A Little History About Your King and Queen For You Little Band of Haters

MALAYSIANS are not accustomed to seeing a Yang di-Pertuan Agong and a Raja Permaisuri Agong that they can relate to.

Remove the pomp and regalia, you see a CEO who holds work discussions at a mamak joint over teh tarik, and a mother who stops at stalls to buy kuih, just like ordinary parents would do on a daily basis.

To say that Malaysians have gone all gaga over this Royal couple is an understatement. The ability to interact, especially with the Queen, on social media is totally unprecedented.

In some ways, being able to tweet to your Queen like you would speak to your mother is good, but some tend to forget that there are lines drawn in such engagement. They mean well, but tend to forget mannerism.

Of course, the royal institution also has its band of haters – people who think that the royal institution does not have a place in modern democracy.

They call the royal families the untouchables, the unelected, the ones whom we pay for their lifestyle. All these remarks have been made thinking that the Malaysian democracy is a true democracy in every sense, where the Malay Rulers are nothing but overpaid rubber stamps.

They are anything but rubber stamps.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the Supreme Head and executive authority of the Federation.

In other words, he is the fount of authority in Malaysia. As the Ruler of a State, he also represents the other eight Malay Rulers who have elected him to the office of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Prior to 1 February 1948, save for the rulers of Terengganu and Johor which governed in council with the Sultan as head, the rulers were all absolute monarchs.

The British were here in agreement with the respective state Ruler to assist the latter in making the administration of their respective state more efficient.

The Rulers delegated their administrative authority, except in the affairs of the religion of Islam and Malay customs, to the British Residents who were in the Rulers’ payroll.

These residents were answerable not to the Queen of England, but to the sovereign ruler of whichever Malay state they were transferred to.

Come February 1 1948, these Malay states were all federated – with central control, but with some internal autonomy.

The Malay states still retained their sovereignty.

A popular belief is that we were colonised and were therefore not sovereign states, but the court case brought by one Jenny Mighell against the Sultan of Johor in 1894 brought forth an 1885 Treaty with the Crown of England and a letter each from the Colonial Office and Queen Victoria herself to confirm Johor’s status as a sovereign nation.

When the Sultan of Johor sent Dato’ Mohd Seth bin Mohd Said as his representative to the Merdeka discussions in London, the latter was given an instruction to disagree with Malaya being given independence.

Detractors of the royal institution regarded this as the Johor family wanting to remain as a colony of England instead of being independent as a single nation under the Federation of Malaya.

The truth is, Johor was independent at the time as other states were, had its own civil service, courts and postal service. Used to efficient governance headed by British advisers, the Sultan of Johor did not want a Malaya governed by Malayans who, in the view of the Sultan, do not possess any idea of how a nation should be governed.

The 1948 Federation of Malaya had a Federation of Malaya Legislative Council with the High Commissioner as its Chief of Executive; three ex-officio members namely the Chief Secretary, the Finance Secretary and the Attorney-General; 11 State and Settlement members consisting of the President of the Council of each of the Malay states and an elected member of the council from Melaka and Pulau Pinang; and 45 official (including the Chief Ministers) and unofficial members.

This council was made via the Federation of Malaya Agreement of 1948 by Sir Edward Gent on behalf of the Malay Rulers, and only for the Malay Rulers and their Successors.

This again, is proof that the Malay Rulers were sovereign and not subjects of any colonial power.

Fast forward to 1957, the final agreement was reached for the Malay Rulers to transfer the delegation of some of their executive powers from the British administrators to the representatives chosen by the people in the 1955 elections.

The Malay Rulers had preferred a hybrid government that would have consisted of elected representatives as well as representatives appointed by them made up of professionals who could help run the country in the case where elected representatives do not meet the expected mark.

In hindsight, that would have saved us all a lot of trouble now.

The office of a Yang di-Pertuan Agong, representing the other eight Malay Rulers, was created by the Federal Constitution.

In this constitution it also states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the right to choose from the Lower House, an elected representative whom to the opinion of His Majesty, holds the confidence in the House, to become the Prime Minister.

This Prime Minister shall then advise His Majesty on whom to pick as members of His Majesty’s Cabinet.

Likewise, the Sultan or Raja of the respective states has the right to choose an elected representative from the Dewan whom to the opinion of His Majesty, holds the confidence of the Dewan, to become the Menteri Besar. This Menteri Besar shall then advise His Majesty on whom to pick as His Majesty’s Executive Councillors.

If the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or the Sultan or Raja, feel that none hold the confidence of the House or Dewan, Their Majesties can not appoint anyone until a candidate that enjoys the confidence of the elected representatives is found; but this has to be done within 120 days after the dissolution of the Parliament and states assembly.

It is not for anyone to force Their Majesties to choose.

Having said that, there was no business whatsoever for Umno members to hold a demonstration in front of the Terengganu palace, for Pakatan supporters to roll on the roads leading to the Perak palace, or for the Prime Minister to say that the Sultan of Johor has no say in choosing a Menteri Besar.

The Prime Minister is the CEO of the country, answering to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who is the Executive Chairman.

And what do the Malay Rulers receive for them to agree to being in this Federation and to allow the people to choose amongst them representatives who will be administering the Malay Rulers’ government?  The emoluments stated in the Istana Negara (Royal Allowances) Act, 1982 and the various states’ enactment for royal provisions.

The constitution of the Malay states was made by the Malay Rulers and with the State Legislative Council. The Federal Constitution was made by the Federal Legislative Council. The Federal Constitution made the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, the Acts, us Malaysians.

Take the Federal Constitution away and dissolve Malaysia, you will not have a Yang di-Pertuan Agong, no Prime Minister, nothing. However, the Malay states will still exist with the Sultans as the supreme executive authority of those states.

And they are above the respective states constitution because they made the state constitution.

That is why they are the unelected, the untouchables as some say.

And no, you do not feed them. 

You are merely paying them in exchange for your right to vote in the people in your judgment would be the better ones to administer the government by the people, for Their Majesties.

(This article was first published by The Mole)

The King and Queen of Hearts

Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah

The Pahang Way

When Jasliza Jamil met with an unfortunate accident on her way to work in Putrajaya last month, the last person she would expect to stop and lend a helping hand was Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, the Yang DiPertuan Agong himself. The King was on his way to attend a pre-Cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

That was not the first time that His Majesty had acted in such manner. Even during his tenure as the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang he had stopped at accident scenes countless times, offering his assistance not just there and then, but to the extent of following up with the victims asking how they were recovering and at times even paying for the treatment received!

The above is the Pahang way – where putting the importance of the people first is the order of the day.

Many do not realise the other story behind that chance meeting with Jasliza Jamil.

His Majesty was on his way to Putrajaya for his pre-Cabinet meeting with the Prime Minister. This scheduled weekly meeting is where the Prime Minister briefs the King on the administration of the country and seeks the King’s advice on very important matters. The Prime Minister, after all, administers the country and heads His Majesty’s government.

But these meetings have always been held, by convention, at the Istana Negara. However, nothing is conventional when it comes to the House of Pahang. Recognising the urgency of matters, the King saw fit to go to the Prime Minister instead to expedite the process of running the government.

This is again a norm in Pahang where His Majesty, then as the Prince Regent, would meet the Menteri Besar instead of the other way around to get matters out of the way.

Just before the accident in Putrajaya happened, the social media circle was abuzz with excitement when the King was shown queuing up and ordering at a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Temerloh.

To many, it was a scene that is totally out of the ordinary. But to the people of Pahang, it was perfectly normal to see Al-Sultan Abdullah and family eat at either KFC or McDonald’s just like any other family.

Behind the bubbly character of the beautiful Raja Permaisuri Agong is the loving and dutiful wife, mother and Queen.

Not many know that Her Majesty cooks for the King daily, give away one or two days. Her Majesty was trained in cooking by her late father, Almarhum Al- Mutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj who once told her, “Azizah, if you don’t know how to cook, how can you tell the cook that their cooking is not right?”

Almarhum Sultan Iskandar also urged Her Majesty to learn how to cook the various Pahang recipes before she got married to Al-Sultan Abdullah. Last year, Her Majesty launched two recipe books showcasing Pahang food and desserts.

Her Majesty is often seen during floods cooking for flood victims. I was fortunate enough to witness how she cooked for thousands of flood victims in Pahang every single day at different locations for up to two weeks and more, every single meal time.

Upon arrival at any of the flood evacuation centres Her Majesty would announce to the aid workers in the makeshift cookhouse, “Assalamualaikum Pakcik-Pakcik, Makcik-Makcik, Abang-Abang, Kakak-Kakak, boleh berhenti buat kerja. Biar saya yang masak!”

She would get down to work immediately to feed the hundreds at the centre, then get her children to serve the flood victims. None of those in Her Majesty’s entourage were allowed to eat any of the food cooked.

“Ini rakyat punya,” she would say. She would ask her children to go around the dining area to make sure that everyone had eaten before saying goodbye to everyone and head for the next centre.

When Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah passed away, it was Her Majesty who took charge of the funeral arrangements as the King was away in England to attend the graduation of their daughter.

Everyone could see the dutiful and loyal wife and daughter-in-law tirelessly pacing the floors of both the Istana Negara and Istana Abu Bakar ensuring that everything was in order, and at the same time guests were taken care of. And many cried seeing both their Majesties hug and console each other upon the arrival of His Majesty the Yang DiPertuan Agong at Istana Abu Bakar.

The loving wife, finally in the arms of her pillar of strength; the loving husband seeking comfort and solace from his pillar of strength.

Getting the Insights

The events above were captured by the Istana Negara public relations team that is embedded inside the King’s entourage.

Although most royal households now have a form or two of social media accounts, they are mostly dry and too formal in their presentation.

The Istana Negara social media accounts give an insight into the daily functions of both the Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong. Although formal in nature, it is more relaxed in its approach that brings the rakyat into the events themselves.

The Facebook page ‘Friends of Istana Negara’ supports the official Istana Negara social media accounts by relaying the events while ‘House of Pahang’ which is found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube gives an insight into the lighter side of the Pahang royal household.

One of the events covered in the latter that had Netizens awestruck was during the barbecue dinner hosted by the King and Queen during the recent Conference of Rulers where all the Rulers, queued and took their own food! For the first time people were able to see the other side of the members of the royal families and those who expected to see their Majesties being served at the table received a huge surprise.

Transparency seems to be the order of the day. Both the Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong are very open even when talking about personal matters.

We are accustomed to editorials written about the Sultans and previous Yang DiPertuan Agongs in the newspapers. This time, we get to read and hear it from their Majesties themselves.

His Majesty spoke to members of the press about his wishes for the people, and how the press then and now have helped shape his character, while Her Majesty spoke about her feelings at being appointed the nation’s First Lady and shared childhood jokes with the press.

In an age where socioeconomic gains are seen as a result of political works, the Rulers Institution is gradually losing its relevance. Intended misinformation and watering-down of the important roles the Rulers Institution play in ensuring a check-and-balance in Malaysia’s own mould of democracy and as protector of the people have contributed to the youth asking the relevance of the Rulers Institution in this new millennium.

The misbehaviour of those not directly in lines of succession have undoubtedly smeared the image of the royal households and have brought about much disrespect just because the name of those in question still bear the title Tengku or Raja. Of course, they are human, but they also carry the responsibility of preserving the name and image of the institution they belong to.

This is perhaps the reason both their Majesties have embraced social media and see the importance of ‘letting the people see the insides of the Istana’ as only transparency, without any erosion to the dignity of the Institution, is the way for the rakyat to see that the institution of the Yang DiPertuan Agong is the people’s institution, and not merely a rubber stamp for the government that is supposed to work for His Majesty. This is the mould the people have been waiting for.

And Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah is the benchmark for all future yang DiPertuan Agong to follow. DAULAT TUANKU.

(This article was first published on The Mole )

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.