Ironically, as the Islamization of Malaysia moves further forward, where the powers of the Syariah Court is now felt ever more significantly, the Sultans as head of the Islamic religion in a State has lesser powers over religious matters.
That has been the opinion of Professor Aziz Bari. The Malaysian Insider reported Prof Bari …
… added that this was especially true of instances where the Sultan issues a decree on matters already decided upon by the Syariah Court.
“To me that’s illegal... The power of the Sultan is more... executive. [That he has] wandered into judicial power — that is not acceptable.”
Thanks to people like Zaid Ibrahim, Ragunath Kesavan (Bar Council President) and other law experts like Prof Bari, we can dismiss the attempted claim by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) that the Sultan’s decree is law.
It’s not. Laws may only be passed by DUNs and Parliaments. Rulers of this nation are only constitutional monarchs. The voice of the people is still supreme.
We must continue our vigilance lest this democracy reverts back to the days of 15th Century Sultan Mansur Shah where he could order anyone killed, or even in more recent times where a caddy was alleged to have been killed.
Though Zaid, Ragunath and Bari have done us a great service in clarifying the laws of this country and thus limiting the powers of a constitutional monarch, they were not original.
That honour must surely belong to Hang Jebat, the greatest warrior for justice, and in more recent times his admirer, Dr Mahathir, whose greatest legacy had been his taming of the Sultans.
It’s such a pity that a great hero like Dr M now associates himself with a person like Ibrahim Ali, and will address a mammoth rally in Terengganu to 'awaken the Malay race' on Thursday, May 13, a most significantly black day in the darker history of Malaysia.