Your Choice: Evolution or Revolution?

Murdered members of the East Sumatera sultanates, March 1946
Members of the Eastern Sumatera Sultanate killed in March 1946

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?

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.

Defence – Isu Seragam Komunis

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Timbalan Menteri Pertahanan memakai corporate bush jacket Kementerian Pertahanan semasa membuat lawatan. Beliau memakai bush jacket yang sama dalam gambar yang dikatakan pakaian seragam komunis

Heboh disebarkan di dalam media sosial sebuah gambar yang menampakkan Timbalan Menteri Pertahanan memeriksa kawalan kuarter Tentera Darat di mana beliau dikatakan memakan pakaian seragam Parti Komunis Malaya.  Saya terpanggil untuk menulis kerana saya perlu bersikap adil kerana menjadi prinsip saya agar hal ehwal pertahanan tidak dipolitikkan.

Bush Jacket Korporat – Satu Langkah Yang Wajar

Saya tak tahu sejak bila budaya Menteri memakai pakaian seragam tentera ini dimulakan.  Seingat saya, Dr Mahathir semasa menjadi Perdana Menteri Ke-4 hanya memakai pakaian seragam tentera darat semasa beliau dianugerahkan beret kehormat Grup Gerak Khas pada tahun 2001.  Selain itu tidak pernah saya lihat beliau mengenakan pakaian tentera.

Begitu juga dengan Najib Razak semasa melawat para pegawai dan anggota tentera kita di Bosnia semasa beliau menjadi Menteri Pertahanan. Beliau tidak mengenakan pakaian tentera penuh, hanya memakai sebuah jaket celoreng untuk mengatasi cuaca sejuk di sana.

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Najib Razak melawat MALBATT di Bosnia semasa beliau menjadi Menteri Pertahanan

Bapa beliau yang menjadi Menteri Pertahanan sebanyak dua kali, juga tidak pernah memakai pakaian seragam tentera semasa melawat barisan hadapan.

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Dato’ Abdul Razak bin Hussein, yang ketika itu Menteri Pertahanan, melawat pangkalan Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia di Sungai Besi pada tahun 1963

Photo 02 - Tun Razak 31 Dec 74 Visit 3rd Sqdn
Tun Abdul Razak bin Hussein semasa menjadi Perdana Menteri, melawat No.3 Skuadron di Pangkalan Udara Butterworth pada 31 Disember 1974 memakai Bush Jacket berlengan panjang

Begitu juga dengan Perdana Menteri Ke-3, Tun Hussein Onn.  Beliau tidak pernah mengenakan pakaian seragam tentera semasa melawat unit-unit tentera.

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Dato’ Hussein Onn, Perdana Menteri Ke-3, memeriksa kawalan kuarter Tentera Darat memakai Bush Jacket berlengan pendek – foto ehsan Jabatan Penerangan

Pemakaian pakaian seragam tentera oleh individu-individu yang tidak berkenaan, yang tidak pernah menjalani sebarang latihan untuk berkhidmat untuk Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, selain di atas sebab khusus dan istimewa seperti semasa pengurniaan beret atau sayap kehormat, adalah dianggap mencemar pakaian seragam tersebut.  Ini disebabkan mereka yang tidak pernah dilatih tidak mengetahui pahit jerih serta nilai pakaian seragam serta lencana dan sayap tersebut.

Kadangkala sebagai seorang Veteran ATM, saya rasa terkilan dan sedih apabila mereka-mereka yang tidak pernah lalui sebarang bentuk latihan ketenteraan dan diberikan tauliah kehormat, bersikap lebih tentera daripada warga ATM, dan meletakkan pakaian kepala mereka seperti topi ataupun beret yang mempunyai lencana kor, di atas tanah atau di lain-lain tempat tanpa menghormati makna lencana tersebut.

Pada tahun 2015, DYMM Sultan Johor pernah menegur sikap ramai pemimpin tentera dan pegawai kehormat yang memakai pelbagai lencana dan sayap kehormat ma­sing-masing sepanjang masa kerana berdasarkan tata cara pemakaian, ia perlu dipakai semasa majlis yang berkenaan sahaja.

Jika betul-betul ingin memakai lencana sayap sepanjang masa, saya syorkan buatlah terjunan dahulu. Sekurang-kurangnya sayap yang tersemat di dada itu benar-benar mempunyai nilainya dan bukannya hanya sebagai hiasan yang memenuhi uniform,” titah baginda yang pernah mendapat latihan ketenteraan di Pusat Latihan Tentera Darat (PULADA), di Fort Benning dan Fort Bragg di Amerika Syarikat, dan menjalani kursus jurutrbang helikopter di TUDM Kluang.

Oleh itu, saya amat menyokong pemakaian pakaian korporat oleh Menteri dan Timbalan Menteri Pertahanan semasa membuat lawatan ke unit-unit Angkatan Tentera Malaysia.

Pakaian Seragam Komunis?

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Gambar yang ditularkan yang mendakwa Timbalan Menteri Pertahanan memakai seragam Parti Komunis Malaya semasa memeriksa kawalan kuarter

Apakah pilihan pakaian yang ada untuk warga Kementerian Pertahanan yang bukan pegawai atau anggota tentera semasa berada di luar kawasan KEMENTAH?  Pakaian kemeja korporat mungkin kurang sesuai berbanding bush jacket sekiranya lawatan tersebut melibatkan mesyuarat dengan pucuk pimpinan ATM berkenaan hal-ehwal operasi.  Sekiranya ianya melibatkan perbarisan penuh bersama panji-panji maka lounge suit atau baju istiadat Ahli Parlimen lebih sesuai terutamanya dengan kehadiran Raja-Raja.

Tetapi, kenapa pakaian Bush Jacket korporat Kementerian Pertahanan itu mirip pakaian seragam Parti Komunis Malaya? Itu pertanyaan yang diajukan oleh mereka-mereka yang tidak pernah melihat pakaian seragam PKM.

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Pakaian seragam Ketumbukan Ke-10 Parti Komunis Malaya

Pakaian seragam Parti Komunis Malaya adalah berwarna hijau gelap.  Ianya hampir serupa dengan pakaian seragam tempur Tentera Darat ketika itu yang menggunakan warna ‘paddy green‘.  Hanya pada penghujung tahun 1970an barulah Angkatan Tentera Malaysia menggantikan pakaian tempur ‘paddy green‘ dengan pakaian tempur celoreng.

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Bush Jacket yang dipakai oleh Timbalan Menteri Pertahanan adalah berwarna khaki dan bukannya hijau tua seperti seragam PKM.  Khaki adalah warna yang lebih sesuai digunakan untuk tugas-tugas di tengah panas berbanding di dalam hutan kerana elemen penyamaran yang lemah.

Elak Menjadi Lebih Tentera Daripada Tentera

Angkatan Tentera Malaysia adalah sebuah organisasi professional yang berpegang teguh kepada disiplin dan tradisi.  Walaupun tidak dinafikan Menteri Pertahanan sebelum ini banyak membantu dari segi kebajikan warga Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, dan warga ATM memang berterima kasih di atas usaha-usaha tersebut, namun ada beberapa perkara yang tidak disenangi oleh mereka.  Pemakaian pakaian seragam yang berleluasa oleh Menteri ketika itu terutamanya beret maroon kehormat dan sayap penerjunan kehormat di hampir kesemua majlis pernah menjadi sebutan warga ATM.

Penganugerahan tauliah kehormat dengan agak mudah kepada para pegawai beliau ketika itu juga menimbulkan rasa tidak puas hati di kalangan para pegawai dan anggota kerana mereka rasakan nilai pangkat yang dipakai itu terhakis.  Yang memakai itu mungkin hanya mempunyai kesetiaan politik, tetapi kesetiaan kami bukanlah kepada elemen politik.  Kami setia hanya kepada Raja dan Negara.

Begitu juga dengan pengenalan budaya ‘fist bump‘ serta laungan “Perkasa Perwira” yang berlainan dengan laungan semangat tradisi iaitu “Gempur Wira” yang menjadi sebahagian daripada istiadat ATM itu sendiri.

Kita faham usaha kerajaan ketika itu untuk memperkasakan ATM, tetapi cukuplah sekiranya ‘Perkasa Perwira‘ itu hanya sebagai hashtag di media sosial dan bukannya laungan semangat.  Begitu juga ‘fist bump‘ yang sememangnya bukan budaya mana-mana angkatan tentera walaupun separa-formal.  Mungkin tujuannya ketika itu adalah untuk menunjukkan kepada orang awam bahawa warga ATM ini sebenarnya cool.  Kami sememangnya cool, namun sebagai sebuah organisasi yang professional dan bertanggung jawab untuk mempertahankan kedaulatan negara, kami tidak boleh dilihat sebagai cool apatah lagi hip seperti hipster.

Oleh itu, langkah memakai Bush Jacket korporat oleh Menteri dan Timbalan Menteri Pertahanan sekarang adalah satu langkah yang betul kerana mereka adalah sebagai facilitator membantu warga ATM untuk mencapai sasaran doktrin mereka.  Benar, kerjasama baik di antara Kementerian Pertahanan dengan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia itu penting, namun tidak perlulah sehingga menjadi cool dan hip.  Dapatkan apa yang terbaik yang diidamkan oleh warga ATM sebagai end-user adalah lebih bermakna bagi mereka.

Perkasakanlah Angkatan Tentera Malaysia tanpa menjadi lebih tentera dari mereka.

 

Beban Politik Harus Disingkirkan

darth madey

Satu minggu yang cukup menarik. Pembubaran parlimen yang begitu dinantikan telahpun berlaku. Pengumuman oleh SPR mengenai hari pengundian yang jatuh pada hari Rabu telah menyebabkan orang ramai tidak berpuas hati. Ini adalah kali ke-6 sejak kemerdekaan, yang menyaksikan pembuangan undi dibuat pada hari bekerja. 6 dari keseluruhan 14 pilihanraya umum Malaysia. Dan separuh darinya terjadi ketika Mahathir mentadbir Malaysia.

Ramai yang melenting kerana mereka hampir mustahil dapat pulang ke kawasan pengundian dan kembali ke tempat bermastautin selepas mengundi. Mereka kononnya dinafikan keadilan tanpa menyedari mereka sendiri berlaku tidak adil kepada penduduk kampung halaman mereka yang perlu mengadap wakil rakyat yang diundi mereka selama 5 tahun yang mungkin lebih teruk dari wakil rakyat sebelumnya.

Jika tidak mahu pulang mengundi, tukarlah alamat mengundi ke alamat bermastautin.

Lebih menarik, baru-baru di dalam satu penulisan di laman Facebook, DYAM Tunku Mahkota Johor telah menyeru kepada rakyat Johor untuk menolak parti atau pakatan yang akan memberikan kemenangan kepada Mahathir. Rakyat yang membaca terus menghamburkan kemarahan. Sebelum ini, apabila Tunku Mahkota Johor atau lebih dikenali sebagai TMJ mengkritik kerajaan, rakyat, termasuk mereka yang tidak mempercayai institusi beraja dengan akan pantas menulis ‘Daulat Tuanku’. Kini khalayak yang sama menyerang TMJ.

Saya kurang gemar  sekiranya seorang ahli kerabat diraja mengeluarkan kenyataan sedemikian kerana saya percaya, sungguhpun mereka mempunyai pandangan tersendiri, mereka perlu kekal tidak berpihak. Namun, ungkapan terkenal dari Walter Bagehot bermain di fikiran saya:

Raja mempunyai 3 hak: Hak untuk berbincang, hak untuk memberi galakan dan hak untuk memberi amaran

Ini diakui oleh Mark R Gillen dari Fakulti Undang-Undang, University of Victoria (Gillen 1994:7) Almarhum Sultan Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah yang juga mantan Ketua Hakim Negara pernah bertitah:

Adalah menjadi satu kesilapan jika peranan seorang Sultan, seperti seorang Presiden, adalah terhad sepertimana yang telah diperuntukan oleh Perlembagaan. Peranan seorang Sultan jauh melangkaui peruntukan Perlembagaan” (Azlan Shah 1986:89).

Maka, adalah hak TMJ untuk memberikan amaran kepada rakyat Johor mengenai apa yang baginda fikirkan sebagai berbahaya untuk rakyat baginda, dan demi perpaduan negeri baginda.

Jika Barisan ingin mengambil kesempatan untuk isu ini, saya fikir waktunya tidak kena kerana ia dilakukan terlalu awal, ketika negara baru hendak ‘memanaskan badan’ untuk menghadapi pilihanraya. Anda kini dapat melihat mesej-mesej yang disebarkan di dalam WhatsApp yang bukan sahaja menyerang Sultan Johor sekarang, tetapi juga menyerang Sultan sebelum ini, iaitu nenda kepada TMJ. Mahathir juga cepat mengeluarkan kenyataan, dengan berkata tulisan Pakatan itu hanya memberikan keuntungan kepada Pakatan.

Mungkin itu yang beliau fikirkan.

Perseteruan Mahathir dan Istana Johor berlaku dari sebelum Syed Saddiq dilahirkan lagi. Dua tahun selepas menjadi Perdana Menteri, Mahathir cuba mendapatkan persetujuan Almarhum Sultan Perak, Sultan Idris Shah untuk naik takhta sebagai Yang Dipertuan Agong ke-8 kerana Sultan Pahang bakal menamatkan tempoh perkhidmatan pada tahun 1984. Ianya berjalan serentak dengan kempen memburukan Sultan Johor, dalam cubaan untuk mendapatkan sokongan ramai.

Hubungan Mahathir dan Sultan Johor begitu teruk sehingga beberapa pegawai kanan tentera merancang satu rampasan kuasa pada tahun 1983. Panglima Tentera Darat ketika itu, Jeneral Tan Sri Dato’ Zain Hashim, seorang pegawai tentera yang amat cemerlang, terpaksa bersara pada usia yang masih muda, iaitu 52 tahun, pada Januari 1984 dan digantikan oleh Jeneral Tan Sri Dato’ Mohd Ghazali Bin Haji Che Mat. Jeneral Ghazali hanya berkhidmat sebagai PTD selama setahun sebelum dilantik sebagai Panglima Angkatan Tentera. Jeneral Ghazali telah diganti oleh Jeneral Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Mohamed Hashim Mohd Ali sebagai Panglima Tentera Darat, adik ipar Mahathir. Tentera Darat kini diperintah oleh seseorang yang setia dengan Mahathir. Jeneral Hashim kemudian menjawat jawatan Panglima Angkatan Tentera. Maka, berakhirlah segala ketidak-setiaan Angkatan Tentera Malaysia terhadap Mahathir.

Saya mengetahui butiran rancangan rampasan kuasa tersebut tetapi diminta untuk merahsiakannya.

Tidak, ini tidak menunjukkan Tentera hanya perlu setia kepada Raja-Raja Melayu, sebaliknya tentera juga perlu setia kepada kerajaan Yang Dipertuan Agong kerana menurut Artikel 39 Perlembagaan Persekutuan menteri kabinet adalah mewakili Yang Dipertuan Agong dan diberikan kuasa eksekutif untuk mentadbir negara bagi pihak Yang Dipertuan Agong. Maka, kesetian perlu diberikan oleh Angkatan Tentera Malaysia untuk Perdana Menteri dan kabinet beliau.

Segala perbuatan dan cubaan Mahathir keatas keluarga diraja Johor telah ditulis TMJ. Bukan rahsia lagi yang Mahathir begitu bencikan keluarga diraja kerana sejak zaman Perang Dunia Kedua lagi beliau telah bertelagah dengan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Perdana Menteri Pertama Malaysia dan kerabat diraja Kedah. Baru-baru ini, Mahathir telah menyerang projek Forest City dengan cuba menakutkan penduduk tempatan dengan kebanjiran warga China dan menyerang etnik Bugis, iaitu keturunan Najib dan dua orang Sultan, iaitu Johor dan Selangor dengan berkata ‘Lanun Bugis patut balik ke tanah asal mereka’.

Sultan Johor mengecam Mahathir kerana memainkan sentimen perkauman manakala Sultan Selangor mengecam komen Bugis Mahathir.

Mahathir masih tidak memohon kemaafan atas kedua-dua insiden itu.

Beliau adalah seorang yang pemarah dan akan membakar seluruh negara ini dengan kemarahan beliau” titah Sultan Selangor di dalam satu kenyataan yang dikatakan turut dipersetujui oleh Majlis Raja-Raja.

Apabila ditanya oleh media mengenai titah Sultan Selangor itu, Mahathir menjawab “Ya, saya memang pemarah dan anda sendiri boleh lihat betapa marahnya saya. Saya akan bakar anda dan akan terus membakar apa sahaja.”

Ya, Mahathir akan membakar apa sahaja asalkan beliau mendapat apa yang beliau hajati. Beliau tidak peduli sekiranya negara ini hancur. Ini adalah kerana beliau kian kesuntukan masa.

Sebelum bersara 15 tahun lepas, beliau mahukan seorang Perdana Menteri yang mendengar cakap dan yang akan melindungi beliau dan keluarga beliau dari sebarang siasatan, walaupun selepas beliau tiada lagi. Apabila Pak Lah enggan, beliau gulingkan Pak Lah. Kemudian datang Najib Razak yang mempunyai idea sendiri bagaimana negara ini perlu ditadbir dan dijadikan lebih baik. Mahathir, yang tidak biasa dengan orang-orang yang tidak mengikut kemahuan beliau, cuba menggulingkan Najib. Ianya merupakan serangan dari pelbagai arah, yang menguatkan lagi serangan sedia ada dari pembangkang.

Beliau berpakat dengan Muhyiddin dan Shafie. Beliau tahu bahawa beliau tidak boleh bergantung harap dengan Zahid Hamidi kerana beliau pernah memenjarakan Zahid di bawah ISA. Kesetiaan Hishammuddin terhadap sepupunya pula tidak boleh dipersoalkan. Beliau menekan kepimpinan UMNO dengan harapan Najib akan disingkirkan dan Muhyiddin akan dilantik sebagai Perdana Menteri lalu menjamin keselamatan keluarga beliau.

Malangnya rancangan itu gagal. Najib kembali teguh dan kini aktif membalas serangan. Muhyiddin dan Shafie dipecat dari kerajaan dan parti. Mahathir dan keluarganya kini berdepan dengan kemungkinan terpaksa menghadapi siasatan ke atas salahguna kuasa untuk mendapatkan kekayaan dan projek-projek tanpa tender terbuka.

Sebab inilah beliau nekad untuk kembali berkuasa sebagai Perdana Menteri – supaya beliau boleh jamin akan dapat melindungi keluarga beliau dari disiasat oleh pihak berkuasa.

Jika difikirkan, kenapa perlunya seorang ‘ yang berprinsip’ melanggar kesemua prinsip  dan bekerjasama dengan musuh ketatnya, yang diketahui ingin memusnahkan budaya dan adat istiadat orang melayu dan mungkin juga, institusi beraja?

Mantan-mantan pegawai tinggi polis dan tentera pasti ingat di dalam satu sesi golf di mana Almarhum Sultan Iskandar berkata Malaysia tidak memerlukan sistem Presiden dan mesti menyingkirkan ‘beban politik’.

Kita mungkin tertanya apa yang dimaksudkan oleh Almarhum tteapi saya rasa saya tidak mempunyai sebarang masalah mengenalpasti siapa yang dimaksudkan oleh Almarhum.

Namun, satu perkara yang pasti, Mahathir lebih rela untuk memohon maaf kepada Ambiga dan DAP kerana menggunakan perkatan ‘keling‘ daripada memohon ampun kepada Raja-Raja Melayu.

Lihatlah sendiri di mana kedudukan Raja-Raja Melayu berbanding Ambiga dan DAP di mata Mahathir.

Inikah sifat seseorang yang boleh memelihara kedudukan agama Islam dan keistimewaan Bumiputera dan orang Melayu di Malaysia?

Berhati-hatilah bila membuang undi kelak.

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.

Non Compos Mentis

Zaid Ibrahim on a campaign trail (courtesy of parpukari.blogspot.my)

His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj, the Sultan of Selangor from my observation is a calm and very private person. He rarely makes any statement or gives interviews to the media except during his birthday celebration.  Only once in a blue moon would Sultan Sharafuddin voice out his concern, especially during the Kajang Move, because it was affecting the efficiency of His Royal Highness’s state government.  The Sultan had also expressed his concern over the rudeness of the Opposition and its supporters towards the late Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak during the Perak constitutional crisis of 2009.

 

The latest episode involves the adverse reaction by DAP’s Zaid Ibrahim to the Sultan’s statement on Mahathir’s remark on the Bugis people.  The statement was made as part of an interview with The Star for this year’s celebration of the Sultan’s birthday.  In his Twitter postings, Zaid said that when some Rulers play politics, they must know the consequences. Do not think there is no price for partisanship.

 

What earned Zaid the wrath of many was when he also Tweeted a warning to Sultan Sharafuddin saying the Sultan should be careful with his words (as) no one is immune when (the) country burns.

 

That is typical of Zaid, when he displays the usual non compos mentis character.  Often displaying his republican attitude, Zaid suits well in the DAP – a party known historically for its rash behaviour when it comes to respecting the Rulers Institution.  It is also well that he is a Malay, from Kelantan, as it would appeal to the fence-sitting Malays in Kelantan who are politically torn after the departure of PAS from Pakatan Rakyat effectively ending the coalition.

 

The late Karpal Singh once petitioned to sue Sultan Sharafuddin’s late father, Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj, in 1987 over a speech by Sultan Salahuddin to the Selangor branch of the Ex-Servicemen’s Association saying that he would not pardon drug traffickers in Selangor. The petition was rejected on the grounds that there was no lis.  In 2009, Karpal Singh had intended to sue Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak for appointing Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as the new Menteri Besar, replacing DAP’s choice Nizar Jamaluddin.  Karpal was found guilty of sedition in 2014.

 

Since gaining some grounds after the 2008 general elections, the DAP has time and again displayed its disrespect to the Rulers Institution by not abiding by the dress code at state assembly openings.  One good example is of DAP’s Gwee Tong Hiang who was the Johor state assemblyman for Bentayan who did not wear a songkok at the state assembly opening.  The late Sultan of Johor, Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Ismail was not amused.

 

Two days ago someone here tried to be a hero by refusing to dress accordingly. If he wants (to differ), then get out of here now!” the late Sultan chastised.  Tong Hiang, unfortunately, was not present then.

 

The DAP had wised up since then.  Seen as a Chinese chauvinist party, such rude behaviour turned them into punching bags of the Malays, especially those from UMNO who had a feast turning the DAP into cheap meals.  The DAP quickly recruited liberal Malays into its fold, including Zaid, to do their dirty jobs for them.  This keeps the heat off the Chinese in DAP, but pit Malays against Malays.

 

What the authorities should realise is that such behaviour displayed most recently by Zaid Ibrahim sends the wrong signal that it is alright to reject Malay traditions including respect for the elders and the Rulers to the younger Malaysian who, at their age, would be mostly anti-establishment by nature.  If this goes unchecked, it would certainly give birth to more Zaid Ibrahims.

 

The authorities should take cue from Sultan Sharafuddin.

 

I am aware that Zaid had long been making false and incorrect accusations against me. He is a politician and a former minister whom I understand is against the royal institution. My advice to Zaid is simple, do not forget where you come from,” the Sultan said.

 

Forest City: Sustaining The Future

Forest City was under a considerable amount of pressure when it first started due to the knee-jerk reactions of some environmentalists and half-baked as well as over-ripe politicians seeking quick publicity to remain relevant.  While the environmental concerns have been addressed and continues to be addressed as the project progresses, it is notable that the political concerns seem to originate only from the Malay politicians.  It seems that the Chinese politicians realise the potential this development brings.

Almost, if not all the issues have been addressed in a recent posting of mine on the matter, but it seems that these politicians are hell bent on flogging an already decomposing horse.

In the meantime, Forest City continues to develop and progress, in very notable ways.

A UN Global Model

On the 31st October 2017, Forest City won the Global Model of Green Building Industrial Park for the second consecutive year.  The award was part of the Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Award (SCAHSA) ceremony held in New York.

Forest City wins the Global Model of Green Building Industrial Park award for its industrial park which has boosted the construction industry

 

The SCAHSA award established by the Global Forum on Human Settlement (GFHS), a non-profit organisation with Special Consultative Status within the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It is a trend setter for urban construction everywhere that respects sustainable development.

Forest City, China’s Wuyi County and Indonesia’s Surabaya City were among the winning entries submitted from 23 countries and regions worldwide. Forest City won the SCAHSA Global Human Settlements Award on Planning and Design at the 11th Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS – XI).

Dr. Arab Hoballah (right), former Chief of the Sustainable Lifestyles, Cities and Industry Branch at United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) presents the Global Model of Green Building Industrial Park award to Forest City

Forest City, by taking full advantage of its technical resources, is creating a 1.7-square-kilometer construction-focused industrial park, to promote the development of a green building industry and improve building precision and quality, said Dr. Wang Jiying, vice general manager for overseas business at Country Garden.

Forest City will include several support facilities and a powerful water transportation system, all of which are expected to be operational in 2019, with the aim of creating a truly industrialised manufacturing base for the construction industry over the next three to five years.

Creating Potential Future Workforce

A month and a half ago when I was at Forest City, I was brought to visit one of five schools adopted by Forest City where children are given free Mandarin lessons for three months.  This is one of the ways by Forest City to ensure that the local community, especially those in the Tanjung Kupang area, have roles to play in the development.

The result is excellent:

The student above is from the first batch of students who started their Mandarin language course in August 2017 and has graduated.  Forest City is not stopping there.  Forest City’s master developer, Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd (CGPV), aims to give back to the community by offering three-month basic Mandarin language courses to some 100 school children there.

CGPV plans to continue to offer the Mandarin courses in the future as part of its corporate social responsibility effort for the community here.

The second intake will be conducted from January until March next year,” Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd corporate communications head Aeron Munajat told reporters when met at SK Tanjong Adang here today where she handed over certificates to the participants.

Aeron said that apart from learning Mandarin as a third language, the three-month language course will also help the students develop self-confidence which will further enhance their competitiveness in the job market in the future.

She said the course involved students and teachers from five schools, namely SK Morni Pok, SK Tanjong Adang, SK Tiram Duku, SK Tanjung Kupang and SK Pendas Laut.

The classes are conducted every Friday and Saturday from 10am to 12 noon, at the community centre in Kampung Pok,” she added.

Forest City Does Not Pawn Johor Land

The continued but futile attacks on Forest City by Malaysia’s Mugabe and his followers have again earned the ire of His Majesty The Sultan of Johor.

Has Johor ever pawned its land? What is the meaning of pawning? With Forest City, the state of Johor has increased in size. It is not about seizing land to be pawned. In Johor, there are international lots and Malay reserve land.  Anyone can buy at the international zone, be it the Mat Salleh from England or people from India, Japan, China. All of them can purchase it.  They can buy (property), but it does not mean they purchase the land to bring it back to their respective home country,” chided the Sultan.

In Johor, we have an international zone, which means that foreigners could buy. It has international status. In Forest City, we do not sell the land, we sell the strata (titles) and these strata (titles) are for permanent ownership in Johor,” he remarked.

The Sultan added that 40 percent of the investors in Forest City are Malaysians and that even the government has shares in the project, and that the project gave a lot of revenue for the state government, including quit rent and assessment, which the state of Johor benefits.

How much revenue will the Johor government get? When Forest City is completed, the assessment, quit rent will go to who? Who will get the jobs? There are transportation (initiatives), businesses and job opportunities. Don’t be narrow minded about this,” said the Sultan.

A throwback at the Sultan of Johor’s displease of Mahathir’s lies about the Forest City project

The Sultan also said that the most visible benefit of the Forest City project was the boost it has given to the value of real estate in its surrounding areas, particularly in Pontian district, which is now developing at a rapid pace.

He gave an example of how in the past, the people of Pontian were only picking buah duku (lanzones), but now people in Pontian own Mercedes Benz cars.

It means that Pontian has become a district that will see rapid development,” the Sultan stressed. “In the past, an acre (0.4 hectares) of land used to cost RM100,000, but now, it is valued up to RM3 million.”

It is no doubt that Forest City will boost the Iskandar region’s marketability.  With consumer prices 100 percent higher than in Malaysia, rent prices 500 percent higher than in Malaysia, many companies in Singapore were driven to relocate to Iskandar, while Johor Bahru’s shopping malls, food outlets and amusement parks have become a favourite for Singaporeans.  Bangkok’s recent wish for Malaysia to extend its High Speed Rail into Thailand will soon make the Iskandar Econmic Region attractive to the millionaires and billionaires of Indochina. And the green, affordable buildings of Forest City will definitely be a hit.

While they all win, the real winners will be the people of Johor and Malaysia.