Why Penalise The Four Academicians For Voicing Their Opinion?

Istana Negara

Almost a year ago, voters voted for change and hailed the dawn of a new era.  They kicked out the Barisan Nasional administration for a coalition that promised them better life quality, better pay, freedom of speech among others.

A month later, the Minister of Education announced that public universities could organise debates and forums “like in other renowned universities around the world” (Menteri: IPTA kini boleh anjur debat, forum – Malaysiakini, 6 June 2018).

This prompted an academician, Dr Khoo Ying Hooi, to pen his feelings saying that the newfound freedom of speech is needed to create a new narrative that academicians do not only teach in universities but have a bigger responsibility, that is to contribute to society (Suara hati ahli akademik yang kini bebas selepas berdekad dirantai – The Malaysian Insight, 9 June 2018).

Just six days to a year of taking over the administration, the same Minister of Education wants the four academicians who presented their views to the Rulers Council to resign from their post (Maszlee: Academics must take responsibility for executive summary on Rome Statute).

He was alluding to the fact that they should not continue to hold their post due to alleged lack of integrity.

The four are Professor Datuk Dr Rahmat Mohamad, Associate Professor Dr Shamrahayu Ab Aziz, Dr Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.  The four were summoned by the Yang DiPertuan Agong to present their views of the Rome Statute to the Rulers Council.  The four were opposed to the Statute and cited their reasons.

The Rulers Council also summoned Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi and Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to present their views and reasons for their support of the Statute.

If the government is truly serious about respecting freedom of speech and expression, then it should also respect dissenting views.  Furthermore, the four academicians, like Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi and the A-G, were summoned by the Rulers.  They did not just appear in front of the Rulers at their own time, whims and fancies. It was an order.

It just happens so that the views of the four managed to convince the Rulers Council that the Rome Statute is not good for the nation while Shad Saleem Faruqi and the A-G failed to convince their Majesties otherwise.

Therefore, in the name of integrity, shouldn’t Shad Saleem Faruqi and the A-G resign too?

ICC: A Strategic Withdrawal by the Government?

The International Criminal Court (photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

We have ratified, but have we withdrawn?

AS we all know, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had announced on April 5, 2019 Malaysia’s intention to withdraw from ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

However, just a week ago Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said that it is only a dead end for ICERD, but not for the Rome Statute (Jalan mati buat ICERD tapi bukan Statut Rome, kata Saifuddin – Free Malaysia Today, 23 April 2019).

Parliamentary Opposition Leader Ismail Sabri Yaakob hit out at the Foreign Minister the very next day. In a blog post, Ismail asked if the Foreign Minister still wants the Rome Statute ratified and what is the Pakatan Harapan government’s agenda? (Menteri Luar Masih Mahukan Statut Rom Diratifikasikan. Apa Agenda PH? – dsismailsabri.com, 24 April 2019).

What I find most interesting among all the points that were brought up by the Opposition Leader are the date when the statute comes into force for Malaysia, and the period of withdrawal from ratification.

Paragraph 1 of Article 126 of the Rome Statute states that the Statute shall come into force on the first day of the month after the 60th day following the ratification. For Malaysia, that date falls on June 1, 2019.

Paragraph 1 of Article 127 states that a State Party may, by written notification, withdraw from the Statute. The withdrawal shall take effect ONE YEAR after the date of receipt of the notification.

What the above means is that come June 1, 2019, Malaysia becomes a State Party. Any withdrawal following that date will only take effect ONE YEAR AFTER the receipt of the written notification. Until the withdrawal comes into effect, Malaysia is obliged to honour the Rome Statute.

Enter Article 7 Paragraph 1

At a glance, the ICC does not cause a nation’s sovereignty to diminish. Unlike the International Human Rights Law, the International Criminal Law does not directly impact national constitutional arrangements.

However, according to an expert in International Criminal Law, Rupert Elderkin, when International Criminal Law comes into play, it may perform quasi-constitutional functions, in particular offering the only means under public international law to remove state officials from office when they are believed responsible for the most harmful abuses of power (Elderkin, R. (2015). The impact of international criminal law and the ICC on national constitutional arrangements. Global Constitutionalism, 4(2), pp. 227-253).

The Attorney-General can argue that the Yang DiPertuan Agong will not be affected if Malaysia decides to declare war against another nation. Maybe not so. That is the least of my worries. It is Article 7 (Crimes Against Humanity) that I am more concerned about.

This Article deals with any act when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack that includes persecution against any identifiable group or collectively on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender, or crimes of apartheid.

Persecution means the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law, while the crime of apartheid is explained as an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups.

I can name several Articles in the Federal Constitution, and the numerous policies aimed at protecting the special rights of the Malays and Bumiputera, as well as the special position of Islam, that are already against Article 7 of the Rome Statute.

The Malay Rulers act as a shield in their respective states for protecting the religion of Islam. If a Sultan refuses to appoint a state assemblyman whom he thinks has the majority support of the Dewan, as the Menteri Besar, on grounds that the latter is not a Muslim, then the Sultan is already acting in direct contravention of Article 7.

In the case of HRH The Sultan of Selangor and the issue of the use of “Allah” in Bibles five years ago, although the State’s religious affairs department acted in accordance with a state enactment that was made under the state’s constitution, that, too, would have contravened Article 7 of the Rome Statute.

It is immaterial whether or not the State’s constitution or enactments contravene the Federal Constitution. It can only be so when a Constitutional Court deems it to be.

Can the Agong and Malay Rulers be prosecuted?

But will the Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Malay Rulers still be protected from prosecution by the ICC? Or, can they be prosecuted by the ICC?

The Malay Rulers know of the policies and Articles that give Islam its status as the religion of the Federation; that give special status to the Malays and Bumiputeras over others; that makes Malay the national language – all of which come under their protection.

One can argue that since the Malay Rulers are constitutional in form, they cannot be held responsible, as argued by the Attorney-General saying that the Agong cannot declare war and is therefore not accountable. However, the Eighth Schedule of the Federal Constitution clearly states their executive powers.

Although the Latin phrase actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea is the common law test for criminal liability meaning the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty, it also means that a crime can be committed not only through one’s intention, but also through the knowledge that one’s action or inaction would contribute the same.

In Prosecutor vs Tihomir Blaškić (ICC Appeals Chamber, 29 July 2004), the ICC Appeals Chamber held that “the person who orders an act or omission with the awareness of the substantial likelihood that a crime will be committed in the execution of that order, has the requisite mens rea for establishing liability under Article 7(1) pursuant to ordering. Ordering with such awareness has to be regarded as accepting that crime.”

In other words, there is no legal requirement of an ideology, plan or policy to articulate the mens rea applicable to crimes against humanity. In this context, the Malay Rulers can be found culpable to promoting and enforcing policies and plans that oppress targeted race or religion, while holding the supremacy of one race or religion.

In the words of Catherine Gegout, and Associate Professor in International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Nottingham,

“The ICC can prosecute any individual anywhere in the world, but for suspected criminals who are citizens of a state which has not ratified the ICC Statute, a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution is necessary.” (Gegout, C. (2013). The International Criminal Court: limits, potential and conditions for the promotion of justice and peace. Third World Quarterly, Volume 34, 2013, Issue 5, pp. 800-818).

How effective can ICC prosecute will depend on how cooperative a State Party is. If the government, as the executive branch of a State Party, decides to cooperate with the ICC and have a Malay Ruler tried by the ICC, then It could.

So, what is the government’s intention?

If there is something that may affect the status of Islam as the religion of the Federation, the special privileges of the Malays and Bumiputera, the National Language, and the status and functions of the Malay Rulers, it is imperative that the government bring it to the Malay Rulers to be deliberated.

By going quietly and ratifying the Rome Statute without first bringing the matter to the attention of the Malay Rulers is an act that contravenes the Federal Constitution. The Malay Rulers have every right to be consulted, to warn and to encourage. The cabinet members all took an oath to serve in His Majesty’s government, a Malaysian government; not a political party’s government.

So, what was the intention of ratifying the Statute? To take Myanmar to the ICC? China for the mistreatment of the Uighurs

Most importantly – June 1, 2019 is getting nearer each day. Why has the government not sent the formal letter to the Secretary-General of the UN to notify of Malaysia’s intention to withdraw from ratifying the Statute? How difficult can drafting a letter be? Does it need more than 25 days to draft one?

Or is the announcement by the Prime Minister 26 days ago a form of strategic withdrawal that will only see a letter sent days, weeks, months or years after June 1, 2019 that will see Malaysia bounded for another year after?

(This article first appeared on The Mole)

UMNO Needs To Revisit Its Past

It has been more than a month since UMNO’s disastrous show in its history of general elections. Although as an individual party UMNO has the most number of parliamentary seats won, it effectively controls two states – a far cry from the grand old party it once was.

As a party, it has failed to show its support for its leadership (I shall go into this a bit more later) it failed to garner the support of the young and first time voters; it failed to retain the support of those who have been its staunch supporters. Most importantly, UMNO failed to remember the reason for very existence.

I sense nothing but trepidation in the first few weeks after the general elections when one by one government institutions come under “reforms”, and then the attacks on the Rulers Institution, namely the institution of the Yang DiPertuan Agong. Hardly any word came out from UMNO’s leadership save for those that came from the normal members.

The strong hands that led to the resignation of two of our nation’s top judges also did not result in strong rebukes from UMNO despite it being a direct interference by one instrument of His Majesty’s government into another.

Of course I am of the opinion that the two top judges are also idiots for caving in and resigning as demanded. It was their job to show the independence of the judiciary and to protect the integrity of their institution, yet they failed miserably to show the example of stewardship to their subordinates as those in charge of that institution.

UMNO is a far cry of what it was back in the late 1970s, let alone what it was in 1946. Losing its power to govern also means that UMNO no longer enjoys the facilities that come with being a government. There have been members who left the party for the other side just because funds are no longer readily available as it was prior to May 9.

Branches find it difficult to hold their annual general meetings because the community halls are no longer available to them. Furthermore, they do not receive sufficient funds to hold their meetings at hotel meeting rooms. They have never had it this difficult and have no institutional memory of how it was before 1981 and Malaysia Incorporated. Members simply do not have the same fighting spirit possessed by their forefathers. What has happened to the ‘unity is strength spirit?

Furthermore, branches were set up without actually soliciting the support of the local residents. You can find that many of the branches are filled with people who are not from where the branch is actually located. How can these people understand the local issues? Branch leadership pays the annual membership fees for fear of being deregistered. How many UMNO members actually go to their respective branch to pay their annual dues?
Which is why at every UMNO General Assembly the Secretary-General would read out the number of UMNO members to-date, not realising that those are false numbers. It would have been almost impossible for UMNO to only get 2.55 million votes, including from non-UMNO members when there are 4 million members!

When the President was attacked from outside and within the party three years ago, hardly anyone stood up to defend him save for a few like Rahman Dahlan, Salleh Said and Ahmad Maslan. There was no ‘defending of the institution of the President’. It was every man for himself. I am of the opinion that members are to defend the leadership of the party when attacked, and change the leadership from within if needed.

How many division actually hold sessions with all members to explain about party policies, how to handle current critical issues after each general assembly? How many members who represented the division members actually attend the general assembly to listen to the speeches and proposals put forth by each state, instead of wanting to get as close as possible to personalities trying to push proposals or hand business cards to them?

There was very little done by UMNO divisions and branches to win the hearts and minds of the community they were supposed to represent. I only see programmes done for their own members.

On the federal level, you see more of UMNO members and members of the BN component parties attending ministerial events than from members of the local community. I chanced upon an event attended by a former federal minister who was lending support to a BN parliamentary candidate in one of my rounds to gauge the election temperature. Of the hundreds who attended, perhaps only a handful – less than 100 were from the local community. The rest were those who were following the former Minister, members of the RELA, police, local council and government officers from an agency the former Minister presided. You cannot gauge how much do the locals actually like the candidate because they were swamped by these extras.

UMNO is also famous for having one-off self-gratification programmes – blood donation, voters registration, skateboarding, free car wash. Unlike with the DAP, there were no follow-ups, no explanation done on why voters should be voting for BN, what a BN victory would mean for the voters.

UMNO’s information machinery at the branch and division levels was also absent. I have never seen any UMNO ‘ceramah’ at any kampung except during by-elections and general elections. Now that UMNO is the opposition, where is this machinery? It has been one month but everyone seems to be busy eyeing for party positions. Pakatan was already at it the moment the results of the previous general elections came out, and they never stopped.

UMNO needs a total overhaul and improvement in terms of mind-set, approach and its constitution. It needs to look at how PAS conducts itself as an opposition party, and its consistency.
In its party elections delegates would have to forget nostalgia. Some have not moved on from the ‘Najib Days’. Wake up. Najib is gone. He has stepped down. He may have been the best Prime Minister and party president but his branding failed. There is no point reviving that.

Instead, UMNO needs to look forward and have an approach that is outside the box. Vote for different people to do different things. The party president should not also be the person who is the Prime Minister-designate. The Prime Minister-designate should also not be the parliamentary Leader of the Opposition. UMNO would be better run if these three people are different people altogether. And top party offices cannot be held for more than two terms.

UMNO also needs to open up to members of other races – not necessarily as members, but members of an appendage: Friends of UMNO, who cannot vote in party meetings, but can run on UMNO ticket during elections. After all, UMNO used to have non-Malay members. PAS has been successful with this approach. There are so many BN-friendly non-Malays out there who do not want to be associated with the other BN component parties (there are only four BN parties left) but support the BN concept.

Talking about membership, UMNO should also allow for direct memberships, approved only at the headquarters level. This would allow for young professionals to join the party without being blocked by branch or division heads. And do away with the quota system if it is still there. As long as a member gets one nomination from a branch (or division for a national-level post), he or she should be eligible to run for any post in the division.

If UMNO is serious about making a comeback, it needs to forget the form it morphed into after 1981. It needs to evolve, incorporating the non-Malays for support, have its leadership subscribe to more accountability. Most importantly it needs to embrace the spirit of 1946 and have members who would not mind sacrificing for the party without ever expecting anything back. It needs to have hundreds of its own Rafizis without the negative aspects, and an information machinery that is aggressively going out there to win the hearts and minds of the masses. UMNO has to become a constructive opposition, with real professionals running and representing the party.

Until then, it can just dream on and wait for another 61 years.

(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.

 

Sabah 20-Point Agreement: Religion

Colonial passport for the colonised people of North Borneo

For the previous installment on the background, please click here.

In his book on Page 101, Dr Jeffrey Kitingan wrote that although there is no objection to Islam being the religion of the Federation there should not be a STATE RELIGION in North Borneo.  Therefore, anything pertaining to Islam in the MALAYAN CONSTITUTION cannot be applied to NORTH BORNEO.

His grouse on this matter came about as a result of the late Tun Datu Mustapha expelling Christian priests from Sabah and accused both Tun Datu Mustapha and Datuk Harris Salleh of acting in such manner to strengthen their political position with the Federal government, therefore Islam should not be the religion of the state of Sabah.

The above controversial statement goes against the agreements reached as recorded by the Cobbold Commission, the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee (MSCC) , and the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) in 1962.

According to the memorandum of the MSCC that was chaired by Donald A Stephens (later Chief Minister of Sabah, Tun Fuad Stephens) with representatives from Singapore, Malaya, Sarawak and North Borneo, the MSCC found that the acceptance of Islam as the religion of the Federation does not endanger religious freedom as evident on Page 120 of the MSCC memorandum dated 3 February 1962:

MSCC Memorandum dated 3 February 1962 PP 120

MSCC Memorandum dated 3 February 1962 PP 120

The MSCC had scrutinised the position of Islam in respect of states other than the Malay States and found no objection was made against the then-present arrangement for Pulau Pinang and Melaka to also be adopted by North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore.

Each of the states above would have its own constitution to address the requirement with Yang DiPertuan Agong as the Head of Islam in those states.  The respective State’s Assembly will enact laws to govern Islamic affairs and form a Board to advise the Yang DiPertuan Agong on matters pertaining to Islam.

On pages 120 and 121 of the memorandum mentioned it is stated so:

 

MSCC Memorandum dated 3 February 1962 PP 120-121

MSCC Memorandum dated 3 February 1962 PP 120-121

In the Report of the Commission of Enquiry (Cobbold Commission), North Borneo and Sarawak, dated 21st June 1962 found that there was everywhere agreement that as the Muslims are minorities in North Borneo and Sarawak, there should be no restrictions on complete freedom of other religions in those states.

Cobbold Commission Report dated 21 June 1962 PP 39

Cobbold Commission Report dated 21 June 1962 PP 39

In relation to that, the Inter-Governmental Committee, headed by Lord Landsdowne produced a report in 1962 and made the following recommendations on religion on Pages 5 and 6 which have been passed by the Sabah (and Sarawak) state assembly as follows:

IGC Report 1962 on Religion PP 5-6

IGC Report 1962 on Religion PP 5-6

The IGC, which has representation from the Federation of Malaya representing the states in the Federation, Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak, recommended that Article 3 needed no amendment.  However, the provision of financial aid to Muslim establishments should only come with the concurrence of the states of North Borneo and Sarawak.  This has since been provided for via Section 3 of the Sabah Islamic Laws Administration Enactment, 1992 where the Yang DiPertuan Agong is the Head of Islam in Sabah, and a Council (Majlis Agama Islam Sabah) was formed to manage and administer the Islamic affairs in Sabah. This has also been provided in the Sabah State Constitution (Articles 5B(1) and 5B(2)).

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, Dr Jeffrey Kitingan was angered by Tun Datu Mustapha’s action to chase out Christian missionaries from Sabah in 11972.  Dr Jeffrey used this as the basis of raising the religion issue that was presented as part of the 20-point memorandum for the inclusion of Sabah into the Federation of Malaysia.

Having understood the reason for his raising the issue again, we must also understand the events that had taken place after Tun Datu Mustapha’s ousting of the Christian missionaries.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) won the state elections and formed the Sabah state government in 1985.  From that point up until 1991, the Sabah state government built 825 churches compared to only 216 suraus and mosques.

The state government’s refusal to entertain a request by the Sabah Islamic Council made on the 2nd August 1986 and again on the 12th August 1986 to amend the state’s Shariah Law (Administration) Enactment No.15/77 to accord to the Yang DiPertuan Agong the power to administer Islam in the state of Sabah as required by Article 3(3) of the Federal Constitution (as amended on the 12th August 1976) and Article 5B of the Sabah State Constitution (as amended on the 28th December 1985) clearly denied the Yang DiPertuan Agong His Majesty’s prerogative that was agreed by the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Council, the findings of the Cobbold Commission as well as the Inter-Governmental Committee, and the wishes made by the Muslims of North Borneo in 1962.

The ousting of the Christian missionaries in 1972 was made because the nine missionaries who were foreigners abused the work permit given to them to work in Sabah, not to conduct evagelical missions.  They were Roman Catholics, Anglicans, the Basil Mission and from the Borneo Evangelical Mission.

As Immigration affairs is a Sabah prerogative as accorded in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, the first act by the Sabah state government under Tun Datu Mustapha was to deny them an extension of their work permit.  They were then given a 14-day special pass to enable them to make arrangements to leave Sabah.  However, the missionaries refused to obey the 13-day order.

Consequently, they were removed from Sabah through a Removal Order issued by the Sabah Immigration Department made under Section 32 of the Immigration Ordinance 12/59.

The Federal government had no role whatsoever in the removal of these missionaries.  It was purely a state decision that was made based on a sound reason – the people of Sabah, regardless of race or religion had been living harmoniously.  However, these missionaries have been sowing the seeds of hatred among the Christians of Sabah towards the Muslims by telling them to fear the “Islamisation” of Christians through forced conversions, a claim the missionaries themselves could not substatiate.

There was a plea made by the Christians in Sabah to the then-Prime Minister for the missionaries to be allowed to remain in Sabah.  Tun Abdul Razak however recommended to the Christians of Sabah to instead allow priests from the Peninsular and Sarawak to replace the nine missionaries.

In his book, Jeffrey Kitingan had profusely spoken about alleged digressions from and breach of the Federation of Malaysia Agreement but avoided on the issue of the Sabah state government of 1985 breaching agreements made by the MSCC, findings of the Cobbold Commission, the IGC as well as the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

On the contrary, the Federal government has been fulfilling its end of the agreement by allowing the freedom for other religions to be practiced by its followers as per the agreement.

At no point was there any intrusion made by the Federal government in the affairs of Sabah, and that the removal of the missionaries from Sabah for violating the conditions of the work permit was totally a state issue, made using the powers accorded to the state of Sabah, as agreed by all parties that had agreed on the formation of the Federation of Malaysia.

In the next installement, we shall talk about the second point – LANGUAGE.

There Is Honour In Honorary

A friend sent me the above article written by a former senior Armed Forces officer on the subject of “honorary” ranks.  I have taken the liberty to share the article below:

As long as I can remember and it is important that we consider this, the only other persons outside the military who donned military uniform were our royalty (the Raja Raja) in their capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the various Corps that made up our armed forces that included the navy and air force. It is largely a ceremonial position that is a common feature in several Commonwealth armies.

However, our country is unique. We have nine Raja Raja who in order of seniority act as patron to the corresponding senior unit they are assigned. It is more or less a permanent inherited position that is, a well-respected custom that remains unchanged to this day.

Military officers whether serving or retired are very proud of our uniform, ranks and military accoutrements. The king, who is also our commander-in-chief, by way of a formal document commissions us. We undergo rigorous training at the various officers training academies domestic and foreign to be commissioned as second lieutenants (one pip) as our initial rank.

It is a long and arduous journey as we progress through a maze of military requirements that consists of passing promotion examinations and career courses to earn a higher rank. Few ever qualify for the rank of general of various grades but as professional soldiers we serve our country and navigate the complex eco system of military service to excel professionally.

Those who served during the height of the Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation as front line troops bore the full brunt of those conflicts. Many of our comrades were maimed and others made the ultimate sacrifice. Thus the weight of history is borne by all who wear the military uniform, and whatever exclusivity it brings is defined by those who served and continue to serve our “tanah air.”

As military officers, we are very concerned that of late, politicians have begun dispensing “commission ranks” — colonels, generals and captains (navy) — among themselves which also extends to other celebrities such as singers, actors, sportsmen and social activists. None of these people have ever fired a shot in defence of the realm or done a day of military training.

Some even proudly display the converted Parachute Badge commonly referred as “Jump Wings” without doing a single jump. There are also cases where certain individuals have the audacity to don the converted maroon beret of our commando units. We adhere to the belief and convention that no one other than the Raja Raja have the right to this honour.

I think it is time we put a stop to these so-called honorary ranks and unauthorised use of military accoutrements. If there is a need for such ranks to be handed out then those chosen need to at least pass basic military training before even being considered for such an honour.

Otherwise, those “rewarded” dishonour the service of men and women, who have actually earned their ranks in the process of serving their king and country.

And lastly I would like to add that of late that large number of non military organisations have all gone “al military/police” by wearing military type ranks, insignias and camouflage uniform to the boot. Let’s keep the ranks of lieutenant, captain, major, colonel etc strictly for the military only.

The top echelon of these organisations have also chosen to wear the cross swords/kris an insignia normally reserved for our top generals and very senior police officers. By doing so they not only confuse the public but our soldiers and policemen as to their standing in protocol.

The country should have only two recognised institutions known as the uniformed service that’s the army and the police.

It’s about time our authorities do something about by having proper guidelines to this effect.

I am puzzled that a retired senior Armed Forces officer does not know that the provision for Honorary commissions exists in the Armed Forces Act, 1972.  I first came across this provision when I studied the Act for the Military Law subject during my Officer Cadet days.

Under Section 8 of the Act it says:

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may grant honorary commissions in the regular forces to such persons as he may think fit.

Honorary Colonels (Navy Captains), for example, are given to civilians whose position in his or her organisation commands assets of strategic importance to the Malaysian Armed Forces, such as the Malayan Railway, ports authorities, the MISC, TNB, Telekom etc., etc., and honorary ranks go down all the way to Honorary Captains (Navy Lieutenants).  The lower ranks include esteemed sportsmen and sportswomen and individuals whose charisma and value to the society would be valuable to the service they are commissioned into, such as to inspire the men and women of the service, to act as a bridge between the service and related civilian agencies, and also to promote the service in public relations exercises.

They are all given the honorary commission of the respective service’s volunteer reserve force.

Therefore you get sportsmen and sportswomen such as Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Datuk Nichol David who have been commissioned into the Navy and Air Force respectively.  You have Dato Irmohizam Ibrahim, the Member of Parliament for Kuala Selangor who has been commissioned into the Navy.  He was selected for the honorary commission by virtue that he is the Chairman of the Lembaga Kemajuan Perikanan Malaysia and has been actively involved in promoting the Navy’s RAKAM (Rakan Maritim) initiative for the fishing community.

Why is this a big thing? Richie McCaw, the former New Zealand’s All Blacks Captain was made Honorary Wing Commander (Lieutenant Colonel equivalent) of the Royal New Zealand Air Force!

The Indian Air Force gave honorary Group Captain (Colonel equivalent) to Sachin Tendulkar, India’s cricket team captain.

These individuals are commissioned as honorary officers in the volunteer forces of the three services of the Armed Forces. These officers do not need to fire any gun as they do not have command status.  However, if there is a request and the command of the service the honorary officer is commissioned into, it would be at the expense of the honorary officer him/herself.

Nor do they get any remuneration from the Armed Forces except for the one-off RM1,000 for them to make their uniform and buy the accessories.  They are also not subjected to the Armed Forces Act and neither are they given a service number.

And it is not up to politicians to hand out ranks.  The commission is given by the Yang DiPertuan Agong on the advice of the Armed Forces Council which comprises of the Minister of Defence, a representative of the Rulers appointed by the Rulers Institution, the Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, the Armed Forces Chief, the Chief of the Services, and two other members appointed by the Yang DiPertuan Agong.

The Colonels-in-Chief and Captain-in-Chief of the respective Corps or Service would have a say on the Honorary commission to be awarded by the corps or service they preside over.  For example, His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor as the Captain-in-Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy has set the number of honorary commissioned officers at 50.  Therefore, the Chief of Navy has to carefully select the individuals the Navy believes to be worthy of such commission.

No wings are given out to these honorary officers unless they have such qualification.  There are cases where former servicemen have been given honorary commission for the role they play in bridging the society and the armed forces, such as Datuk Huan Cheng Guan, who was an other rank in the Royal Malaysian Air Force.  He received an honorary commission for his tireless effort in bridging the society with the armed forces.

If Datuk Huan had a jump wing when he was serving, there is no reason for him not to don the wing if he wears the uniform of an honorary officer.

If Khairy Jamaluddin is the one that is being referred to, then let it be known that he is an active reservist and had undergone basic parachute training and therefore deserves to don the wing on his uniform.  He is also a Brigadier General in the Askar Wataniah.

MS Dhoni, another captain of India’s cricket team was not only given an honorary Lieutenant Colonel but also the jump wings of India’s Parachute Regiment, the regiment he was commissioned into honorarily.

Just like in India, it is customary for any commander of any regiment, corps or service to award honorary jump or pilot’s wings to any individual that they see fit.

As for civilian organisations that have ranks similar to the military and police, I can see several that have that kind of rank.  The Angkatan Pertahanan Awam is Malaysia’s Civil Defence Force and plays a role during wartime in assisting in the defence of the country.  Therefore, it deserves the ranks.  Oddly, it uses military ranks up to Colonel and then use police ranks for star officers.

RELA uses civilian ranks akin to the police because they come from the same Ministry and RELA acts as a support organisation to maintain public order, security and safety.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), although a civilian organisation but like the police it is an armed service.  Its Director-General is appointed by the Yang DiPertuan Agong and plays the role of a paramilitary force at sea maintaining our sovereignty.  I see nothing wrong with them using Navy-like ranks because of the huge role that they play.

The MMEA is not like UK’s Coast Guard which is a purely search-and-rescue outfit, while the MMEA does law enforcement, maritime border control as well as search-and-rescue.

Perhaps, Lt Col Mohd Idris should also know that the Salvation Army uses military ranks and even have military training academies and corps.  However, I have yet to see anyone complain in the newspapers over such petty issue.

Therefore, why should we complain over something that is completely legal and is awarded by the Rulers?

Insula Est, Non Tua

Coat of Arms of the British East Hindia Company
Coat of Arms of the British East India Company

Of late there have been calls for the return of Pulau Pinang to the sovereign Ruler of Kedah.  This is because since being governed by the DAP, Pulau Pinang (Penang) has been behaving like an autonomous state while chasing out Malays, Indians as well as marginalised Chinese from the island state.

If I were to follow my heart, I would wish for Kedah to reassert its sovereignty over Penang. However, legally that would be disastrous for Malaysia.

The History of the 

The proponents for the return of Penang to Kedah base their arguments on the agreement made in 1786 between the British East India Company and the Ruler of Kedah at the time, Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah.  During that time, Kedah was already under the Rattanakosin Kingdom established by King Taksin. Kedah was already paying tributes in the form of Gold Flowers to the Kingdom of Siam in 1781 and had accepted the Siamese sovereignty.

In the 1786 agreement, Francis Light was supposed to assist the Kedah ruler in the event that Kedah comes under attack by another power; the British East India Company (BEIC) was not to protect enemies of Kedah (namely the Burmese and Siamese); and BEIC was to pay the Kedah government an annual repariation of 30,000 Spanish Dollars for the lease of Penang.

Tension grew when Francis Light did not inform his superiors in India of the full details of what he had promised to Sultan Abdullah.  In the end, Light was asked to provide Sultan Abdullah with less than what had been requested. The EIC decided to to provide the Sultan with any form of protection and nothing was said of financial repariation.

Light was forced to use the island’s revenue to pay the Sultan but offered only $10,000 Straits Dollars a year for eight years for the island, or $4,000 Straits Dollars a year for so long as the Company occupied the island.

The unamused Sultan then gathered his forces in Prai in late 1790 to take Penang back by force which was defeated by Light. Sultan Abdullah sent his emmissaries Tunku Sharif Muhammad, Tunku Alang Ibrahim and Datuk Penggawa Telibun to negotiate a treaty with Light.

In 1791 a treaty called the Treaty of Friendship and Peace was signed between the BEIC and the Sultan of Kedah and the annual payment of a sum of 6,000 Spanish Dollars was promised to the Sultan for the rights to Penang and the two countries promised “to live in peace by sea and land, to continue as long as the Sun and Moon give light.”  BEIC was to no longer provide protection to Kedah against its enemies.  This treaty supercedes the treaty of 1786. (Dr Cheah Boon Kheng, former lecturer, History Department of the Universiti Sains Malaysia)

In 1800, another treaty was signed between BEIC and Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Shah II, the successor of Sultan Abdullah for the lease of Seberang Prai (called Province Wellesley then) for an annual sum of 4,000 Spanish Dollars that is to continue “as long as the Sun and Moon give light.”

From 1826, the BEIC placed Penang under the Straits Settlements. Subsequently, in 1874 the BEIC was dissolved and as a result of the 1873  East India Stock Dividend Redemption Act the Straits Settlements came under direct British Crown rule via its government in India.

The Brtish Government became the rightful owner of Penang as successor of the BEIC.

Towards The Independence of Malaya

Each state in what was called Malaya were sovereign states up until 31st August 1957 when the Federation of Malaya that existed following the breakdown of the Malayan Union in 1948 ceased to exist.

“Malaya” as it was known then was made up of the Federated Malay States (Selangor, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang), the Unfederated Malay States (Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis, Johor), and the Straits Settlements (Penang, Melaka and Singapore).

The discussions leading to the formation of the 1957 Federation of Malaya excluded Singapore in the equation.

During these discussions, both Melaka and Penang were referred to as the Crown Colonies whose people are citizens of Britain. The discussions involved Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Government, the Nine Malay Rulers, and the Alliance government the people had elected to represent them.

In an early stage, it was agreed by both Her Majesty’s Government and the Nine Rulers that the office and person of the Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Queen would jointly administer the Settlements as “equal partners.”  According to this arrangement, the Queen would delegate her sovereign authority to the Yang DiPertuan Agong as the representative of the Queen and the Nine Rulers and that the Melaka and Penang would have a Governor appointed in consultation with the Straits Settlements’ office (CO1030/132(28) dated 16 August 1956).

This would be in line with protecting the Straits Chinese who were British subjects whose representation to the British government expressed fears that if Penang is administered by the independent Malayan government, they would be subjected to discrimination.

The British High Commissioner to Malaya, Sir Donald MacGillivray had already expressed grave doubts as to whether that arrangement would be accepted by the Alliance Party as the latter had wanted all the Settlements involved to be part of the newly independent and self-governing Malaya (CO1030/135 (2) dated 19 July 1956).

UMNO as represented by Tunku Abdul Rahman had also proposed that the provisions for Malay reservations in the proposed Constitution should be applied to Penang and Melaka.  However, this was met with stiff resistance by the British government. The Secretary of State said the proposal could “aggravate racial feeling”, adding that during the 180 years of British rule in the Settlements there had been no racial discrimination (CO1030/496 (8) dated 14 May 1957).

A compromise was proposed by the Rulers’ legal adviser, Neil Lawson, who suggested that one of the clauses on land reservations to include a provision to allow the State governments to set up a trust to buy land for the settlement of the Malays. This compromise was accepted by the meeting. This proposal was contained in Article 88 of the Federal Constitution allowing Parliament to modify the articles on land (Articles 83 – 87) for application in Penang and Melaka (Constitutional Proposals for Malaya, Cmnd, 210, op.cit).

If you noticed in all the above meetings not once did the Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Sir Badlishah ibni al-Marhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah, discussed the return of Penang to Kedah as well as asserting His Royal Highness’s sovereign authority over Penang.

This demonstrates that Pulau Pinang and Seberang Perai were no longer legally part of the Kedah Sultanate.

However, what also almost happened was the return of Melaka to the Dutch.

On 16 May 1957, a newspaper Straits Budget reported that the Malayan Party under Tan Kee Gak had planned to ask the British Secretary of State about the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 in respect of Melaka.  According to Tan Kee Gak, Britain was planning to abandon Melaka to Malaya and as a contracting party was in breach of the said contract.  Therefore, Melaka should be returned to the Dutch instead of be part of an independent Malaya.

The Colonial Office viewed the report seriously and sought the advice of the Foreign Office which in turn sought the help of the government of the Netherlands to renounce such a claim explicitly (CO1030/439 (79) dated 20 June 1957).

Summary

I have no reservation whatsoever in expressing my disgust at the way Lim Guan Eng runs Penang and uses it in a very unMalaysian way.  But I doubt there is any legal avenue that would allow for the return of Penang to Kedah that would be undamaging to the country in its present legal form.  It would allow for parties in Melaka perhaps to ask Netherlands to reconsider claiming the state as its own based on the 1824 treaty, and Manila would have a legal precedence to follow in its claim on Sabah.

Not once did the Sultan Of Kedah from the days of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Halim Shah II through Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah have ever staked a claim on Penang.  This is simply because the treaties of 1791 and 1800 have superceded the one made in 1786.

And Penang’s current form is because of the 1957 Federal Constitution, cemented further by the 1963 Federal Constitution, agreed upon by all including by the Nine Malay Rulers without a single objection to its sovereign status. So how is it that Penang should be taken back by Kedah?

If the current claim is about the maruah (face/pride) of the Kedah Sultanate or about the pride of the Malays, that is just the mouth talking before the brain could think.

It would be nice to live dreaming about the day Penang becomes another district of Kedah but that is what the heart wishes. It is the legal and constitutional implications that have to be thought of thoroughly.