Today my post is on two of the Johor Sultanah’s comments, in her role as Chancellor of UTM, during the 5th Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton yesterday - see Malaysiakini's Johor sultanah: Bersih 2.0 was hijacked.
First comment was on Bersih where she, to summarise, said the movement calling for free and fair elections had been hijacked.
As one of my personal political principles/beliefs, I don’t support constitutional royalty making comments on politics. This has been my position way way before the 2008 GE, and most certainly way before a series of unwelcomed royal intervention in the politics of Perlis, Terengganu (against AAB & UMNO then) and Perak (against Pakatan) - I posted on all these events.
I have always said that royalty should only make political comments if they are politicians like Tunku or Ku Li, but never (especially) when they are constitutional Heads of States.
If a Head of State, de jure or acting, makes political comments or acts politically in like fashion as a politician, then he/she must be mindful that in a democracy any political statement or act can be challenged, commented on and criticized. Thus he/she must not/cannot take umbrage nor could his/her supporters claim lèse majesté had been committed. The Perak case springs immediately into mind.
The only way such a Head of State acting politically can get away unquestioned or unchallenged would be when he/she is an absolute monarch (e.g in Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan) as one local (late) royal member thought he was. The Malaccan Sultanh ordering the execution of Hang Tuah on the basis of a mere rumour would be another example.
However, having carefully read the news article in Malaysiakini, I have to say HRH has quite carefully navigated her way around the ambush of a student's difficult question on Bersih. I find it hard to criticise her reasonable response.
She was even handed in stating (as reported) "Of course, you can see from the mainstream media that perhaps Bersih is founded by wrong people and the bad guys, and other groups are the good guys.”
"It maybe or may not be, there is no right or wrong answer, but it may indicate that the country is heading for some kind of maturity."
But what did she mean by Bersih being ‘hijacked’? Well, Tian Chua flashed across my mental vision wakakaka. That wannabe martyr has been at his usual self – I won’t comment any further on this PKR Drama King wakakaka again. Then there was Anwar Ibrahim's pathetic attempt to (take over and) make unauthorised proposal to cancel the Bersih, but which was shot down in flames, thanks to cool sweetie Ambiga.
However, I believe HRH’s opinion on vernacular schooling, to abolish it, though fair and logical as it might be (because I once shared it wakakaka), is unfortunately way too late, as a large segment of Malaysian society no longer trusts the dodgy standards and at-times racist governance of national type schooling.
In these lamentable impressions (of not trusting national types but only vernacular schooling) we only have a series of UMNO Educational Ministers to thank, for their treatment of education as a political/nationalistic football, to kick their rotten way up the ranks of UMNO and thus to greater access to the Boleh Land gravy train.
The notorious BTN has played an equally nefarious part in confusing, corroding and corrupting the values of some school heads, who should no longer be fit to 'educate' young Malaysian minds.
Many parents now cling on to vernacular schooling as the only educational salvation for their children’s future.