It is no surprise that the recent DAP CEC election has retained some 90 percent of its line up. Despite being a dinosaur and having manouvered the DAP through its mother-of-all-U-turns by working with arch-nemesis Mahathir Mohamad, Lim Kit Siang emerged victorious with the most number of votes. His son, Guan Eng, despite being charged on two counts of corruption, came out third and was returned as the Secretary-General of the party.
Returned after being missing for a term is Selangor’s Ronnie Liu who is famous for trying to stop the authorities from raiding brothels and gambling dens in Selangor before DAP came into power. The ousted included the man who is the symbol of cleanliness, moderation and a corrupt-free DAP – Tan Seng Giaw.
And as for its multiracial image, only two Indians and one Punjabi were elected but not one Malay made it to the Top 20 – again, but former DAP Pahang Chairman Tengku Zulpuri Shah bin Tengku Puji was appointed Vice-Chairman. He is the sole Malay in the CEC line-up. Christopher Ross Lim, the Chinese man masquerading as Malay going by the name Zairil Khir Johari, made it at No. 19. He was born a Chinese and remains a Chinese.
Only 54 percent or 1,356 delegates attended the CEC elections out of 2,514 delegates in 2013. This shows that the support for the Lim Dynasty is waning. They can bask in party glory now but whether that will translate into actual votes especially in Pulau Pinang remains to be seen. With only 450,000 registered members, DAP relies more on its propaganda to win over the masses, who of late are drowning in flood waters and overwhelmed by landslides due to the over-development of the hills and reclamation works in Pulau Pinang.
And to appease the spirit of a dead man, the three-year dead Karpal Singh managed to get 43 votes, more than any of the Malay candidates. How Karpal could still get votes baffles me.
This sums up the image of the DAP – rotten to the core.
Mahathir Mohamad baru-baru ini mengirim seutus surat kepada DUBES Malaysia di Jakarta kerana diminta menjelaskan mengenai kenyataan beliau mengenai ‘Lanun Bugis’.
Beliau langsung tidak rasa bersalah dengan kenyataan tersebut dan tetap dengan pendirian beliau bahawa Najib Razak adalah keturunan lanun Bugis.
Lanun wujud tanpa mengenali kaum dan bangsa, dan mengaitkan Bugis dengan lanun walaupun bukan kesemuanya adalah penghinaan yang nyata.
Malah, Mahathir selain menghina kaum Bugis, beliau dengan angkuhnya menghina rakyat Indonesia tanpa mahu meminta maaf di atas penghinaan terdahulu.
“Tak usahlah cucuk orang Indonesia. Mereka bukan boleh undi PRU (Pemilu) 14.”
Jelas Mahathir tidak mahu melayan permintaan DUBES Malaysia yang mahu meredakan kemaharan rakyat Indonesia terhadap Mahathir yang telah menghina orang Bugis. Pendapat rakyat Indonesia tidak penting bagi Mahathir kerana mereka tidak akan mengundi dalam PRU (Pemilu) ke-14 nanti.
Inilah perangai Mahathir, orang yang malu dikaitkan dengan keturunannya sendiri.
Former army Brigadier turned politician, Arshad Raji, seems to like the attention the electronic media has been according him lately, and he speaks about a wide spectrum of issues – from falling for Mahathir’s fake news of the so-called withdrawal of his close police protection, to the management of the floods in Pulau Pinang.
In the latter issue it was as if he was trying to downplay the Deputy Prime Minister and the BN-led Federal Government’s involvement in the management of the floods. He was right about some of it, though. Under the National Security Council Directive No.20, when a state emergency is declared following a disaster affecting two districts or more, the State Disaster Management Committee can call for assistance in the form of assets, finance, and other resources on the state level, and limited form of assistance from federal agencies within the state – the police, armed forces, civil defence etc. This does not require a call to the Deputy Prime Minister at all.
The State Disaster Management Committee is chaired by the Chief Minister or Menteri Besar while the Chief Executive is the State Secretary. But what Arshad Raji did not know, or chose to not reveal during his “press conference” was the fact that until now Lim Guan Eng has not declared a state of emergency in Pulau Pinang despite floods inundating four out of five districts in Pulau Pinang namely Seberang Prai Utara, Seberang Prai Selatan, Barat Daya and Timur Laut.
I lived in Pulau Pinang, on the pulau itself for three years and four months in the late 1980s and never once saw floods affecting the state on this level. The most I would see is pockets of areas in Datuk Keramat and the Green Lane (Jalan Masjid Negeri) – Jalan Air Itam junction near the State Mosque. Even then you could still pass the areas on your motorcycle. Having eight deaths because of floods in a year was unheard of (one died earlier in September while seven this time around).
“No rain, no floods” seems to be the best of Lim Guan Eng’s quotes pertaining to floods in Pulau Pinang. This time, the deluge is blamed on a tyhoon that is battering Vietnam, and rightfully so. Every time a typhoon hits Vietnam, the northern Peninsular states would receive an extra amount of rainfall. And since 1881, Vietnam has been battered by 68 typhoons excluding the one that has just hit them. However, the shocking bit is where 119 flash floods have hit Pulau Pinang since 2013! That is 2.5 flash floods per month for the last four years!
It does not take an engineer to tell you that when you do excessive hillside developments, the soil cannot absorb the rainwater as the oxidised topsoil would be transformed into a clay-like material. The run-offs would be washed into monsoon drains, clogging up the roadside gutters and making the storm sewers shallower as silt accumulates at the bottom. These drains flow out to sea along natural coastlines, which is why monsoon drains act as gravity sewers. In Pulau Pinang, you can hardly find a natural coastline as most beaches with gradient have been reclaimed, and the gradient tapers off, diminishing the gravity effect. Storm water therefore does not flow into the sea but accumulates and saturates the flatter grounds causing floods.
But who cares about eight deaths this year due to floods and one last year when you can make money selling condominium units to the rich? But it is this excessive development by the state government that was voted in by the Pulau Pinang people that is now killing the Pulau Pinang people and have caused untold miseries.
Everyone also knows that when it is the new moon or full moon, tides will be higher than usual, and that makes it harder for storm drains and rivers to flow water out to sea, what more when there is excessive water caused by the backlash of a typhoon.
You can see that from 1 November 2017 the moon was in an advanced waxing gibbous phase and full moon over Georgetown, Pulau Pinang occured at 12.40am on Saturday, 4 November 2017. The Malaysian Meteorological Department had issued a series of bad weather warnings for the northern Peninsular states from 31 October 2017, and every day from then on.
You can see that there was ample warning by the Malaysian Meteorological Department that the weather was going to be bad for four days. What did Lim Guan Eng or his State Disaster Management Committee do? Nothing, until it got really bad. And at 3.00am, Lim Guan Eng became a cry baby and called the Deputy Prime Minister for help, without even declaring a state emergency.
Where was his State Disaster Management Committee? Why had they not sat down to make preparations to mitigate the situation?
Lim Guan Eng was quick to point fingers at Kelantan in the aftermath of the disastrous floods at the end of 2014. He pointing out that corruption and the incompetency of the Kelantan state government, as well as the rampant hillside clearing as the causes of the floods.
Well, we know that there is rampant hillside clearing in Pulau Pinang. We also know that the Chief Minister was charged on two accounts of corruption, and we also know now that it was the incompetency of the Pulau Pinang State Disaster Management Committee led by Lim Guan Eng himself as the Chairman that had caused the situation to be worse than it should be.
Lim Guan Eng’s government’s incompetence has killed one person in floods last year, 21 people in a landslide this year, and eight people in the recent floods. This is the government that the Pulau Pinang people have voted in, and the Chief Minister chosen by them.
119 flash floods have occured since the promises above was made. And Lim Guan Eng’s government is not worried. Going by the rate the floods are killing people, there won’t be that many people left to complain about the floods – problem solved.
I blame our history books. In our eagerness to instill the spirit of nationalism, we took an easy way out by saying that we were colonised by the British, when in actual fact the whole of Malaya came under British rule only during the Malayan Union period. Only Melaka, Pulau Pinang, Singapore, and for a while Pangkor and the Dindings were under the direct rule of Britain when they were part of the Strait Settlements. Other than that, the British advisers administered the Malay states through treaties, and the administrators were under the payroll of the respective Sultans or Rajas, not the British.
One of the leading evidence of the sovereignty and independence of the Malay states was a landmark case in England where in 1885 the Sultan Abu Bakar of Johor went to England, and according to the plaintiff of the case, Miss Mighell, took the name Albert Baker and promised to marry her.
It was held by court that the Sultan was entitled to immunity even though up to the time of suit ‘he has perfectly concealed the fact that he is a sovereign, and has acted as a private individual.’ ‘When once there is the authoritative certificate of the Queen (Victoria) through her minister of state as to the status of another sovereign, that in the courts of this country is decisive’.
To an argument that Sultan Abu Bakar had waived this immunity, the court held that the only way that a sovereign could waive immunity was by submitting to jurisdiction in the face of the court as, for example, by appearance to a writ. If the sovereign ignored the issue of the writ, the court was under a duty of its own motion to recognise his immunity from suit.
The roles of the Malay Rulers are somewhat misunderstood. While many often think that the Institution of the Rulers mirror that of the British’s Westminster-style monarchy, it is not. The Rulers ruled this land even when the British were here to administer the land on behalf of The Majesties.
When 31 August 1957 arrived, the powers that the Rulers had invested in the British was duly transferred to a government that was chosen by the people through a process of democracy called Elections. It is untrue that during the British administration of this land, and now, that the Rulers have no other power other than having a say in the matters of the Religion of Islam and the Malay custom.
The Rulers, as keepers of this land, continue to enjoy their position with their income regulated by the respective laws, and receive advice from the Menteris Besar (or in the case of the Yang DiPertuan Agong, the Prime Minister). This is evident in Article 181(1) of the Federal Constitution which states:
“Subject to the provisions of this Constitution,” the “sovereignty, prerogatives, powers and jurisdiction of the Rulers…as hitherto had and enjoyed shall remain unaffected.”
The same was noted by Mark R Gillen of the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria (Gillen 1994:7). In the words of the late Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, former Lord President, it is:
“a mistake to think that the role of a King, like that of a President, is confined to what is laid down by the Constitution, His role far exceeds those constitutional provisions” (Azlan Shah 1986:89)
In other words, the Rulers may be Constitutional Monarchs, but they are not limited to what have been spelt out in the Federal Constitution.
When Syed Saddiq, the runner for Mahathir wrote to the Sultan of Selangor after His Royal Highness expressed great displeasure over Mahathir’s labelling of the Bugis as “pirates who should return to their own land” and pleaded for the Sultan’s support to “fight against corruption and injustice with the people” it shows this great-person-wannabe’s lack of understanding of the position of the Rulers in the Federal Constitution.
The Rulers are apolitical. The Rulers do not take sides, or do not express openly whom they prefer over those they do not. For instance, when the Menteri Besar of Selangor does something that is deemed un-Menteri Besar-like, the most the Sultan would do is to express a reminder for the Menteri Besar to improve his performance so that the lives of the subjects of His Royal Highness are not in any way adversely affected. To encourage certain courses of action is part of the duty of a Sultan, but the Sultan is above politics.
In the words of Sultan Nazrin Muizuddin Shah of Perak in July 2011:
“Rulers must use wisdom to calm situations, but they do not have a ‘magic lamp’ to keep unity, especially when the situation has become chaotic.“
When racial strife hit Malaysia on 13th May 1969, the Sultan of Terengganu as well as other Rulers took steps to protect their non-Malay rakyats (Kobkua Suwannathat-Pian, Faculty of Humanities, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Kobkua 2011:364). This goes to affirm the special press statement made by the Conference of Rulers in October 2008 explaining that the Institution of Rulers is a “protective umbrella ensuring impartiality among the citizens.”
After 2008, we have witnessed how lawmakers from a certain party have been rude towards the Malay Rulers, forgetting their place in the Federa Constitution. The Rukunegara – means nothing to them: there is no Loyalty to the lawmakers themselves are rarely guided by the belief in God as they lie as if God does not exist, they show no loyalty to King and Country except when they need favours or awards which also means they do not subscribe to the supremacy of the Constitution, they don’t believe in the Rule of Law when it does not work according to their overall game plan, and by being rude to the authorities beginning with the Malay Rulers show that they do not practice courtesy and morality.
And are we surprised that we now have common people threatening the police, council enforcement officers, biting court officers, or show gross disrespect for the authority of the Malay Rulers? They learn such absence of manners from their political idols.
If I were to write a letter to His Royal Highness The Sultan of Selangor, it would be to plead to His Royal Highness to pressure the authorities to hasten their investigation into the seditious nature of Mahathir’s remark.