I have dined with kings, I've been offered wings. And I've never been too impressed - Bob Dylan
I am more embarrassed than someone who claims he might be embarrassed.
It’s one thing for BN to accuse Pakatan politicians or pro-Pakatan supporters of lese majeste or being rude or unsavoury to royalty, but it’s another for constitutional monarchies to do that.
Has anyone ever heard or read of Queen Elizabeth chiding her PM, any politician or members of the public?
Wait, we needn’t go that far to a white man’s country. Let’s look at our neighbour Thailand. Her King (not the Crown Prince) is very much loved and revered monarch. Thais are the most ardent monarchists in the world.
And you may ask why?
Only once has the Thai King ever publicly taken side, even then in a subtle but effective manner, and for the good of the public.
Wikipedia has this to say:
In 1992, Bhumibol played a key role in Thailand's transition to a democratic system. A coup on 23 February 1991 returned Thailand back under military dictatorship. After a general election in 1992, the majority parties invited General Suchinda Kraprayoon, a leader of the coup group, to be the Prime Minister. This caused much dissent, which escalated into demonstrations that led to a large number of deaths when the military was brought in to control the protesters. The situation became increasingly critical as police and military forces clashed with the protesters. Violence and riot spread out in many areas of the capital with rumour on the rift among armed forces.
Amidst the fear of civil war, Bhumibol intervened. He summoned Suchinda and the leader of the pro-democracy movement, retired Major General Chamlong Srimuang, to a televised audience, urged them to find a peaceful resolution. At the height of the crisis, the sight of both men appearing together on their knees (in accordance with royal protocol) made a strong impression on the nation, and led to Suchinda's resignation soon afterwards.
It was one of the few occasions in which Bhumibol directly and publicly intervened in a political conflict. A general election was held shortly afterward, leading to a civilian government
Mind, when royalty embarrassed BN in Perlis and Terengganu in 2008, Pakatan supporters were being stupidly and prematurely silly in rejoicing at the unconstitutional intrusions (I blogged against those royal interference against the BN's choice of MBs - see below), but when the tables were turned in Perak, and lately in Selangor and Johor (admittedly suspected as at the instigation of BN), the laughs were on the other side.
Regardless of whether the unconstitutional royal intrusions were at the expense of BN or Pakatan, I have never rejoiced but would only lament.
And which has been why I have always reminded people that whatever we might think of Dr Mahathir, he did one really damn good thing during his premiership - he de-fanged the royalty. Bravo!
(1) Dangerous euphoria over 'political' royalty
(2) Rulers no 'Silver Bullet'
(3) Lim Kit Siang opened Royal Pandora Box?
(4) Royalty threatens constitutional crisis?
(5) The dangers of royal political activism
(6) Supremacy of the people's voice in democracy
(7) Bismarck: The king reigns but does not govern
(8) Dr Wan Azizah, rethink your promise of legal immunity for royalty!
(9) Tainted silver ain't no silver bullet