Pakar perlembagaan Abdul Aziz Bari berkata kritikan ke atas tindakan menukar nama jalan kepada nama bekas Yang Di-Pertuan Agong tidak harus dilihat sebagai cabaran kepada kedudukan institusi Melayu.
Katanya, persoalan yang dibangkitkan berhubung itu pastinya disertai alasan yang kukuh.
"Mempersoalkan cadangan pindaan sesetengah nama jalan di Kuala Lumpur tidak semestinya satu petanda cabaran ke atas monarki negara.
“Ada beberapa alasan yang praktikal dan sah untuk mempersoalkan cadangan seperti itu walau siapapun di sebaliknya,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan.
Abdul Aziz mengulas ucapan ketua Pemuda Umno, Khairy Jamaluddin yang mendakwa kritikan ke atas cadangan seperti itu sebagai “bukti” bahawa institusi Melayu dipersoalkan.
Abdul Aziz seterusnya mengingatkan Khairy bahawa tindakan yang dilakukan Umno dan bekas presidennya, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pada tahun 90-an untuk mengehadkan kuasa raja adalah lebih teruk lagi.
"Ketua Pemuda Umno KJ mungkin tidak menyedari insiden itu,” sindirnya.- mk
Ini Punca 8 Jalan Sekitar KL Ditukar Kepada Nama Sultan
Chiding change in road name not blitz on royals...
"Taking issues with the proposed changes for some street names in Kuala Lumpur is not necessarily an indication of challenge to the the country's monarchy
"There are some practical and valid reasons to question such a proposal, whoever is behind it," said constitutional law expert professor Abdul Aziz Bari.
Yesterday at Umno Youth's annual general meeting its chief Khairy Jamaluddin in his fiery speech cited the criticisms as "proof" that the Malay institutions are being questioned.
Abdul Aziz reminded Khairy that what Umno and its former president Dr Mahathir Mohamad had done in the 90s in relation to curbing the powers of the royalty was far worse.
"Umno Youth chief KJ may not be aware of those incidents," he quipped.
Abdul Aziz pointed out that “the Umno press humiliated the rulers during the 1993 constitutional crisis during the amendment to immunity provisions for the rulers.”
“The same took place in 1983; the first time Mahathir confronted the rulers in a crisis following an amendment to the Constitution,” said Abdul Aziz.
In 1993, the Malaysian parliament passed the amendments to remove legal immunity of the royalty with changes to Articles 32, 38, 42, 63, 72 and 181 in the Federal Constitution.
Before that, sultans who have violated the law cannot to be prosecuted by the criminal court unless he voluntarily surrenders his legal immunity.
Currency notes and stamps, not roads
Abdul Aziz also suggested that instead of naming roads, perhaps the better suggestion to institutionalise the rulers who have held the post of Agongs is to have their photos being used in the Malaysian currency notes.
“So instead of just the first Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan, we may have the second, third and others on the notes.
“For example, Tuanku Abdul Rahman for the RM1 note, Sultan Hisamudin of Selangor for the RM2, Tuanku Syed Putra Jamalullail for RM5 and so on,” suggests Abdul Aziz.
He also said issuing commemorative stamps will also serve the same purpose.
“One just wonders why the stamps with the state rulers are no longer issued by Pos Malaysia?
“That is more sinister than disagreeing with the renaming of major KL streets with the former Agongs That is more significant and meaningful than just putting their names for the KL streets,” said Abdul Aziz. - mk