year, supported by favourable income growth amid stable labour market conditions, and improved consumer confidence. Private investment also sustained rapid growth rates during the period, reflecting mainly continued capital spending in the manufacturing and services sectors,” said Richard Record.

“On the external front, gross exports rebounded strongly from the subdued growth experienced in 2016, supported by double-digit growth in commodity and manufactured exports,” he added.

Economic watchdogs are generally bullish on the Malaysian economy’s performance, buttressed by strong expansion in private consumption and private investment. In the latest update on its World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund has upped its GDP growth projection for Malaysia in 2017 to 4.8 percent from 4.5 percent previously.

Apart from that, the Asian Development Bank has also upgraded its 2017 growth outlook for Malaysia to 4.7% from 4.4%, and indicated that the two-year slowdown in economic growth is likely to have bottomed out last year.

Richard Record also predicted Malaysia’s economy for 2018 and 2019.

“We are forecasting Malaysia’s GDP to grow by 5 percent next year (2018) and 4.8 percent in 2019. Our prediction reflects how we are seeing the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals’ performance and the baseline scenario,” he said.

Online economics portal ‘Focus Economics’ also said the following:

“Economic momentum remained robust in Q3 as confirmed by more complete data. Export growth expanded by a double-digit pace in September, underscoring thriving external demand for Malaysian goods. Household spending was buoyed by a low unemployment rate in September and by higher wages, which were propped up by a thriving manufacturing sector, the key driver of industrial production growth in the quarter. The 2018 budget passed on 27 October is focused on fiscal consolidation and is expected to narrow the fiscal deficit from 3.0 percent in 2017 to 2.8 percent in 2018. Despite the tightening, the budget has consumer-friendly components that will increase disposable income. These include lower income tax rates, especially for middle-income earners; higher public wages; and increased assistance spending.”

By contrast, Brunei’s fiscal deficit had hit 16 percent in 2016.

Of course, with the oil prices continue to stay below the USD70 per barrel level, Malaysia as well as other countries will continue to experience some sluggishness in the economy. However, good fiscal policies have allowed us to grow unlike a neighbour of ours that is often quoted as being a model economy.  That country’s growth have been at 2 percent in 2016, and 2.5 percent this year.

The outlook for the construction sector has taken a sharp turn for the worse, with poll respondents tipping a contraction of 4.2 per cent. The previous survey, released in June, had respondents forecasting 0.2 per cent growth in the sector.

The outlook for the accommodation and food services sector in this model country has also worsened – it is now expected to shrink 1.5 per cent, from previous estimates of a 1 per cent expansion.

Economists polled expect overall economic growth of 2.5 per cent next year for this model country, the same pace as this year.

Perhaps the author of the message we are discussing here should go down South and help revive the economy of that model country.


So, there have you.  I really do not know what the fuss is about.  All I can deduce is that the author of the message is all hot air – you can feel it blowing on your face, but there is no real substance there.  This is the same as BERSIH, and the recycling of petty but stale issues by the Opposition just so that they can remain relevant, and justify for the allowances they receive from the pockets of the rakyat.

You can express your dissatisfaction, but always do so constructively. Especially if you are a member of the Malaysian Armed Forces and Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans.