09 April 2019

In Constitutional Monarchy Constitution is Supreme...

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In English, a male monarch is called King, in Arabic Malik, in German Konig, in Japanese Tenno and in Danish Konge. Whether one is a King, Konig, Malik, Tenno or Konge, almost all surviving 21st century officially recognised Kings and Queens are constitution monarchs.

There are also hundreds or maybe thousands unofficial monarchs around the world. These are people who lost their thrones and kingdoms when the people decided to do away with the monarchy. The latest being the King of Nepal in 2008.

I am prompted to discuss this issue once again in the light of the controversy surrounding the decision of the PAS government of Kelantan to disallow the picture of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong from being hung in state government offices and premises. It was later reversed after widespread condemnation.

I am also alarmed by the tendency of a handful of princes to stray into the realm of the ordinary people by making politically-charged statements against the elected government. I think this is a dangerous game to play.

It must always be remembered that constitutional monarchs are governed by the law of the land in which the constitution is supreme. Nobody, not even the monarchs, are above the law. The King and state rulers are immune to legal action only in the performance of their prescribed official duties.

Unlike their subjects, the monarchs are apolitical and above politics. They do not get involve in the rough and tumble of politics. The monarchs are immune to prosecution only in the performance of their official duties. Members of their family are not.

That is why in Europe princes and princesses are often tried in court for criminal offenses and have to apologize publicly if they strayed into the realm of the common people. Only the Malik of Saudi Arabia and the Sultan of Brunei are absolute monarchs where everything in their kingdoms, including the dignity of their people and the wealth of their lands, belongs to them.

The rest of the monarchs are not. Even the sacred King of Thailand is not an absolute ruler. He is still nominally a constitutional monarch but he is protected and insulated by the very tough Le Majeste law of his kingdom.

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Our Unique Monarchy

We too are a constitutional monarchy. But unlike other constitutional monarchies, we are also a federation of many states. As such we have not one but many monarchs. We have nine state rulers. Seven are referred to as Sultan, one as Yam Tuan Besar (Negeri Sembilan) and the other Raja (Perlis).

Among them they choose in five-yearly rotation a Supreme King that we call the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. So in all we have 10 monarchs in a country of 32 million. We have no problem with that. We hold our monarchs in high esteem. We enjoy the royal pomp and pageantry, and are willing to put up with their traffic-stopping motorcades.

According to modern lore, it seems that some cheapskates of all races and creeds even lobbied and paid good money to get honorific tittles from the monarchs. And don’t forget the taxpayers. They spend hundreds of millions ringgit annually to keep our monarchs warm and safe on the “takhta” (throne) in glittering palaces. One royal palace is reputed to cost RM1 billion.

And in our national anthem, “Negaraku” we even throw in a prayer for our King:

“Rahmat bahagia
Tuhan kurniakan
Raja Kita
Selamat bertakhta.”

The English: God given blessings of happiness May our King Reign in peace. Thus, as I have been saying repeatedly, God’s blessing of happiness to our King is conditional upon His Majesty confining himself to the “takhta” (throne).

In one of the articles on the subject of constitutional monarchy published in this blog, I went on to say that in praying for God’s blessing, we do not say that our King may reign in peace in the boardroom or in the forest looking for timber to harvest and minerals to mine. What I meant was our King and Rulers should concern themselves only with their prescribed official duties and not be involved in business and compete with the rakyat.

That article and an earlier one on the royal expenditure had resulted in great many police reports being made against me for alleged sedition. I had since gone to the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters twice to have my statements recorded.

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Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra 

The Walls Hear

We are now living in the age of the Internet when walls can hear, the ceiling can see and the floor can talk. Nothing is a secret or sacred anymore - not even what transpires in the bedrooms or in a far far away land. So it is very precarious for any Ruler and his “royal” Menteri Besar to assume that what transpires in the weekly audience and Exco meeting is a secret.

The weaker or the more detested a Menteri Besar, the more that the “rahsia” of the Exco meeting would pour out. That is why it is important to have a credible, intelligent and trustworthy person as Menteri Besar. A Menteri Besar is answerable to the people of his state and the Prime Minister who recommended his appointment. Sadly that is not the case with all Menteris Besar.

As for the princes who feel that the people are not respecting them enough or think that they can freely take to the social media to lambast the elected government, my message is simple: come down from your royal perch and do Mohammed Ali’s rope-a-dope in the political arena.

Why not? The late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra of Kedah took to the political arena and went on to become the country’s first and much loved Prime Minister. So was the late Tunku Abdullah Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan. We also have Tengku Azlan ibni Sultan Abu Bakar of Pahang and still very much a politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah of Kelantan.

The French people did not get rid of King Louis XIV due to the eloquence of Robespierre but because when they had no bread to eat, their queen, Marie Antoinette, told them to eat cake – a case of a monarchy out of touch. More recently – in 2008 – the Nepalese people gave King Gyanendra two weeks to vacate the throne and declared themselves a republic after members of the royal family murdered each other and the country sank into anarchy.

And if our monarchs are unwilling to be responsible for any extreme action of the government in an extraordinary circumstance like war, we can always amend the Constitution so that they can be exampted from being part of such an action.

Otherwise we must recognise the legislative and executive powers of the elected government. Hopefully, as the evergreen rocker Ramli Sarip says, “sejarah mengajar kita menjadi lebih dewasa” – history teaches us to be more mature. - A.Kadir Jasin

The academics... 
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Statut Rom tak telan Raja2 Melayu...

Pelek bin hairan ada orang takut Statut Rom boleh 'telan' raja-raja Melayu. Tidak tahu apa jenis profesor Melayu yang memberi nasihat kepada raja-raja Melayu hingga timbul kebimbangan. Kononnya ada si Kitol cuba eksploitasikan Statut Rom untuk mempengaruhi raja-raja Melayu supaya menentang kerajaan PH yang mahu ratifikasikan statut itu. Menurut menteri luar, Saifuddin Abdullah, penentangan itu dianggap serius kerana kononnya ada pihak mahu tumbangkan kerajaan.

Sejak merdeka 61 tahun hanya sekali berlaku konflik kaum pada 13 Mei, 1969. Itu bukan penghapusan ethnik. Juga bukan perang besar yang melibatkan seluruh negara dan rakyat. Konflik seperti itu berlaku dalam sebilangan besar negara di dunia. Tak perlu dibawa ke ICC (International Criminal Court) di Belanda..

Baca perlembagaan dan faham kedudukan dan kuasa YDP Agong dan raja-raja Melayu lainnya. Jelas baginda sebagai raja berperlembagaan, bukan raja yang mempunyai kuasa eksekutif atau seperti raja di era kesultanan Melaka di zaman bahari. Zaman raja bersultan dimata beraja di hati sudah pocik. Sekali dalam lima tahun berjuta rakyat Malaysia akan memilih parti yang mendapat undi terbanyak dalam 222 kawasan pilihanraya menubuhkan kerajaan.

Pada PRU 14 UMNO/BN pimpinan perompak kelas cakrawala, anak Tun Razak ditolak rakyat. Tun Mahathir, mantan PM selama 22 tahun, dipilih semula oleh rakyat dalam usia 93 tahun. Dengan kata lain, rakyat menentukan kerajaan, bukan istana, bukan bomoh dan sami dan bukan ulamak yang bergelar ular dalam semak. Dalam perlembagaan negeri masing-masing para sultan hanya menjadi ketua agama Islam dan adat istiadat Melayu, dan tidak mempunyai kuasa eksekutif yang dimiliki Menteri Besar. Ini yang menjad amalan budaya politik sejak merdeka hingga sekarang dan akan datang.

Depa nilah yang pergi adu domba pada orang selatan konon Statut Rom ini 
mahu sekat kuasa raja. Pada hal statut rom hanya untuk pemerintah zalim.- f/bk

Dalam sejarah politik Malaysia hanya seorang mantan sultan Johor yang menimbulkan masalah kepada kerajaan kerana dia terlibat dalam kes jenayah. Akibatnya perlembagaan negara dipinda oleh Parlimen dan kekebalan sultan dihapuskan. Ini berlaku di era Dr Mahathir menjadi PM. Dalam berbagai rapat raksaksa yang dikenali sebagai 'Semarak' rakyat menyokong tindakan kerajaan yang menghapuskan kekebalan sultan demi memperjuangkan keadilan dan 'rule of law'.

Sekiranya ada raja Melayu yang melakukan jenayah dia akan diheret ke pengadilan. Kerajaan sudah wujud Mahkamah Khas untuk mengadili kes-kes yang melibatkan raja-raja Melayu yang melakukan jenayah. Tetapi kaum kerabat dan keluarga mereka, sekiranya melakukan jenayah, akan diheret ke mahkamah biasa sahaja.

Malaysia wajar menandatangani Statut Rom yang kini mempunyai 124 ahlinya. Mahkamah Jenayah Antarabangsa di Belana telah mengadili banyak bekas presiden, perdana menteri dan pemimpin-pemimpin yang melakukan penghapusan ethnik, jenayah perang, dan jenayah terhadap kemanusiaan. Memang ada penghapusan etnik Rohinya dan keganasan Yahudi terhadap rakyat Palestin yang tidak diadili oleh Mahkamah Jenayah Antarabangsa.

Sebagai negara modern Malaysia mestilah menjadi keluarga Statut Rom untuk membuktikan kepada dunia bangsa dan kerajaan Malaysia mempunyai maruah, hargadiri, mengamalkan demokrasi, kebebasan hak asasi manusia. Jangan samakan kepimpinan Tun Mahathir dengan perompak kelas cakrawala Najib Razak dengan kabilah penyamun dan para koruptornya. Jangan ada pihak menangguk di air keruh atau menahan bubu di tempat genting, atau menjadi gunting dalam lipatan. Rakyat mahu Tun M bersikap tegas dan berpegang pada 'rule of law' tanpa mengira status penjenayah. - Yahaya Ismail

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