We Are Not Absolute Monarchy, But Neither Are We A Dictatorship

The Prime Minister has defended his view that the palace has no role in the appointment of the menteri besar, in remarks which are likely to increase tension between him and the Johor royal family.

“When we formed the Federation of Malaya, we introduced the constitution, where we stated that Malaya will follow the constitutional monarchy system.

“The ruler has no absolute power. If it still says so in the Johor constitution, then it is void. (We Are Not Absolute Monarchy, Neither Is Johor says Dr M – Free Malaysia Today, 10 April 2019).

Perhaps Mahathir is already incoherent. Article 71 of the Federal Constitution guarantees the Constitution of the States.

If there is any conflict between the state’s constitution with that of the Federal Constitution, then the matter has to be decided by a Constitutional Court.

Example: Selangor’s Shariah Offences Enactment gives power to the state religious affairs authority to confiscate Bibles printed in the Malay language or using one of the 25 prohibited terms such as Allah. This is in conflict with with Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, but is applicable in Selangor until such time a Constitutional Court declares it null and void.

While Malaysia is a Constitutional Monarchy, Article 181(1) of the Federal Constitution 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.

Now, back to who has the right to appoint the Menteri Besar of Johor since the Constitution of Johor is not void? Please refer to the photo below which is a screenshot of the Constitution of Johor regarding the appointment of the Menteri Besar:

You can fool the uneducated voters, but you can’t fool the likes of me.

The Price for Citizenship

The spat between the TMJ and Mahathir has not seen its end (photo courtesy of abuleman.org)

I do not think that we have seen the end of the volleys fired at each other between the Tunku Mahkota of Johor (TMJ) and the Government. Although I disagree with the TMJ whenever he writes about anti-federalism, I agree with his stand to protect the Federal Constitution. He may not have the protection from the law as he is not the Head of State, but his courage and determination to go at loggerheads with the Government on this matter deserves support.

According to Barisan Nasional Member of Parliament Annuar Musa, the recent Rulers Council meeting saw the Attorney-General Tommy Thomas and Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah summoned by His Majesties to explain on the clandestine ratification of the Rome Statute.

His Majesties also summoned Emeritus Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi, a Professor of Law in the University of Law, who is a proponent of the Rome Statute. Also summoned were four academicians opposed to the statute: Law and Constitution lecturers Professor Datuk Dr Rahmat Mohamad, Associate Professor Dr Shamrahayu Ab Aziz, Dr Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.

Only after listening to all above did the Rulers Council leave it to the Yang DiPertuan Agong, who represents the Rulers Council, to take the matter with the Prime Minister. The Rulers Council could have there and then issued a statement to show their displeasure at the manner their Government had acted in matters that could have an impact on the rights and position of Islam as the religion of the Federation, the Malay Rulers, the privileges of the the Malays and Bumiputeras, and the National Language.

This is not the first time that Saifuddin has gotten himself in hot soup. When he was a Minister in Najib Razak’s administration, he came up with a National Unity Bill when that was not the term given to him as Chairman of the National Unity Consultative Council. As a result, Najib Razak and the Attorney-General then were summoned to the same meeting four years ago and received a telling or two.

Mahathir was very obviously furious as seen in the video of a press conference made after announcing Malaysia’s pulling out of the Rome Statute, and unnecessarily alarmed the people with words like coup-d’etat to justify the Government’s about turn.

What he, and his supporters seem to have forgotten is that he is the Prime Minister of His Majesty’s government. It was the agreement signed between their Majesties with the ruling coalition in 1957 to transfer the administrative powers vested in the British advisors by their Majesties from the former, to the government that was elected by the people.

This was true then, true when the British were still here, and still true now that although the Rulers had divested much of their independence, they remain sovereign; and independence is not equal to sovereignty.

As a principle of international law, sovereignty denotes, in its purest form, the concept of a ‘supreme authority’ be it an individual or a collective unit and implied power to exercise independence both internationally and domestically.

And Professor Datuk Dr Ramlah Adam rightfully pointed out that the powers of the Malay royalty are now included in the Federal Constitution. They (the Rulers Council) should have been consulted first, as accorded by the Constitution, before the government took unilateral decisions to introduce and ratify ICERD and the Rome Statute.

Other than having the rights to be consulted, to encourage and to warn in daily administrative matters, the Malay Rulers also have the duty to protect the sanctity of Islam as the religion of the Federation and the states they reign over, the special privileges of the Malays and Bumiputeras, the special position of the Malay language as the National language.

These are the rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution, and any attempt to introduce anything that has any effect on the above, will need the agreement of the Rulers Council. Any deviation from that is against the Federal Constitution and the spirit in which it was made and agreed to by our forefathers with all the parties involved.

And I saw an online comment by a non-Malay netizen asking what have the Malay Rulers done that have benefitted the people? After the post-World War 2 racial clashes that saw the birth of the First Emergency, the British based on a priori saw the need to resettle the Chinese in camps while between 20,000 and 50,000 be sent back to China.

The plan moved at a snail’s pace due to the objections by many, and with the total withdrawal of the Kuomintang to Formosa, the repatriation of the Chinese came to a halt in September 1949 when the Communist Party of China closed off all ports and beaches. Only 6,000 Chinese from Malaya were sent back (Anthony Short, 1975 pp 178-201). The rest were settled in new villages to curb them from supplying the Communist Party of Malaya with food and other essentials.

Most of them had never had any form of allegiance to Malaya, its Rulers and government. Therefore, in granting citizenship to them they were required to give allegiance to the Rulers and the Federation.

That is the price you have to pay to become the citizens of this nation.

The same goes to all the Members of Parliament and members of the government cabinet: you have all taken an oath of allegiance to the Yang DiPertuan Agong, who represents the other eight Malay Rulers. State executive councillors and elected representatives have also taken the oath of allegiance to their respective Ruler. You are all administering the governments of the Federation and its states on behalf of the Malay Rulers, therefore it is totally unbecoming for you to act as though they are equals.

As in the words of Tengku Amer Nasser Ibrahim, the adopted son of the 16th Yang DiPertuan Agong, posted to his Instagram story:

“Tadbir” must be accompanied by “Adab”, only then will the outcome be just.

So, stop toying around with the Malay Rulers, the sanctity of Islam, the privileges of the Malays and Bumiputeras, and the special position of the Malay language as the National language.

We, the rakyat, are watching.

The Malaysian Concord (Part 4) – The Position and Function of the Malay Rulers

This article follows a previous one on the Malay and Bumiputera special rights.

A couple of days ago it was made known to the public that the street names in a certain suburb of Shah Alam were changed to Chinese characters, in contravention of Sections 2 and 9 of the National Language Act, 1963/67.

Yesterday, HRH The Sultan of Selangor decreed that the street names be taken down and replaced by ones in the Malay language, which is the National Language.

I mentioned in a previous post that a national language is a tool to unite the peoples of Malaysia. 

It was the intention of our forefathers in the quest for independence to have ONE language to unite all, and that is the Malay language with a Romanised written form, so that the non-Malays could learn the Malay language rapidly (Tunku Abdul Rahman, The Road to Independence, 1984: pp.112-114).

I gather that those were the reasons His Royal Highness issued the decree mentioned above – in line with one of the functions of the Malay Rulers: to care for the people’s welfare.  Therefore, if there is any issue that may cause tension, the Malay Rulers will step in to remind the people to respect each other and to respect the laws.

What I find disgusting in this episode is that the local government, or local council, allowed for the street name change to happen, forgetting that every instrument of the government is acting on His Majesty’s Service.

Not too long ago, all government envelopes had URUSAN SERI PADUKA BAGINDA stamped at the top; that was until someone who was not fond of the Rulers changed that to URUSAN KERAJAAN.

 

Essentially, all government branches, including the Federal cabinet as well as the state executive councillors, are acting on behalf of the Yang DiPertuan Agong and Sultan (in the case of states).  

They are not independent of the Rulers – which is why they are sworn in before the Agong or the Sultan.

The Malay Rulers have divested much of their independence now as they did before during the period of British administration.

However, both they and their state remain sovereign. Independence is not equal to sovereignty.

The British were here through the various treaties signed with the respective Malay Rulers.  Save for the Japanese occupation, Malayan Union period, Pulau Pinang, Melaka and for a while, Pangkor, the Dindings and Larut, Peninsular Malaysia was never under British colonial rule.

There were three test cases to determine the sovereignty of the Rulers and the state they ruled:

 

  1. The infamous Mighell v The Sultan of Johore (1894) where it was ruled that, although the Sultan by treaty had bound himself not to exercise some rights of a sovereign ruler, this did not deprive him of his character as an independent sovereign;
  2. In Duff Development Company Limited v The Government of Kelantan (1924), the House of Lords similarly upheld the sovereignty of Kelantan and its Ruler was not intended to be qualified by the terms of the treaty.
  3. In Pahang Consolidated Company Limited v State of Pahang (1933), the Privy Council summarised the constitutional position in Pahang as follows: subject to the limitations which the Sultan had from time to time imposed upon himself, he remained ‘an absolute ruler in whom resides all legislative and executive power.’ (See, 1894; Q.B 1924; A.C and M.L.J).

The British were in the Malay states to assist the Malay Rulers in the administration and management of their respective states, and were under the Rulers’ payroll.  

The only matters that they could not touch were the states’ Islamic affairs and Malay customs.

Sir Frederick Lugard wrote of the British Residents:

“From the first to last the theoretical independence of the states was the governing factor in the system evolved in Malaya. The so-called ‘Resident’ was in fact a Regent, practically uncontrolled by the Governor or Whitehall, governing his ‘independent’ state by direct, personal rule, with or without the co-operation of the native ruler.” (Sir F.D Lugard, The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa, London, 1926: pp.130-1, vid. pp.8-10).

One such Resident was of course James Wheeler Woodford Birch who, in the words of Sir Richard Olaf Winstedt, “dashed into Perak’s Augean Stables like an angry Victorian schoolmaster, confident that it could all be cleaned up with a little firmness and decision.” (Winstedt, History of Perak, JMBRAS, xii, 1).

Birch’s monumental tactlessness, especially over the regulation of taxes, drove all the Sultan’s Chiefs into frantic opposition which resulted in his assassination in 1875.

Other than the occasional odd behaviour by some Residents, the Malay Rulers and their state remained sovereign and ‘independent’.  In an answer to Colonel Josiah Wedgwood (Labour – Newcastle-under-Lyme) about the control over the states of Malaya, Sir Phillip Cunliffe-Lister (Conservative – Hendon), Secretary of State for the Colonies replied:

“There is no question at all of altering in any degree, even by a comma, the Treaties which bind us, and which are charters of the agreements with the Rulers both of the Federated and the Unfederated Malay States.” (British Parliament Hansard, Commons Sitting, Class II, HC Deb 14 July 1933 vol 280 cc 1429).

With the Independence of Malaya, all the administrative powers handed down by the Malay Rulers to the Federal and State Councils was passed to the government that was chosen by the people of Malaya in the 1955 elections.  

The Federal cabinet administer the government of the Yang DiPertuan Agong, who was elected by the Malay Rulers to represent Their Highnesses at Federal level, while the Menteri Besar and state executive councillors administer the state for the Sultans.

The Malay Rulers, as owners 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 1867, Bagehot asserted in “The English Constitution” that the Constitution needed two parts: the dignified – to excite and preserve the reverence of the population’ and the other, the efficient – to ‘employ that homage in the work of government’. 

The monarch was the prime example of dignity in this sense and the Prime Minister (Menteri Besar) and his cabinet (executive councillors) of efficiency.  

Therefore, the monarch, while lacking executive power, had an important constitutional role.

HRH The Sultan of Selangor was correct in the exercise of his function when reminding the people to not touch on the matters that have been agreed upon and are already enshrined in the Constitution – the sanctity of Islam, the National Language, the Malay and Bumiputera special rights, and the position and function of the Malay Rulers.  

Such action, had the Sultan not interjected, would be naïve and dangerous to the fabric of the society.

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. “

(This article was first published on The Mole)

The Malaysian Concord (Part 3) – The Malay and Bumiputera Special Rights

Recent protest against ICERD – Bernama

One of the functions and roles of the Malay Rulers is to safeguard the interests of the Malay and Bumiputera communities enshrined in the Federal Constitution.  That is what HRH The Sultan of Selangor did when he voiced out against ICERD and liberalism.

In the previous posts (The Malaysian Concord (Part 1) – The Sanctity of Islam and The Malaysian Concord (Part 2) – The National Language) I have shown you why Islam was made the religion of the Federation, and why the Malay language was made into the National Language.  I also explained why the Reid Commission was just a commission and not a party to the discussions and negotiations to the independence of Malaya and whatever put forth by the commission were recommendations for the Constitution, not the hard-and-fast rule.

The Malay precedence had always been the mantle of the British Residents.  Frank Athelstane Swettenham, the first Resident-General of the Federated Malay States, saw himself as the patron to an heir (the Malays) who was in danger of losing his inheritance to the immigrant Chinese and Tamils.  He wrote:

“The position he occupies in the body politic is that of the heir to the inheritance. The land is Malaya and he is the Malay. Let the infidel Chinese and evil-smelling Hindu from southern India toil, but of their work let some profit come to him.” (Sir Frank Swettenham, The Real Malay (London, 1899): pp. 37-40)

The economic situation of the Malays, pushed to the hinterland by the immigrants, became dire that they had to take loans from the chettiars putting their land as collateral.  When even the interest could not be serviced, these lands were taken into possession by the moneylenders.

The Federated Malay States government intervened and introduced a series of legislations to curb the Chettiars’ operations, one of which was the Malay Reservations Enactment, 1913, which objective was “to provide means for preventing the passing of Malay landholdings into the possession of foreigners”(Frederick Belfield, Legal Adviser, FMS, Report for the Secretary of State on the FMS Enactment 15 of 1913).

In 1910, E.W Birch, the 8thResident of Perak, noted the need for such Enactment:

“It will mean that we shall free our peasantry from the clutches of those people who now remit to India the large sums of which they now bleed the people.”(Hastings Rhodes, Objects and Reasons, Malay Reservations Enactment of 1913, quoting a Minute by E.W Birch dated 7 September 1910; in Selangor Secretariat, File 3013/1912, Conf. File 10/1912).

Two constitutional changes were introduced in 1909, the establishment of a Federal Council, and the enactment to change the title Resident-Generalin the FMS to that of Chief Secretary.

The Governor responsible for these introductions, Sir John Anderson, said that the intention of these changes, in his words, was for“the full safeguarding of Malay interests.” (Proceedings of the Federal Council, FMS, 11 December 1909).

Sir Laurence Guillemard, High Commissioner for the Federated Malay States wrote:

“The moral is clear that real danger lies ahead if the Malays do not get their share of the benefit of the development of their own country.”(C.O 273, Vol 539, Laurence Guillemard to Secretary of State, 3 May 1927).

To put things in perspective, not only were the Malays left out economically, they were also already minorities in the Federated Malay States.  According to the census of 1931, the population of the FMS comprised of a Chinese majority (41.5 percent), followed by Malays (34.7 percent), Indians (22.2 percent) while various other ethnic groups made up the remaining 1.6 percent (Loh Fook Seng, Malay Precendence and the Federal Formula in the Federated Malay States, 1909 to 1939, JMBRAS, Vol 45, 1972: p.48).

When the discussions for the independence of Malaya took place, the MCA which represented the interests of the Chinese community in Malaya, agreed for the continuation of Malay special privileges that was already being enjoyed by the Malays under the Federation of Malaya Agreement of 1948 (Straits Times, 28 August 1956).

Even on the issue of making Mandarin a national language at par with Bahasa Melayu, the MCA Central Committee which debated the Alliance memorandum to the Reid Commission put the issue to a vote: 15 votes were against the recommendation that Mandarin be recognised as an official language, 14 voted for, 31 abstained (Straits Times, 28 August 1956).

Reid Commission was required by its terms of reference to “safeguard the special position of the Malays and the legitimate interests of the other communities” (CO 889/6, C.C. 2000/15, Summary record of Commission’s meeting, 27 August 1956).

The Constitutional Bill was then debated in the England’s House of Commons.  Three amendments to the Bill was sought.  The third proposed amendment pushed by Conservative MP Joan Vickers (Devonport) noted that the 15-year limit for Malay special rights recommended in the Reid Report was omitted from the Bill.

However, the majority felt that any eleventh-hour amendment could upset the political compromises embodied in the Constitution (Commons Debates, 19 July 1957, pp. 1590-1591).  The Secretary of State concluded that any accepting of proposed amendments would result in the reopening of all issues on which agreement had already been reached (Ibid., pp. 1592-1594).  Therefore, all the proposed amendments were rejected and the Federal Constitution of Malaya, as part of the Malayan Independence Bill, was adopted unchanged.

These special rights were then extended to the Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak through Paragraph 62 of the Malaysia Agreement, 9 July 1963, pages 43 and 44. But this did not come easy.  Many non-Bumiputera groups were opposed to the idea of according the natives of Sarawak with special rights.

A group from the Sarawak United People’s Party led by Ong Kee Hui had a contempt for the backwardness of the natives and had regarded their leaders as men of no consequences.  This prompted the SUPP’s leader in Sibu Jonathan Bangau, an Iban, to resign.

The Ibans, however, told the Cobbold Commission that they were all for Malaysia and some even emphasised on the need for a speedy arrival of better education and development for the Iban community.  In North Borneo, the only negative views were given by the British officials and expatriates as well as the rich (non-Bumiputera) local businessmen.

Both Donald Stephens (Chairman of the Committee of the North Borneo Alliance) and Stephen Kalong Ningkan (Secretary-General of the Sarawak Alliance) both accepted the Inter-Governmental Committee report.  Sarawak Council Negri voted unanimously to adopt the report on 8 March 1963, while the North Borneo Legislative Council unanimously adopted the report on 13 March 1963.

The special rights of the Malays and the Bumiputeras are there to protect their interests so that they do not get swallowed whole in their own land.  The Fijians learnt this the hard way when the Indo-Fijian (Indian descent) minority which numbered less than 40 percent of the population, dominated everything from government to economy, leaving the ethnic Fijians on the sideline.

If the rights of the Malays and the Bumiputeras that was agreed upon by our forefathers are now being questioned, should they now not ask for a better position for themselves? Perhaps a 70-percent equity and quota in everything from now on, or something even better?

(This article was first published on The Mole)

The Malaysian Concord (Part 1) – The Sanctity of Islam

Islam is the religion of the Federation of Malaysia as enshrined in its Constitution after being agreed upon by all those party to her establishment (Photo credit: Azirull Amin Aripin/Getty Images)

HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah is known to be a private person and rarely voices out.  The only times that he would voice out is when matters pertaining to the Constitution is touched upon, and yesterday was one of those times.

He said that the act of a certain group questioning the sanctity of Islam, the special rights of the Bumiputeras, the national language, and the function and position of the Malay Rulers enshrined in the Federal Constitution need to be immediately addressed and curbed.

I have come across such people, and unfortunately, many are young Malays.  They do not seem to understand that the social contract made between the various races of Malaya prior to 31stAugust, 1957 and Malaysia prior to 9thJuly 1963 are now part of the Federal Constitution.

Nor do they know the parties who signed both agreements for the independence of Malaya, and the formation of Malaysia, and understand why those agreements were made.  I put a partial blame on the education system where we were taught that we were all colonised by Britain when that is not true, except during the Malayan Union period.

Although Islam had been preached in the Malay Archipelago, Indo-China and China as early as the seventh century, it is largely held that Islam arrived in the Malay peninsula in the 12thcentury.  Syariah laws such as the Batu Bersurat of Terengganu, Hukum Kanun Melaka, Undang-Undang 99 Perak became the laws of the land.

In 1908, Richard James Wilkinson, a British colonial administrator who, with the backing of Sultan Idris I, was responsible for the establishment of the Malay College in Kuala Kangsar, and who was also a scholar of Malay and history, wrote on the status of Islamic law in the Malay states:

There can no doubt that Moslem law would have ended up becoming the law of Malaya had not British law stepped in to check it.” (William R. Roff, Patterns of Islamization in Malaysia, 1890s-1990s: Exemplars, Institutions and Vectors, Journal of Islamic Studies Vol. 9, Is. 2 (1998), 210-228, at 211).

This was reinforced by two British judges in the landmark case of Ramah binti Ta’at v Laton binti Malim Sutan 6 FMSLR (1927).

It is due to these facts that the sanctity of Islam was retained in the Federation of Malaya Agreement of 1948, and was introduced into the Federation of Malaya Constitution of 1957.

The English law was only introduced to Pulau Pinang as it was the original British colony.  It was on 25thMarch, 1807 that a Charter of Justice was granted by the Crown establishing a Court of Judicature in Pulau Pinang, with jurisdiction and powers of the Superior Courts in England. This was then introduced to Melaka and Singapore when they became part of the Straits Settlements under British rule.

Only with the arrival of the British residents in the Malay states in the last quarter of the 19thcentury was the English law introduced there in the form of Orders, Regulations and Ordnances, save for the laws and regulations affecting the Malay customs and the administration of Islam.  These laws provided for the administration of justice, the law of contract, sale of goods, bills of exchange, company law, criminal law and procedure, the law of evidence, land law, labour law, and the regulation of many matters of public interest.

The Civil Law Enactment, 1937 (No.3 of 1937, FMS) introduced the whole body of the common law of England and of equity of minor modifications.  It provided always that the common law and rules of equity are “subject to such qualifications as local circumstances render necessary”.  Local laws and custom were made applicable.

Islam was made the religion of the Federation of Malaya.  Although Lord Reid felt it was unnecessary to have such a provision as the Sultans would be the Head of Islam in their states, it was added to the draft of the Federal Constitution at the suggestion of Justice Hakim Halim bin Abdul Hamid of Pakistan, who was a member of the Reid Commission, because he said the suggestion by the Alliance party that represented the people of Malaya to have that proviso added was inoccuous.

Sir Donald Charles MacGillivray personally felt that such a provision would be advantageous because the Yang DiPertuan Agong could at the same time become the head of the faith in the Settlements of Penang and Malacca (CO 1030/524 (10), MacGillivray to Secretary of State, 25 February 1957; See also CO 1030/524 (18), MacGillivray to Secretary of State, 21 March 1957).

This accord was reached between those who were party to the discussion – the Malay Rulers, the British who administered the Rulers’ sovereign states on their behalf, and the multiracial government chosen by the people in 1955 to represent them.

There is even a separation of jurisdiction when it comes to the position of Islam in the Federal Constitution.

The Syariah Law comes under the purview of the respective Rulers, and the Attorney-General of Malaysia, under Article 145(3) does not have the jurisdiction over proceedings before a Syariah court, a native court of a court-martial.

This separation of jurisdiction is also present as provided by Article 121(1A) where both the High Court of Malaya and High Court of Sabah and Sarawak do not have any jurisdiction over Syariah matters.  Therefore, any claim that the Syariah law infringes on the rights of the non-Muslims is fallacious.

The Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee chaired by North Borneo’s (later Sabah) Donald Stephens (later Tun Fuad Stephens) stated in its memorandum dated 3rdSeptember 1962 that the acceptance of Islam as the religion of the to-be-formed Federation of Malaysia would not endanger religious freedom within Malaysia nor will it make the country less secular (Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee Memorandum on Malaysia, 3 Sep 1962, p.p 120).

And that is how Islam became the religion of Malaysia.

(This article was first published by The Mole)

Angkatan Tentera Malaysia Dan Perlembagaan

17-Kehebatan-Pasukan-Tentera-Malaysia-Yang-Mungkin-Belum-Pernah-Anda-Dengar-758x505

Sekali lagi saya tertarik dengan satu mesej dalam WhatsApp oleh seorang bekas pegawai tentera yang sering menghentam pihak kerajaan.  Mari kita lihat apa yang ditulis oleh beliau kali ini:

Saya Mej xxxxxxx Bersara ingin memperingatkan semua anggota Tentera Dan Veteran ATM supaya menolak Barisan Nasional dan mengundi Pakatan Harapan (mengunakan logo PKR) Di PRU 14 ini kerana selama 60 tahun kerajaan BN gagal mertabatkan ATM Dan Veteran.

SIRI PENERANGAN KEDUA

SEJAK MERDEKA, KERAJAAN BARISAN NASIONAL MENGHALANG YANG DI PERTUAN AGONG, SEBAGAI PANGLIMA TERTINGGI ANGKATAN TENTERA UNTUK MEMBERI KUASA MUTLAK KEPADA MAJLIS ANGKATAN TENTERA BAGI MENTADBIR DAN MEMBUAT PERATURAN TERUTAMA TENTANG SYARAT SYARAT PERKHIDMATAN, GAJI DAN PENCEN ATM.

Saudara2 Dan Saudari2 sekalian.

Saya ingin memberi tahu bahawa kepincangan mengenai syarat2 perkhidmatan anggota dan masaalah hak hak Veteran kebanyakkannya berpunca daripada keengganan kerajaan Barisan Nasional mematuhi undang2 dan peraturan2 yang sedia ada dan menafikan badan yang ditugaskan oleh undang2 untuk membuat perancangan atau dasar ATM.

Undang2 adalah peraturan hidup. Negara Yang ditadbir tidak mengikut lunas undang2 adalah negara yang tidak tergolong kepada negara rule of law atau negara Yang tidak tertakluk kepada kedaulatan undang2.

Saudara2 Suaudari2 sekali,

Jika undang2 kerap dicabul, undang2 tidak bermakna lagi. Kita sebagai rakyat Yang cinta pada negara hendaklah berani mempersoalkan jika kerajaan membelakangkan undang2 negara dan penguatkuasaanya untuk kebaikan rakyat. Kerap kali kerajaan Barisan Nasional mengunakan undang2 hanya untuk menekan rakyat dan bukan untuk membantu rakyat.

Rakyat mesti faham bahawa Perlembagaan Persekutuan adalah undang2 yang tertinggi Di Malaysia. Ini dia akui sendir oleh Perkara 4(1) perlembagaan persekutuan: “Perlembagaan ini adalah undang2 utama persekutuan dan apa2 undang2 yang diluluskan selepas Hari merdeka yang tidak selaras dengan perlembagaan ini adalah tidak sah setakat ketidakadilan itu.”

Semua anggota ATM, Veteran dan rakyat jelata hendaklah faham bahawa Perlembagaan Persekutuan adalah merupakan Satu kontrak sosial rakyat yang tidak boleh di persoalkan Dan diganggu gugat oleh mana2 mana2 individu atau mana2 pihak terutama oleh parti politik yang memerintah.

Yang paling penting didalam perlembagaan persekutuan bagi ATM adalah tiga Perkara seperti berikut:

PERTAMA

  1. Perkara 41 perlembagaan persekutuan yang menyatakan bahawa Yang Di Pertuan Agong hendaklah menjadi Pemerintah Tertinggi Angkatan Tentera Persekutuan.

Perkataan hendaklah tersebut bagi saya bermaksud SPB YDP Agong mempunyai kuasa mutlak untuk memerintah Dan mentadbir ATM.

Jika ada sesiapa hendak mempertikaikan kuasa SPB YDPA ini, saya cabar mereka membaca kuasa budicara Baginda dalam Perkara 40(2) dan 40(3) perlembagaan persekutuan.

Kuasa YDPA sebagai Panglima tertinggi Angkatan Tentera ada hubung kaitnya dengan wasiat nombor 3, wasiat Raja2 Melayu yang di buat pada 5 Ogos 1957 Yang berbunyi:

“Bagi menjaga kamu Dan bagi Melindungi anak cucu kamu Serra hak milik kamu, Kami tubuhkan Rejimen Askar Melayu selain untuk membanteras kekacauan Dalam negara Dan ancaman dari luar negara”

ATM diketuai oleh Panglima Angkatan Tentera (PAT) Yang berpangkat Jeneral, Laksamana atau Jeneral TUDM. Beliau adalah ketua professional ATM Yang dilantin oleh SPB YDPA. PAT memerintah dan mentadbir ATM melalui Jawatankuasa Panglima2 (JPP) dan juga yang paling penting keputusan mengenai pemerintahan, pentadbiran dan Disiplin Di bantu Majlis Angkatan Tentera (MAT) dimana kuasa MAT datang terus dari YDPA.

Yang membuat Kita sedih sekarang kita lihat ATM di tadbir secara terus oleh Menteri Pertahanan, orang politik Dan KSU Yang tidak ujud kuasa mereka dalam undang2 untuk memerintah ATM secara langsung.

KEDUA

  1. Perkara 137(1) perlembagaan persekutuan, menyatakan MAT hendaklah bertanggonjawab dibawah kuasa am YDPA bagi:

– pemerintahan

– tatatertib Dan

– Pentadbiran Angkatan Tentera,

– Dan segala perkara lain yang berhubungan dengannya.

Ahli2 MAT Di sebut dengan jelas dalam Perkara 137 (3) perlembagaan persekutuan:

 

  1. Menteri Pertahanan sebagai pengerusi ( *tidak ada kuasa veto, lihat perkara 137(4)(d), Tanpa menhan, ahli2 boleh lantik ahli lain sebagai pengerusi.);

 

  1. Wakil Duli2 Yang Maha Mulia Rajà2 Melayu, Di lantik oleh Majlis Raja2 Melayu;

 

iii. PAT dilantik oleh YDPA;

 

  1. KSU Kementah bertindak sebagai Setiausaha (*tidak ada kuasa veto tapi hanya menyimpan rekod Dan minit, lihat perkara 137(4)(a) perlembagaan persekutuan);

 

  1. 2 orang pegawai turus kanan AT dilantik oleh YDPA;

 

  1. Seorang pegawai kanan Tentera Laut dilantik oleh YDPA;

 

vii. Seorang pegawai kanan Tentera Udara dilantik oleh YDPA;

 

viii. Dua orang anggota tambahan, jika ada, Sama ada anggota Tentera atau premenopausal, dilantik oleh YDPA.

Sejak pemerintahan Barisan Nasional, perkara ini dicabuli, hak hak Yang Di Pertuan Agong Dan hak MAT Di nafikan secara tak langsong.

Saudara2 Saudari2 sekalian,

Kuasa yang di beri oleh Perlembagaan Persekutuan kepada MAT sangat Luas tetapi sedih nya kuasa ini di cabuli dan di rompak oleh pemimpin Barisan Nasional dan KSU Kementah, yang pada dasar nya tidak faham jiwa tentera tetapi mengawal ATM semata2 nya untuk kepentingan politik Peribadi Dan bagi KSU/KSN pula cuba menjadi badan Yang paling berkuasa Di dalam perkhidmatan awam kerajaan malaysia. saya Akan buktikan Dalam siri penerangan saya ini.

Baerbagai2 kuasa MAT yang di beri oleh YDPA Dan semua nya tersurat Di dalam Akta Angkatan Tentera 1972. Berikut adalah beberapa contoh dimana MAT hendaklah bertanggonjawab Di bawah kuasa am YDPA:

 

  1. Sek 15 AAT72: kuasa membuat peraturan2 berkenaan petauliahan Dan perlantikan pegawai, terms perkhidmatan mereka DLL. HAL ini Di perincikan lagi Dalam Peraturan2 AT (Terma2 perkhidmatan bagi Angkatan Tetap 2013)

 

  1. Sek 36 AAT72: membuat peraturan2 berkenaan dengan pengambilan masuk orang dalam Angkatan Tetap, syarat perkhidmatan mereka dll.HAL ini juga di perincikan lagi Dalam Peraturan2 AT (Terma2 perkhidmatan bagi Angkatan Tetap 2013)

 

iii. Membuat peraturan2 gaji Dan elaun Dan emoluments lain bagi pegawai Dan askar-lasykar ang tetap DLL. HAL ini Di perincikan Dalam Federal Army (Pay and allowances) Regulations 1961. Seksyen ini MAT boleh diberikan kuat kuasa kebelakangan kepada apa2 tarikh, Sama ada sebelum atau selepas permulaan berkuat kuasa Akta AT72.

 

  1. Sek. 187(1) membuat peraturan2 berkenaan dengan gaji bersara, pencen, ganjaran dan pemberian lain; Dan peraturan2 ITU boleh menyatakan syarat yang meliputi pemberian Dan kadar gaji bersara, pencen, ganjaran Dan pemberian lain itu, dan boleh mengadungi apa2 peruntukkan lain Yang mungkin perlu dan boleh diberikan kuat kuasa kebelakangan kepada apa2 tarikh, Sama ada sebelum atau selepas permulaan berkuat kuasa Akta AT72.

 

Apa Yang saya nyatakan di atas ada lah sebahagian kecil kuasa MAT yang sangat luas, tetapi kuasa ini tidak di Ikuti secara undang2 kerana orang politik terutama Menteri Pertahanan dan KSU mengambil alih membuat peranan ini. Akhirnya ATM di perlemahkan mengikut cita Rasa mereka.

Saudara2 Saudari2 sekalian,

Ingin saya beritahu bahawa Kementah Dan ATM adalah dua identiti Yang berbeza.

Kementerian Pertahanan Di terajui oleh Menteri Pertahanan dan Di Bantu oleh seorang Timbalan Menteri. Organisasi Kementah mengadungi anggota perkhidmatan awam Yang diketuai oleh Ketua Setiausaha (KSU).

ATM Di ketuai oleh PAT. Beliau adalah ketua professional ATM Yang dilantin oleh SPB YDPA. PAT memerintah dan mentadbir ATM melalui Jawatankuasa Panglima2 (JPP). Hal2 pemerintah, Tata tertinggi Dan pentadbiran ATM Dan segala perkara Yang berhubung dengannya diuruskan oleh MAT.

APA yang belaku sebenarnya dari hal pentadbiran ATM?

Pada tahun 1981, Satu badan Yang mengabungkan perintah tertinggi ATM (MAT) dan Awam Kementah Yang di namakan Lembaga Menteri telah di ujudkan. Lembaga ini dengan secara tidak langsung hilangkan kuasa MAT. Lembaga menteri telah menjadi satu badan Yang meyelesaikan Dan menghuraikan masaalah Kementah keseluruhan nya kecuali berkaitan operasi.

Jika Kita buka sesawang Kementah Di http://www.mod.gov.my/ms/mengenai-kami/carta-organisasi.html Kita Akan dapati PAT Di letak di bawah KSU Kementah.

Keadaan sekarang menjadi lebih malang kepada ATM/MAT di mana Lembaga Menteri Yang saya katakan tadi telah di tukar Nama sebagai KUMPULAN PENGURUSAN ANGKATAN TENTERA. Ahli MAT Yang Di tetapkan oleh Perlembagaan Persekutuan telah di tambah menjadi 17 dengan bertambah nya 7 orang awam Dan Salah seorang ahli dalam MAT adalah Timbalan Ketua Pengarah perkhidmatan Awam (Pembangunan) dari JPA.

Kesan Dari ini, Kita dapati banyak hal hal ATM terutama syarat2 perkhidmatan dan hal gaji telah di harmonikan dengan sistem perkhidmatan awam.

KETIGA

  1. Menurut Perkara 132(1) perlembagaan persekutuan, susunan kekanan senarai perkhidmatan awam adalah seperti berikut:

 

  1. Angkatan Tentera.
  2. Perkhidmatan Kehakiman Dan perundangan.

iii. Perkhidmatan Awam am persekutuan.

  1. Pasukan Polis.
  2. ( KTM – Dimansuhkan).
  3. Perkhidmatan awam bersama Yang disebut Dalam perkara 133.

vii. Perkhidmatan awam setiap Negeri.

viii. Perkhidmatan pendidikan.

Angkatan Tentera Malaysia adalah Yang terkanan sekali dalam senarai protokol perlembagaan persekutuan. Tetapi oleh kerana pencabulan Yang telah di buat oleh orang politik Barisan Nasional Dan Perkhidmatan awam, dan tidak ada seorang pun panglima2 ATM Yan bangun bersuara Dan menentang pencabulan undang2 di dalam perlembagaan persekutuan, Kita boleh lihat bertapa lemah nya ATM untuk membetulkan keadaan ATM Dan Veteran.

APA Yang belaku Angkatan Tentera sekarang telah jatuh dari tangga teratas menjadi sama dengan Polis Yang duduk Di tangga keempat Dan pangkat Dan gred Mereka telah Di harmonikan dengan perkhidmatan awam.

Semua anggota ATM Dan Veteran tahu syarat2 perkhidmatan Dan Gaya hidup ATM tidak sama dengan Awam Dan Polis. Tetapi kenapa ATM harus ikut gaji Dan syarat2 perkhidmatan tertentu awam? Di mana Keadilan Yang Di beri kepada ATM?

Perubahan2 syarat2 ini Akan secara langsung tempias kepada kedudukannya Veteran ATM. Pesara terpaksa ikut sistem Pesara Awam Yan rata2 mereka semua berumur 60 tahun keatas. Dan telah berkhidmat lebih dari 35 tahun. Pehinaan terhadap ATM sudah bermula 45 tahun lalu (lihat penerangan Siri Satu saya).

Saudara2 Saudari2 sekalian,

Saya Akan ulas lebih banyak isu2 pencabulan undang2 Yang Di lakukan pada ATM Dalam Siri2 penerangan saya Yang berikut nya.

Untuk mengubah nasib kita, Kita Mesti tolak BN Dan gantikan dengan kerajaan Yang Di pimpin oleh Parti politik baru.

Marilah Kita bersama2 mengundi Pakatan Harapan yang mengunakan logo PKR pada PRU14 ini. InsyaAllah

Sekian wassalam.

Mej xxxxxxxx Bersara

Begitu panjang dan lebar tetapi agak dangkal dan terlalu beremosi dalam penyampaian.

Penulis di atas mungkin kurang mahir dalam penterjemahan Perlembagaan Persekutuan, dan lebih gemar memilih peruntukan-peruntukan dalam Perlembagaan yang memihak kepada apa mesej yang hendak disampaikan, dan tidak memberi gambaran yang penuh.

ISU PERLEMBAGAAN MERUPAKAN UNDANG-UNDANG TERUNGGUL

Pada permulaannya penulis telah memberi gambaran bahawa apa jua undang-undang yang tidak selaras dengan Perlembagaan adalah tidak sah setakat ketidak adilan itu.

Semasa isu kalimah Allah menjadi besar akibat pengharaman penggunaannya di dalam Kitab Injil Bahasa Melayu mengikut Enakmen Jenayah Syariah Negeri Selangor, ramai yang menyatakan bahawa Enakmen tersebut adalah bertentangan dengan Artikel 3(1) dan 11(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Namun, Enakmen tersebut adalah merupakan suatu Enakmen yang telah diluluskan oleh Dewan Undangan Negeri Selangor yang ahli-ahlinya juga termasuk mereka yang bukan beragama Islam.  Ianya adalah Enakmen yang digunapakai bukan sahaja ke atas mereka yang beragama Islam tetapi juga, di mana sesuai, digunakan ke atas mereka yang tidak beragama Islam.

Sehingga ada suatu Mahkamah Perlembagaan yang memutuskan Enakmen tersebut tidak sah dari segi Perlembagaan, maka ianya tetap sah dan diterima pakai oleh semua.  Begitulah juga kaedahnya dengan undang-undang lain yang dianggap mencabuli hak asasi rakyat Malaysia menurut Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

YANG DIPERTUAN AGONG SEBAGAI PEMERINTAH ANGKATAN TENTERA MALAYSIA

Melalui Artikel 41 Perlembagaan Persekutuan, Yang DiPertuan Agong adalah pemerintah tertinggi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia.  Namun, apa jua tindakan yang diambil oleh YDP Agong adalah di atas nasihat yang diberikan oleh Perdana Menteri dan jemaah Menteri (Kabinet).

Artikel 40(2) yang disebut-sebut hanyalah berkenaan perlantikan Perdana Menteri, menangguhkan pembubaran Parlimen (Dewan Rakyat), meminta untuk Majlis Raja-Raja bersidang.

Artikel 40(3) pula menyebut Undang-Undang Persekutuan boleh membuat undang-undang di mana Yang DiPertuan Agong boleh bertindak selepas dinasihati oleh orang-orang yang selain dari Jemaah Menteri selain fungsi yang boleh diambil tindakan mengikut budibicaranya.

Ini bermakna, YDP Agong boleh juga membuat tindakan lain selepas mendengar nasihat lain-lain orang selain Jemaah Menteri. Sebagai contoh: mengambil nasihat daripada Badan Kehakiman, Kepolisian dalam hal-hal berkenaan Perlembagaan, Perundangan dan Keselamatan.

Hakikatnya, kuasa yang ada pada YDP Agong hampir kesemuanya dijalankan oleh Perdana Menteri mengikut Artikel 39 di mana kuasa YDP Agong diperturunkan kepada Perdana Menteri dan Jemaah Kabinet, dan YDP Agong bertindak di atas nasihat.  Bertindak mengikut budibicara di sini bermaksud mengambil sesuatu keputusan untuk bertindak setelah menerima nasihat.

Ini bermakna, YDP Agong adalah “de jure head of the state” (Ketua Negara yang sah) manakala Perdana Menteri adalah “de facto head of government” (Ketua Hakiki Kerajaan ).

Maka, kuasa yang diperturunkan oleh YDP Agong untuk mewakilinya di dalam urusan pentadbiran dan lain-lain urusan berkenaan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia diberikan kepada seorang Menteri Kabinet yang dipertanggungjawabkan sebagai Menteri Pertahanan.  Menteri Pertahanan menjalankan kewajipan mewakili YDP Agong, dan bertanggung jawab terhadap Perdana Menteri Malaysia.

Ini bermakna, kesetiaan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia kepada Raja dan Negara bermakna kesetiaan juga kepada Kerajaan YDP Agong yang telah dipilih oleh rakyat dan dibentuk dengan titah YDP Agong.

MAJLIS ANGKATAN TENTERA

Berkenaan Artikel 137 berhubung MAT yang dibangkitkan oleh penulis, tiada sebarang pencabulan berlaku di situ kerana sepertimana yang telah diterangkan di atas, Menteri diperuntukkan kuasa oleh YDP Agong melalui Artikel 39 untuk menjaga hal ehwal Pertahanan.

Apa jua undang-undang yang dibuat mengenai Angkatan Tentera Malaysia termasuk Akta Angkatan Tentera, 1972, adalah merupakan undang-undang yang dibuat di bawah Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan diluluskan oleh badan perundangan (Parlimen) untuk Menteri yang dipertanggung jawabkan serta Kementeriannya menjalankan tugas.

Adalah bahaya jika seorang Panglima Angkatan Tentera atau mana-mana Panglima Perkhidmatan boleh bertindak membelakangkan Menteri yang dipertanggung jawabkan.  Bayangkan sekiranya hari ini Tentera Laut DiRaja Malaysia bercadang untuk menyerang mana-mana kapal tentera asing yang melalui perairan kita dalam keadaan “innocent passage.”

KEKANANAN ANGKATAN TENTERA MALAYSIA

Tidak ada mana-mana peruntukan di bawah Artikel 132(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan menyatakan senarai perkhidmatan awam tersebut adalah mengikut kekananan.  Angkatan Tentera Malaysia bukanlah suatu perkhidmatan awam yang paling kanan kedudukannya berbanding lain-lain perkhidmatan awam.

Ia hanya mainan persepsi yang dibuat oleh penulis.

WASIAT RAJA-RAJA MELAYU

Wasiat Raja-Raja Melayu ini dibuat sejurus sebelum berlakunya Kemerdekaan Tanah Melayu.  Ini adalah wasiat daripada Raja-Raja Melayu kepada rakyat di setiap negeri.  Untuk memahami wasiat ini, kita perlu fahami bahawa kemerdekaan yang kita capai bukanlah daripada pihak British sebenarnya.  Kita imbau kembali sejarah penubuhan pembentukan Persekutuan Tanah Melayu yang merdeka.

Selain Melaka, Pulau Pinang, Singapura, dan (buat seketika) jajahan Dinding dan Pangkor, tidak ada mana-mana negeri dalam Tanah Melayu yang telah dijajah oleh British.  Kemasukan British ke Tanah Melayu dan seterusnya perkenalan sistem pentadbiran British adalah disebabkan perjanjian-perjanjian di antara pihak British dengan Raja di setiap negeri.  Kuasa eksekutif Sultan diperturunkan kepada seorang Residen (Reseden-Jeneral bagi negeri-negeri Bersekutu iaitu Perak, Selangor, Pahang dan Negeri Sembilan). Residen-residen ini adalah digajikan oleh Raja negeri-negeri di mana mereka berkhidmat.

Apabila perbincangan untuk kemerdekaan berlaku, ianya adalah di antara kerajaan British (sebab mereka mempunyai perjanjian dengan Raja-Raja), Raja-Raja Melayu (kerana mempunyai perjanjian dengan pihak British), dan wakil rakyat Malaya yang diwakili oleh Parti Perikatan (UMNO, MCA, MIC).  Perbincangan ini berkitar mengenai pembubaran perjanjian, pemerintahan sendiri oleh kerajaan yang dipilih rakyat.

Maka, apabila berlakunya kemerdekaan Tanah Melayu, kuasa eksekutif yang selama ini dipegang oleh Residen British, diserahkan pula oleh Raja-Raja Melayu kepada kerajaan yang dipimpin oleh Perdana Menteri.

Kemerdekaan kita adalah dari sistem feudalisme, bukan penjajahan.

PENTUTUP

Saya dapati penulisan ini menggambarkan sama ada penulis sebenarnya keliru dengan peruntukan-peruntukan dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan, atau sengaja mahu mengelirukan pembaca disebabkan sandaran politiknya.

Pun begitu, sekiranya inilah yang terbaik yang boleh dibentangkan, nasihat saya kepada beliau adalah untuk banyakkan membaca dan berlaku adil serta tanamkan sikap dan minda yang terbuka.  Penulis nampaknya jahil mengenai sejarah Perlembagaan Persekutuan.  Menjadi seorang peguam tidak bermakna anda mahir dari segala selok-belok perundangan dan perlembagaan.

Bak kata seorang novelis US bernama Edna Ferber: “Minda yang tertutup adalah minda yang menghadapi kematian.”  Oleh itu, jangan dijumudkan lagi minda itu hanya kerana fahaman politik peribadi.

 

To Do Away With The Political Baggage

Sultan Yem & Ayah & Anak

It has been an interesting week indeed.  The long awaited dissolution of the Parliament has happened.  The announcement by the Elections Commission that the polling day will fall on a Wednesday has gotten people excited over nothing.  This would be the sixth general elections that is held on a work day since Independence.  That is six out of 14.  And half of that were done during Mahathir’s time.

Many cry foul saying that it would be almost impossible for them to make the trip back to wherever they came from just to vote, and then go back to where they actually reside. Justice, they say, without even thinking about the injustice they do to their kampung folks who have to endure five excruciating years of having a representative who may be worse than the last guy.

If you don’t want the hassle of having to travel back to vote, register as a voter where you actually live.

Having said that, what was more interesting was the recent Facebook post by His Royal Highness The Tengku Mahkota of Johor that called upon the people of Johor NOT to vote for a party or coalition that would allow Mahathir to win.  That got people riled up.  Prior to this, when the Tengku Mahkota Johor, or TMJ as he is fondly known as, speak out against the ruling government, even those who do not believe in the Rulers Institution would comment “Daulat Tuanku” in a reply.  The very same people now attack HRH.

I am not fond of the royalty speaking out in such manner because I believe that even though their Highnesses may be opinionated, they should remain to be seen neutral.  However, the famously-written lines by Walter Bagehot comes to mind:

…that the monarch has three rights: the right to be consulted, to encourage, and to warn”.

This is 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)

Therefore, it is within the rights of the TMJ to warn the people of Johor on what he thinks could be dangerous to them, and to the unity of the people of the state.

If Barisan wishes to capitalise on this matter, I would say that the timing is a bit off as it was done far too early in the game.  You now see posts being shared on WhatsApp attacking not just the present Sultan, but also his late father, grandfather of the TMJ.  Mahathir, too, was quick to comment saying that the posting by the TMJ would only work in Pakatan’s favour.

Or so he thinks.

Mahathir’s tiff with the Johor Istana predates even Syed Saddiq’s existence.  Two years after becoming the Prime Minister, Mahathir sought the agreement of the late Sultan of Perak for the latter to become the Yang DiPertuan Agong, replacing the Sultan of Pahang whose tenure was ending the following year.  Running simultaneously was a campaign to put the late Sultan of Johor in a bad light, in order to gain the support of the masses for the Prime Minister’s effort.

The relationship between Mahathir and the late Sultan of Johor was so bad that it prompted some ranks within the military to plan a coup in August 1983.  The Chief of Army, General Tan Sri Dato’ Zain Hashim, an illustrious officer, retired at the young age of 52 in January 1984, and was replaced for just over a year by General Tan Sri Dato’ Mohd Ghazali bin Haji Che Mat, who was in turn replaced when he was made the Chief of the Armed Forces, by Mahathir’s brother-in-law, General Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohamed Hashim bin Mohd Ali.  By then, the army was firmly under someone loyal to Mahathir.  Hashim later became the Chief of Armed Forces.

I know of some details of the planned coup, but was asked to keep them confidential.

No, this does not show that the Armed Forces should only be loyal to the Rulers; on the contrary it shows that the Armed Forces should also be loyal to the government of the Yang DiPertuan Agong simply because Cabinet Ministers, according to Article 39 of the Federal Constitution, represent the Yang DiPertuan Agong and are given executive powers to administer the country on His Majesty’s behalf.  Therefore, loyalty shall be given by the Armed Forces to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

The rest of what Mahathir did or tried to do to the Johor Royal Family are as posted by the TMJ.  His glaring lack of love for any royal family goes back to as early as the Second World War period where he began his fight against Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first premier and a member of the Kedah royal family.  In recent episodes,  Mahathir attacked Johor’s Forest City project by creating fear amongst the masses saying that there will be an influx of Chinese immigrants once the project is completed, and then attacked people of Bugis descendants that include not only Najib Razak, but also the Sultans of Johor and Selangor saying that “Bugis pirates should go back to their land“.

The Sultan of Johor criticised Mahathir for playing the race card, while the Sultan of Selangor rebuked Mahathir for the comments made about the Bugis people.

Mahathir remained unapologetic on both occasions.

He is an angry man and will burn the whole country with his anger,” said the Sultan of Selangor in a statement and said his sentiment was shared by all members of the Rulers institution.

When asked about the Sultan’s statement by members of the press, Mahathir replied, “Yes, I am a very angry man, you can see how angry I am. I will burn you, I am always burning things.”

Yes, Mahathir would burn anything down, as long as he gets his way.  He does not care if the country is razed to the ground.  All this is because Mahathir is a man who is running out of time.

Before stepping down 15 years ago, he wanted a Prime Minister who would do his bidding, and protect him  and his family from any probe or investigation, even after he is gone.  When Abdullah Ahmad Badawi refused, he dislodged the latter from the premiership.  In came Najib Razak who has his own ideas on how this country should be run, and made better.  Mahathir, not accustomed with partnering with dissenters, tried to remove Najib.  It was a multi-pronged attack, reinforcing the attacks that were already being done by the Opposition.

He then made a pact with Muhyiddin and Shafie.  He knew that he could not rely on Zahid Hamidi as he was the one who arrested Zahid under the ISA.  Hishammuddin’s loyalty to his cousin is unquestionable.  He undermined the UMNO leadership hoping that Najib would be ousted, and he would plant Muhyiddin on the throne, and his family would be safe again.

Unfortunately, that plan failed miserably.  Najib regained his footing and charged back.  Both Muhyiddin and Shafie lost their jobs and subsequently left UMNO.  Mahathir and his family were now vulnerable to probes and investigations.

And that is why he is adamant on becoming the next Prime Minister – so that he could guarantee a successor who would continue to protect his family.

Why else would a “principled man” break all his principles and work hand-in-hand with his enemies whom, in his knowledge, are bent on destroying the culture and tradition of the Malay people, perhaps the Rulers institution too?

Certain former top brass would remember a particular golf game where the late Sultan Iskandar said to them that we should not have a Presidential system (in Malaysia) and (must) do away with the “political baggage”.

We wonder what the late Sultan meant, but I don’t think I have problems identifying whom he meant by that.

But one thing for sure, Mahathir would rather apologise to Ambiga for using the K-word than to apologise to their Majesties.

See where he puts the Malay Rulers compared to Ambiga.