The political crisis started a long way back with one man thinking that the seat of the Prime Minister should be handed to him, while the incumbent felt that he should hold on to it for as long as possible. There was no Malay, Chinese, Indian, Jawi, UEC or Adib involved in the whole fiasco.
When His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong stepped in to solve the crisis, there were as many calls for the Parliament to be dissolved as there were for the incumbent to handover the premiership to his so-called designated successor. I wrote to friends the following:
“The Raja is the landowner. It is the constitutional prerogative of the Raja to choose whom in his judgment should lead the administration of HIS government. Our duty every five years or so is to vote for those whom we think should represent us. That is where our responsibility ends.”
His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong did exactly that – solving the crisis according to what is accorded to him in the Federal Constitution. With the two warring parties claiming the right to the premiership, political parties went back and forth changing their allegiance to each of the party who in turn claimed that he has the most support.
His Majesty went on to call each MP for a private interview trying to see who supports whom. And many got trapped in that simple but virtually meaningless definition of ‘majority support’ thinking that the candidate with the most support should become the Prime Minister. However, there is nothing in the Federal Constitution that gives such provision.
Article 43 (2) (a) of the Federal Constitution states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint as Perdana Menteri to preside over the Cabinet a member of the House of Representatives who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House. In other words, exact number of support for any of the candidate is not a requirement for a decision to be made by His Majesty. The interview is only for him to gauge the level of support each candidate has.
The method used is similar to the ones used in Perak by the late Sultan Azlan Shah, and in Kedah several years later, to determine who can command the confidence of the most of the Dewan to become the respective States’ Menteri Besar. In all three crises, the maturity and wisdom of the Ruler is incumbent (Dr Zambry v Dato’ Seri Nizar 5 CLJ 265) para 232. The method to determine the issue of “majority support” is the prerogative of the Ruler and is non-justiciable (op cit).
It is in my opinion that “majority support” was determined by the total number of MPs from any one bloc. There was the Anwar bloc – MPs who wanted Anwar to become the next PM. Then there was the Mahathir bloc – people who wanted the elder statesman to continue. And we had the Muhyiddin bloc – those who solidly supported Muhyiddin’s candidacy. Both the Anwar and Mahathir bloc had to combine to challenge Muhyiddin’s number of support. But whether they like the other bloc’s candidate that they were forced to accept is questionable. Hence, the one with the most unambiguous support would be Muhyiddin.
No one else has the right to choose a Prime Minister. The right claimed by Anwar Ibrahim to become a Prime Minister, and the so-called promise by Mahathir to hand over the premiership to the former, are against the Federal Constitution. Only the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has that right, as prescribed in Article 40 (2) of the Federal Constitution. Conventions are not laws, and are therefore not legal. It is because of this illegal promise that got us into this trouble last week.
Even after the announcement by Istana Negara on the swearing-in ceremony of Malaysia’s 8th Prime Minister was made, there is still talks of numbers and majority made by the other party. But what is the point of scoring 50 goals after the final whistle was blown? And going back to Article 43 (2)(a) where it is the Constitutional prerogative of the King to choose an MP as the PM whom in his judgment commands the confidence of the member of the House, such SDs carry no weight whatsoever. It was just an attempt to create negative perception about the wisdom of the King.
We are certainly blessed to have a wise King who made full use of his rights in the Constitution and his freedom to consult to settle this chaos. Despite taking precedence above all other persons in the Federation, His Majesty did not forget to consult all the other Rulers. After all, he represents all the Rulers. And he stood his Constitutional ground, gentlemanly, when others did not.
The Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat yesterday issued a statement saying that he will not issue a notice for the August House to convene for a special sitting at the request of Mahathir.
Many said that the Speaker was playing politics, and possibly because his son works for the DAP. However, I am in the opinion that the Speaker was right.
Any person who is to become a Minister must first take an oath of office and allegiance and an oath of secrecy in the presence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before taking office, as prescribed by Article 43(6) the Federal Constitution.
When Parliament is dissolved, the PM and cabinet remain in office as a caretaker government until a new government is formed and sworn in.
In this case, Mahathir resigned, and the Cabinet automatically resigns with him. His oaths of office, allegiance and secrecy are null and void. He is no longer a Prime Minister. He was appointed as an Interim PM, but there was no swearing-in ceremony. Constitutionally-speaking, he is NOT a Prime Minister.
Therefore, if he is not a PM, he cannot instruct the Speaker of the House to issue a notice to convene for a special sitting when Parliament is in recess according to Rule 11(3) of the Parliamentary Meeting Rules.
Anwar Ibrahim has been waiting for the past 22 years to become the PM. The closest he ever got there was 23 years ago when he became the acting Prime Minister for a short while. And then he got expelled from UMNO that was being led by Mahathir.
There may have been an understanding or even an agreement between Mahathir’s PPBM and PKR, DAP, and PAN that Anwar should become the PM after an X number of years of Mahathir being at the helm.
While Mahathir has never mentioned a specific date for a handover, Anwar has been selling the idea of him being the next PM to the public, forcing a perception that it is his right to take over the helm from Mahathir.
He even said to members of the press that he is open to the idea of Mahathir joining his cabinet. That is how cocksure he is of becoming the PM.
But, since when is the Prime Minister’s post the right of an individual? Even if a Prime Minister can determine his successor, only the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the constitutional right to choose a Prime Minister.
Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution gives that right to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to choose a Prime Minister from amongst the members of the Lower House whom he thinks has the confidence and support of the majority of the members.
Back during BN days it became a convention that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong chose the one named by the incumbent, but that was then. That was a time when BN commanded the majority in Parliament.
Unlike the BN, this is a government of motley crew. Helmed by a Prime Minister from a party with the least number of seats, support from within can go either way.
And to get a sure majority support, the Opposition has to be roped in; something unthinkable during the BN days. However, given a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, I doubt that it is in the best interest of the Opposition to back someone seen to have the support of the DAP.
To put Anwar Ibrahim in that post in ways other than those prescribed in the Federal Constitution would be a revolution, and there is nothing democratic about revolutions.
It is the sole right of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to choose a Prime Minister to lead his government. There is no other form of right agreed by all parties when this nation came into being. Dreamers can therefore continue to dream.
When the bill was passed on 18 August 1954 to pave way for the first Federal Elections, the Alliance set up a 30-man council to organise their election campaign.
A key feature in the campaign manifesto was to safeguard especially the promises to safeguard the rights and interests of the Malay and Chinese communities.
One of the key points agreed was the need for a common language as a national language. There was little doubt that the Malay language was to be upgraded as the national language. At the same time the manifesto guaranteed protection, growth and development for the language of other communities.
Lord Reid, who was tasked with drafting the Federal Constitution, presented that ‘Malay should be the national language and English should be retained as an official language for 10 years’ (Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission 1957, para 170, London: HMSO CO No.330).
The final version of this part of the Federal Constitution can be found in Article 152, in Part XII.
When the Director-General of the Ministry of Education recently made an excuse on behalf of a school found to have its students singing the National Anthem ‘Negaraku’ in Mandarin, I attribute that to either his ignorance of the Federal Constitution and the special position of the Malay language, and also of the National Anthem Act, 1968.
To give a lame excuse that the anthem was sung NOT in a formal event was a bad move on his side. To give an even lamer excuse that the anthem was sung in Mandarin in order to help non-Malay students to understand the National Anthem made it even worse. Whoever advised the DG to say such things should offer his or her resignation right away. If there was no one advising, perhaps the DG himself should offer to resign.
There are only two versions of the Negaraku according to the National Anthem Act, 1968. In the attendance of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the full version is played. The shorter version is played in attendance of the Raja Permaisuri Agong or other Rulers AFTER the respective state’s song has been played.
You can find the score of the anthem in a schedule made under Section 2 of the said Act, and also the lyrics. The lyrics is in neither Mandarin nor Arabic. It is in Malay, the national language. There are no other versions of the Negaraku.
Therefore, be it an official or unofficial event, the Negaraku has to be sung in Malay, and not in any other language. There is no unofficial version of the Negaraku in the Act.
To help non-Malay students understand and embrace the meaning of the lyrics of the anthem, you can print its meaning in whatever language that you want, but the anthem shall be sung in Malay.
Some detractors used the excuse that the Negaraku was adapted from a French tune called ‘La Rosalie’ which was said to have been composed by Pierre-Jean de Béranger. But there is no evidence to support this as de Béranger was a lyricist whonwas known to have used the tunes of others for his songs. Perak was the first to use the tune for its state anthem ‘Allah Lanjutkan Usia Sultan’ in the 19th century.
But whatever song a national anthem was adapted from, you sing it as it should be sung, according to its lyrics. ‘God Save the Queen’ came from a popular Scottish tune, ‘Remember O Thou Man’ and was used in the national anthem of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The ‘Star Spangled Banner’ was adopted from a popular English song, ‘To Anacreon in Heaven’.
But we never hear the Hindi version of ‘God Save the Queen’ in schools in England, nor have we ever heard of a Mexican version in schools in the US. A national anthem is a national symbol, like the national flag. It is to be sung with respect and honoured as a rallying point – a symbol of unity.
To suggest otherwise or to make excuses to defend stupidity is just blasphemous.
At the recent gathering of former members and supporters of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM), the ADUN of Sungai Pelek Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew admitted that his father was a communist and that the latter strived to free Malaya from its British colonialists.
At the same gathering, a former terrorist, Tan Yi Yu, said that the purpose of the gathering among others is to correct the perception of the public towards the CPM. He said that the CPM’s struggle was a war against the colonialists and imperialism; a struggle for the independence of Malaya, democracy, freedom and peace.
First of all, CPM was never interested in the independence of Malaya, and definitely not interested in democracy. Save for Melaka and Pulau Pinang, Malaya was not under colonial rule and nor was it a British dominion. Malaya was made of nine independent sovereign states – all nations ruled by its own Ruler. The British administrators in these states were all under the payroll of the respective state’s Ruler and owed their allegiance to the Ruler. They came through agreements made between Britain and the Malay Rulers to help introduce a more efficient method of governance for the Rulers, and provide protection to the Malay states against aggressions.
And saying that the communist terrorists fought for democracy is like saying Satan did everything in his power to save Jesus from crucifixion. That is how absurd it sounds.
Chin Peng never harboured any loyalty to Malaya. Instead, he said that, influenced by communist doctrine, he wanted to join Mao’s forces to fight a guerrilla war in China. “The same sentiments still applied…I was intending to die for my motherland, a land I had never even visited” wrote Chin Peng in 2003. It means that 14 years after the signing of the Hatyai peace agreement, Chin Peng still regarded China as his motherland (Alias Chin Peng – My Side of History, p.133, 2003). Therefore, how could Chin Peng and his merry men and women have been interested in democracy, freedom and peace of Malaya/Malaysia?
On 31 August 1957, Malaya became a sovereign nation, recognised by the United Nations. She was in her ninth year of struggle against communist insurgency. She was administered by a government of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that was chosen by her people. That in itself shows the illegitimacy of the communist insurgency.
By 1960, 1,200 battle-weary communist terrorists made their way into Southern Thailand. The 8th Regiment in Kedah, the 5th and 12th Regiments from Perak, and the 10th Regiment in Pahang withdrew to areas in Betong and Golok, in the provinces of Yala and Narathiwat respectively.
In 1961, the CPM Central Committee carried out a review of its past policies and chartered a course for the resumption of armed struggle, and spread its doctrine amongst the Thai Chinese which later dominated the 8th and 12th Regiments. They set up Marxist-Leninist Training Schools to indoctrinate the youth, and by 1963, more than 2,000 indoctrinated youths had returned to Malaya and Singapore.
In Singapore, they infiltrated the Nanyang University Students Union (NUSU). 10 days after the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, the police entered the university to arrest communist leaders. It was also during this time that communist cadres from Johor, Selangor and Perak crossed to Indonesia to be trained and armed by the Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI).
Armed struggle was not the only way that the CPM had tried in order to achieve victory. Participation in the democratic process, using political parties as a front to infiltrate into parliament was another method. In a communist document dated 20 March 1965 retrieved from an Executive Committee Member of the Partai Rakyat branch in Perak, states that: “The main thing is the peoples’ actual struggle, but parliamentary struggle is not to be abandoned because it may be used to our advantage.”
The almost exact words appeared in another document published by the Malayan Peoples Socialist Front (MPSF), the forerunner of the Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM), in Perak entitled “The Party’s Future Line of Struggle and Its Strategies” dated 4 April 1965 it states: “Strategically, we should adopt more violent forms of struggle and at the same time make full use of the parliamentary form of struggle.”
In June 1968, the CPM issued a policy statement that states: “In the final analysis, the practice of armed struggle during the past twenty years has confirmed that Mao Tse-tung’s Thought, Marxism-Leninism of the present era, is the guide to the Malayan revolution, and that the integration of the universal truth of Mao Tse-tung’s Thought with the concrete practice of the Malayan revolution is the only guarantee for achieving victory in the armed struggle of the Malayan people.”
The above statement was released to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the CPM’s armed rebellion launched in June 1948 (the First Emergency). on 17 June 1968, communist terrorists ambushed a police convoy near Kroh, Perak, killing 17 policemen. The bodies were mutilated and private parts severed and stuffed into their mouth. That signalled the commencement of the Second Emergency in a 11-year old self-governing nation that the CPM claimed to be British lackeys! Is that a display of its struggle for democracy, freedom and peace, Ronnie Liu?
Communist agents also infiltrated the Labour Party of Malaya (LPM) and the Parti Rakyat Malaya (PRM) making them components of a Communist United Front in the peninsular. They also infiltrated trade unions such as the Selangor Building Workers Trade Union, the United Malayan Estate Workers Union, the Electrical Industry Workers Union of Malaya and the Pineapple Industry Workers Union – all of which had to be de-registered to curb the red menace. They also infiltrated Chinese secondary schools to form the underground student movement as replacements for lost cadres.
They also exploited Islam and used misinterpretations of Islamic tenets as propaganda tools to exploit the Malays. We sometimes see this today in social media platforms posted by influencers and politicians saying that Islam has never been given a chance to develop under the government, and that communism safeguards Islam. Replace government and communism with acronyms of political parties and you will see what I mean.
Nanyang University in Singapore was not the only university that was infiltrated by communist agents. They also infiltrated the University of Malaya Chinese Language Society (UMCLS). It started in mid-1970 with a group of students calling themselves the Young Socialists planning to position themselves for the upcoming election, and in June 1971 succeeded in gaining control of the UMCLS Executive Committee as planned. The UMCLS quickly formed ancilliary bodies to spread the communist doctrine. Bodies such as the Dramatic Study Sub-Committee and the Cultural Exchange Preparatory Committee were designed to launch propaganda offensive.
The CPM link to the UMCLS was confirmed on 14 October 1973 when security forces shot dead a communist terrorist near Tanah Hitam, Chemor in Perak and found a work report by a lsenior student underground movement leader to his superiors on the activities conducted by the UMCLS.
UMCLS manipulation of the University of Malaya Students Union (UMSU) led to the illegal students riot on 21 September 1974. The UMCLS also issued pamphlets claiming that the fall in rubber prices and rising cost of living had resulted in deaths due to starvation of villagers in the Baling area of Kedah. This was supported by a transmission by the Suara Revolusi Malaya radio station in Beijing condemning the Malaysian government for causing the deaths of the people of Baling.
On 9 December 1974, police raided a house in SEA Park, Petaling Jaya that was occupied by members of the UMCLS and seized printing blocks, imitation rifles, boots, propaganda music cassettes and banners.
And in the name of freedom and peace, the first civilian murdered in the Second Emergency occured when communist terrorists dragged a woman from her house in Sintok, Kedah and shot her in front of the villagers. She was a former communist who had surrendered to the authorities. She was a Chinese.
I can go on and on about the murders of two most senior ranking police officers, the bombs that kept going off in Kuala Lumpur, the murders of policemen on duty in the streets of Kuala Lumpur, the bombing of the National Monument and many others that occured until 2 December 1989. But all I want to prove here is that the CPM was never interested in democracy, freedom and peace, and those murdered in Malaysia were Malaysians and none of them were British colonialists or Imperialists.
All the justification that Ronnie Liu and Tan Yi Yu had put forth in trying to portray the CPM as heroes of the nation are just hogwash, pure rubbish and deserve the display of both my middle fingers. If it weren’t for the selfless sacrifices of the men and women of the security forces – Indian, Chinese, Malay, Iban, Orang Asli and others, these ruthless murderers would have made it into Putrajaya, or Jalan Dato Onn in those days.
Stop trying to hoodwink the public. There is no way that Satan can ever be good.
Perak-born Che Dat bin Anjang Abdullah, otherwise known as Abdullah CD, was a top ranking member of the Communist Party of Malaya. He was once captured during the early months of the First Emergency (1948-1960) in Pahang and was sent to an internment camp in Melaka. As the camp was new, Abdullah CD and other detainees were tasked as labourers to complete the construction of the camp. There he met with a Malayan Civil Service official who was transferred to the camp to supervise its construction. Abdullah CD became friendly with this official and they frequently had casual talks. That night, Abdullah CD escaped. He went on to form the 10th Regiment of the Communist Party of Malaya and continued to wreak havoc until the Hat Yai Peace Agreement was signed on 2 December 1989.
When Dr Mahathir commented on the issue of Chin Peng’s ashes being brought back to Malaysia he said that if the likes of Shamsiah Fakeh and Rashid Maidin could be brought back home without any hassle, why can’t Chin Peng’s ashes be brought back too? What could his ashes do? Mahathir is known for his display of malingering amnesia, usually seen in people who fake amnesia to commit insurance fraud or to avoid criminal punishment.
Shamsiah Fakeh joined the CPM after PKMM, API and AWAS were declared illegal by the authorities. After eight years of struggle, she was ordered to go to Beijing where she operated the Siaran Melayu Radio Beijing Antarabangsa, otherwise known as Suara Revolusi Malaya (I used to listen to it over short wave frequency when I was a teenager). In 1965, she was in Indonesia where she formed the Malayan National Freedom League, when Suharto launched a coup and Sukarno was deposed. As a result, Shamsiah Fakeh was arrested and spent two years in prison.
She returned to China in 1967 to find that the CPM had split into three – the CPM, the CPM Revolutioner and the CPM – Marxist Leninist. She and her husband Ibrahim became strong critics of the CPM and were eventually expelled from the organisation. This was probably one of the reasons that she was brought back by the Prime Minister’s Research Department on 23 July 1994; psychologically she was already against the CPM. Who was the Prime Minister who allowed her to return then?
Were Rashid Maidin and Abdullah CD allowed to return home as claimed by Mahathir? The answer is no. However, they were granted visit passes as agreed in the Hat Yai Agreement. Each time that they wanted to enter Malaysia to visit relatives they would have to inform the police first and a pass would be issued to them. Rashid Maidin died in Amphoe Si Sakhon, Changwat Narathiwat in September 2006 while Abdullah CD still lives in Amphoe Sukhirin, Changwat Narathiwat and is 96 years old. Who was the Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs who denied them citizenship and a chance to return to Malaysia?
Remember how Abdullah CD escaped from an internment camp in Melaka after speaking to the Malayan Civil Service supervisor? He would not have made it to the apex of the CPM if he cannot convince people and turn them over. Chin Peng was also good at psychological warfare.
It was in the mid-1980s when my father who was the Inspector-General of Police asked Sarawak Police Commissioner Yuen Yuet Leng if it was a good time to ask the CPM to surrender. Yuet Leng replied, “Sir, I believe the CPM is very tired. If you give them a pillow, they will go to sleep.”
It was around this time that Abdullah CD wrote a letter to then Encik Ghafar Baba asking to negotiate for peace. The police then assigned Rahim Noor who was the Director of Special Branch then to handle the issue. The police asked permission from Ghafar to assume his identity and correspond with Abdullah CD. In the end, the CPM agreed to receive someone who would be in the position to make decisions on behalf of the Malaysian government. For this, the police extended the service of a Chinese police officer who was on the verge of retirement (not Yuet Leng as the CPM knew him) to pose as this senior official. This senior police officer was then brought to Mahathir’s office for a photo of them together to be taken and shown to the CPM. The CPM took the bait and allowed Rahim and the Chinese police officer to negotiate with them, with Yuet Leng in the background advising.
Spending too much time with Chin Peng can make you sympathise with him easily, just as Abdullah CD was with the MCS supervisor. One day Rahim came to my father and asked if it would be okay for him to bring Chin Peng to speak directly to Mahathir as how he had spoken directly with Tunku Abdul Rahman in 1955.
“Who is Chin Peng to speak to Mahathir? Tunku was not a Prime Minister when Chin Peng spoke to him. Chin Peng is only at your level. That is why I sent you to speak to him,” said my father to Rahim.
Judging by Rahim’s attempt to get Chin Peng to meet with Mahathir, and his recent comment on the issue of the former’s ashes, it is of no surprise that Rahim could be suffering from the Lima Syndrome which is the total opposite of the Stockholm Syndrome. How can a former Inspector-General of Police who was also a former Director of Special Branch have forgotten the sacrifices of the men of the Royal Malaysian Police fighting with this monster? How could he, as the Director of Special Branch, allowed himself to be used by Chin Peng?
And as for Mahathir the political chameleon, it is evident that in order to score political points, he would say just about anything short of “come and lynch me”. It never matters to him who died, who had lost a husband, sons, brothers be they Malay, Chinese, Iban or Indian, fighting the communists, as long as he is seen ‘rationale’ in the eyes of those who had wanted Chin Peng back in this country. The epitome of dog-eat-dog.
I only have one word to describe Mahathir and Rahim – disgusting.
Six years ago a psychopathic god called Chin Peng, kicked the bucket. He died as he had lived – on a foreign soil, as a foreigner.
Chin Peng was never a citizen of this country, nor was he a citizen of the Federation of Malaya before our independence. He never met the criteria stipulated in Part 1.1(a) of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution.
Hitler killed Jews for only five years.
Chin Peng waged war against the people he was supposed to liberate for 41 years. Why did Chin Peng not stop as soon as the Tunku had announced Malaya’s independence in Melaka in 1956?
Why did he continue to wage war against this nation and her people?
The British government servants were all serving the Sultans and Rajas and were answerable to the latter, with the exception of Penang, Melaka and Singapore that were colonies of the British Empire.
So Chin Peng was not interested in fighting against colonialism, the Japanese also did that in Malaya!
Chin Peng was more interested in assuming this nation under communism, as a satellite nation to the People’s Republic of China. And thousands died fighting this man who was adamant to destroy their religion and way of life.
For his ashes to have been allowed to be brought back to pollute our sacred nation’s soil after all the sufferings that he had caused, is the ultimate insult to those whom had lost fathers, brothers, sons, mother, daughters, sisters, limbs, combatting this terrorist.
What is more insulting is that this happened under the nose of our police force. I wonder who gave the permission for his ashes to be brought back here. Would you like to hazard a guess?
Chin Peng was never interested in coming back to Malaysia. 1,188 members of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) were all that was left during the signing of the agreement to end hostilities in Hat Yai on 2 December 1989. The CPM was given one year till 1 December 1990 to submit a list of those who wished to return to Malaysia. Only 694 were Malaysian, Indonesian and Singapore nationals. Two were former soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army. The other 492 were Thai nationals.
Of the 1,188 only 431 applied to return. The list did not include Chin Peng’s name. Of the 431, only 338 were allowed to return. 93 had their application rejected because they were non-citizens or did not fulfil the requirements of the agreement – Malaysian citizen, of Malaysian origin, born post Merdeka, or post Malaysia Day 1963, or spouse, or child of either if one is an alien.
Each applicant was to stay in the designated places in southern Thailand for at least six months prior to making an application to return. Where was Chin Peng? Well, he was never in south Thailand. He wrote a letter to Malaysia’s Prime Minister from an apartment in Bangkok.
So why should the ashes of the butcher of Bekor, and the head of Malaysia’s largest terrorist organisation which is still in existence, have been allowed to be brought back here? He had no love whatsoever for this country.
And what are the police going to do after this faux pas of theirs? Had the organisers who brought back the ashes of their psychopathic god not committed an offence or two under the Societies Act, 1966? Or is the rule of law only applicable to those not in favour of the current regime?
You are Polis DiRaja Malaysia. Your allegiance is not to your political masters but to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers whom the Agong represents. What are you going to do about these people whom had brought the ashes of the man who waged a war of terror against your Yang di-Pertuan Agong and his subjects?
The issue of the distribution of Zakat to non-Muslims is still not over. Today, I saw three news articles of statements on the issue made by the CEO of Zakat Pulau Pinang, the Mufti of Negeri Sembilan, and the Mufti of Pahang. All of them stressed that Zakat is not to be distributed to non-Muslims.
“It cannot be given to non-Muslim individuals. If it is to be given to non-Muslims, it will be done through NGOs or associations that conduct dakwah (Islamic outreach),” said Datuk Seri Dr Abdul Rahman Osman, the Mufti of Pahang.
Many, some Muslims included, do not understand the meaning of Zakat. It is a mandatory religious obligation decreed by Allah SWT for all Muslims who meet the necessary criteria of wealth. Its role in society is to preserve social harmony between the wealthy and the poor through a more equitable way for the redistribution of wealth.
I wrote two days ago (Zakat is for the Rulers to decide) that as the Head of the religion of Islam in their respective states, the affairs of Islam come under the purview of the Rulers – their Constitutional prerogative. And it is because of this prerogative prescribed by the Constitution that had the Sultan of Selangor issue a media statement on the issue.
His Royal Highness is very concerned about the number of Muslims who fall into the categories of poor, hardcore poor and the needy. A check in all the nine districts of Selangor through a page maintained by the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), the number stood at 21,621 people in 2009, 50,947 in 2018, and up until the end of September 2019, it was 54,568 people. On average, 3,300 Muslims enter the list of Zakat recipients every year!
Selangor has the highest GDP in Malaysia. In 2010 it was RM177.7 billion. In 2018 it was RM322.6 billion. Although its labour force has increased from 3.2 million in 2015 to 3.5 million in 2018, its percentage of the unemployed has also increased from 2.4 percent (77,900 people) to 2.8 percent (99,600 people). Rapid urbanisation in a short span of time and migration of workforce from other states into Selangor have contributed to escalating economic and social costs – rentals, housing, transport, land. This has in turn imposed the burden of employment generation causing an increase in unemployment, the inability to offer higher wages, and incidence of poverty.
When we talk about the poor, hardcore poor and the needy, we no longer talk about people begging on walkways or even the homeless. We now look at those earning less than RM2,000 a month, with very little or no savings, and cannot survive two to three months without work. This is the reality that we now face – rapid urbanisation presents an increase in the number of the urban poor. Those who are particularly vulnerable are those with low education level, low-skilled, handicapped, single parent, the youth, the elderly, orphans who have to leave their orphanage when they turn 18. These are the people His Royal Highness is very concerned about.
Take the Petaling district for instance. In 2009, 2,478 Muslims qualified for Zakat aid. By 2015, 7,248 Muslims in the district were qualified for Zakat aid. In 2018, it was 7,781. By the end of September this year, that number is 7,858.
The amount of aid distributed in Selangor was RM279.2 million in 2009. By the end of 2018 it was RM414.6 million..
The same pattern can also be seen in Pahang where in 2015 its population was at 1.61 million. That increased to 1.66 million in 2018. With about 75 percent of its population being Muslims, Zakat aid distributed in 2015 was RM113.4 million. In 2018 it was RM140.8 million. A 3-year study led by Emeritus Professor Chamhuri Siwar of the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia between 2008 and 2011 found that the highest incidence of hardcore poverty in rural Pahang was observed among the Malays (97.33 percent), while for the urban areas of Pahang it was again the Malays (72.22 percent).
Therefore, as the Head of State and Islam, His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor was right in pointing out that although Islam emphasises on humanity, Zakat aid collected from Muslims are only to be given to Muslims in need who fall into the eight categories mentioned in my earlier article. His Royal Highness added that in Selangor there are still many Muslim people who fall into both the rural and urban poor categories and are in dire need of Zakat aid. This is because almost 60 percent of its population are Muslims and its population increases by about 100,000 annually.
Zakat is a matter of Islam, for Muslims. Article 11 (3)(a) and (b) of the Federal Constitution states that Every religious group has the right to manage its own religious affairs and establish and maintain institution for religious or charitable purposes.
What Anwar Ibrahim et al. should have advocated was for the establishment of similar tithe collection institutions by respective religions instead of peddling articles of Islamic affairs for his own popularity and political mileage.
A week ago Port Dickson MP Anwar Ibrahim mooted Zakat reforms saying the non-Muslims should also be included as Zakat recipients. He said this at the International Seminar on Islamic Zakat, Wakaf and Philantrophy in Selangor.
His statement incurred the wrath of the Sultan of Selangor who, through a statement issued, said that Zakat (tithe) can only be distributed to eight categories of the needy that include the hardcore poor asnaf, poor asnaf, and mu’allaf who are Muslims.
Asnaf is defined as a party that does not own any property and whose work cannot meet the demands for basic needs and therefore is eligible to receive Zakat aid collected from Muslims. A mu’allaf is an individual who are non-Muslims who have the hope of converting to Islam or those new to Islam whose faith still needs to be supported or reinforced.
Based on the above-definitions, the Sultan added that Zakat can only be given to a non-Muslim mu’allaf based on the principles of asnaf Mu’allafati Qulubuhum (those whose heart has accepted Islam). This principle is based on the Quran where Allah SWT said, “Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect (Zakat) and for bringing hearts together (for Islam) and for freeing captives (or slaves) and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the (stranded) traveller – an obligation (imposed) by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (Quran 9:60).
Both the Mufti of Perlis and Pulau Pinang have made a statement supporting this. In a television interview the Mufti of Perlis said that Perlis had issued a fatwa to enable non-Muslims to receive tithes under the concept of asnaf Mu’allafati Qulubuhum in 2017.
“This means that Perlis follows the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h not only to help (the non-Muslim asnaf) but also to hopefully embrace Islam,” said the Mufti. He added that the decision of the fatwa rests on the Ulil Amri (leader – the Raja of Perlis).
The Mufti of Pulau Pinang said that non-Muslims who are poverty stricken can obtain assistance from other governmental resourcees such as the Welfare Department. Distributions should only go to non-Muslims if collections exceed what was needed for Muslim recipients.
He said that according to the Quran, Zakat could be extended to non-Muslims with the purpose of making them to favour Islam, to encourage them to help Muslims against the latter’s enemies, or for them to sympathise with Muslims. This was because the contributions come solely from Muslims who pY the tithe as a religious obligation.
Malaysia, being a country that has Islam as its religion as prescribed in the Federal Constitution holds to the doctrines of Imam Shafie who in his book Al-Umm said the following:
“The Mu’allaf (those whose heart have received Islam) are those who have accepted Islam. Zakat is not given to the musyrik to entice them to Islam. If there are those who say that during the Battle of Hunayn the Prophet had distributed collections to the Musyriks, those are the distribution from fai (spoils of war) or from his own property. Not from Zakat collection.” (Al-Umm, 2/388. Beirut: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi).
As mentioned in the above paragraph, the religion of Malaysia is Islam. The Ruler of the states that have a Ruler as Head of State, is the Head of the religion of Islam. In states where there is no Ruler, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the Head of the religion of Islam. Matters of the religion of Islam come under the purview of Their Majesties. It is a pity that a seasoned politician such as Anwar Ibrahim does not know his position when mooting such reform.
In the words of the Sultan of Selangor: do not take advantage of and use the affairs of the religion of Islam to gain popularity or win the hearts of certain parties.
Malays love to idolise the wrong people. We name roads and university buildings after people like Burhanuddin Al-Helmy, Ishak Haji Muhammad, Ibrahim Yaakob, Ahmad Boestaman who once fought for the unification of Malaya and Indonesia under the Indonesia Raya political concept where the former comes under Indonesian rule from Batavia, rid of its feudal system.
On 3 March 1946, five Sultans from five Malay states in East Sumatera, along with thousands of their family members were brutally murdered by supporters of the Communist Party of Indonesia as well as Sumateran Malays who fell for their anti-royalist propaganda. The pogrom did not only end the Malay Sultanate governments of East Sumatera, but also the customs and traditions of the Sumateran Malays.
Those whose name had the prefix Tengku, Wan or Raja were immediately executed, while the Malay population had to assume Javanese or Batak names to avoid persecution. At least two generations of Sumateran Malays had to hide their real identity after the pogrom. It was in essence an ethnic cleansing, and was done under the battle cry “Daulat Rakyat.”
I often wonder if the same is being done here in Malaysia, the sowing of hatred towards the royal institutions in order to remove the very protection of the Malay and Bumiputera rights as well as the sanctity and status of Islam as the religion of the Federation?
Once, there was deep respect for the Rulers. Malaysia Incorporated changed all that. Money was power and that came from those with political power. Political interference in the constitutional powers of the Rulers eroded further whatever was left of that respect.
There is a revival of love and respect for the royal institution, now that things are going bad and election promises reneged upon. But people are still confused by the roles that the Rulers have in this democratic system of ours. Many people think that the Rulers institutions should be dissolved as they do not have any tangible role to play. The truth is far from it. Whatever executive powers that the government has, the fount of that power is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
The roles of the Rulers were watered down from the beginning – in our school text books. It does not augur well for a government to be seen as playing a second fiddle to the Rulers. Hence, nationalism was injected into our history text books and the Rulers’ role in our “independence” was only as a signee party to the Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1957. Nothing more. In the end, the Rulers are now “living extravagantly on taxpayers’ money.”
Therefore, it is of no surprise that the Rulers and members of the Royal institutions have their set of haters spawned by this lack of understanding. And when Her Majesty the Raja Permaisuri Agong recently retweeted a known UMNO cybertrooper’s post about the incident at the University of Malaya’s convocation ceremony, she was immediately condemned by the haters.
It was unfortunate for Her Majesty to have retweeted that person’s post, but I can understand why. It was driven by her displeasure of the act by the graduate, choosing such an occasion to display an absence of decorum. What if it was the Sultan of Perak who was there to present graduates with their scroll? Her Majesty undid her retweet later.
The Raja Permaisuri Agong is not the first of the first line member of the royal institutions to have suffered attacks both on and off social media. Almarhum Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak, the Sultan of Johor, and the Sultan of Terengganu were criticised for choosing a Menteri Besar for their respective state by people who do not understand the constitution. Since when is the choosing of a Menteri Besar the prerogative of a winning party or Prime Minister? Where in any constitution does it say that? By convention? By convention is not a rule of law. That is not binding at all.
The Sultan of Selangor was criticised for protecting the sanctity of Islam, with some calling the state’s Syariah criminal enactment unconstitutional. It is the duty and absolute right of the Sultan of Selangor to protect the sanctity of Islam in his state; the same goes for the other Rulers as well. And the state Syariah criminal enactment that was passed by members of the state assembly remains a law of the state until proven unconstitutional by a constitutional court. Has there been any challenge?
I have mentioned in several of my previous writings that this land has always been Islamic by nature and this was reinforced by two British judges in the landmark case of Ramah binti Ta’at v Laton binti Malim Sutan 6 FMSLR (1927).
For the past few years I have seen many attacks made on the Rulers as well as on Islam and the special rights and privileges of the Malays and the Bumiputeras. Many non-Malay Bumiputeras fail to understand that they stand to lose a lot too if these attacks prevail.
Being the constitutional protectors of both Islam and the special rights and privileges of the Malays and Bumiputeras, the protection for the Rulers, for obvious reasons, must be removed first. Hence, we have seen the attempts to introduce the National Unity Consultative Commission Bill in 2015, ICERD and the Rome Statute. Times are dangerous in Malaysia for Islam, the Malays and Bumiputeras.
The reason for the UM graduate’s outburst on stage was his claim that the Vice-Chancellor of the university is a racist for attending the recent Malay Unity Congress and for delivering a speech then. A quick read of his speech text revealed nothing racist. But if the graduate still thinks it is, why stop there? Why not demonstrate in front of the Prime Minister’s office or residence for delivering a speech there as well? Why be selective?
And what has the Malay Unity Congress achieved? Absolutely nothing. Even the Prime Minister seems powerless to tell the graduate to go fly kites with his demands and to stop being such a rude person. The PM also seems powerless and reluctant to summon and reprimand the CEO of Media Prima for giving airtime to the said graduate.
That is why I used to tell my Muslim friends before the last general elections – politicians and governments come and go, so never rely on them to protect your rights and the special constitutional status of Islam in this country. And do not ever think that the politicians are bigger in status than the Rulers. The politicians only want to cling on to power. For that, they will make compromises and are willing to compromise their beliefs.
Imam al-Ghazali in his book, al-Iqtisad fil I’tiqad, challenged the idea that Muslims can perfect their individual actions and morals without a state that governs by Islam.
“The Deen and the Sultan are twins,” he wrote. “the Deen is the foundation and the Sultan is the guardian. That which has no foundation is doomed, and that which has no guardian will perish.”
And that is why there seems to be an attempt to undermine and eventually remove the guardian, so that the foundation can be permanently removed. So, what is it that we want? A nation where we live by the Federal Constitution as our paramount law so we can continue our evolution, or, believe in ‘Rakyat Hakim Negara’ where it becomes a revolution?