Saturday, June 07, 2014

Johor Property Bill raises bipartisan concerns

Though the proposed Johor State Property Law is only a state bill, it seems to have in general drawn BN and Pakatan (including the federal sides) together in a bipartisan concern over a new law which may unwittingly drag HRH into government administration by conferring him with executive powers when HRH like other HRH and the Agong is only a constitutional monarch.

Yes, the common grounds seem to be worries about the State Sultan's role in the bill which will shatter the construct of a constitutional monarch, and worse, raises questions on his associated responsibilities, as it's an administrative (legal too?) concept that executive powers carry commensurate responsibilities and thus public accountability.

In a worst case scenario where HRH may be called to account for the Housing & Real Property Boards' actions, the demand for accountability may possibly destroy the hitherto immunity of HRH, which of course no one wants.

Just to obtain a picture of how HRH may be liable, TMI informs us the proposed law has '... provisions that allow the state ruler to appoint members and determine its budget, raising fears that the constitutional state monarch could have a hand in the state's administrative affairs'.

If HRH does end up having a hand in the state's admin affairs, then he becomes a typical public servant who may be criticized, complained against and be subjected to various other consequences unbefitting those for a royal person.

Let's not forget in Malaysia the monarchy at both state and federal level is of the constitutional variety, and would not have the executive powers that the Johor state bill will endow on HRH.

The remaining absolute monarchs in the world are the rulers of some Gulf states, Saudi Arabia and in the local region, the Sultan of Brunei.

Who is pushing such a novel but constitutionally questionable law?

Well, he's none other than Johor MB Mohamed Khalid Nordin!

Despite mounting concerns by constitutional law experts and politicians on both sides of politics including PM Najib who warns Johor to ensure the proposed law follows the Federal Constitution, meaning and asserting (in polite Malay-speak) that HRH is only a constitutional monarch, the Johor MB seems hell-bent on airing the bill in the state DUN on Monday.

MB Mohamed Khalid Nordin brushed off those bipartisan concerns and claimed that he will still be the one exercising executive powers and bearing responsibilities, and not HRH, but hardly anyone believes him.

Why? Because the proposed law has '... provisions that allow the state ruler to appoint members and determine its budget ...'.

Isn't that executive powers? What then about executive responsibilities?

Najib must have been pissed off to have said, seemingly a la Pontius Pilate: "The menteri besar explained that the bill was consistent with the provisions of the Federal Constitution. He will also be fully responsible in managing the board."

Even our Grand Olde Man, Dr Mahathir, wasn't impressed by Mohamed Khalid Nordin's proposed bill, reminding everyone that our monarchy is constitutional, presumably just to make a point rather than inform us.

In Malaysiakini's Dr Mahathir issues a veiled royal caution, his piss-off-ness (wakakaka) was reported as follows:

The former premier also warned that any drastic changes could exacerbate the people's ill-feelings towards the royals.

"There is already a feeling of disrespect for the royals. This may lead to other forms of disrespect," he said in his blog.

"Although by and large the Malays are for the institution of the monarch, when their ability to defend is eroded, they might forego their adat (custom)."

I don't see those statements as veiled caution against royalty other than Johor wasn't directly mentioned, wakakaka.

Rather, I see him warning, yes, warning the royals not to usurp the (executive) rights of the people's representatives and thus the rakyat, which if unheeded may lead to worsening 'disrespect' for them.

I read worsening as implying there exists already disrespect - see his statement again: "There is already a feeling of disrespect for the royals. This may lead to other forms of disrespect." 

Incidentally, Dr Mahathir was the PM who extracted the fangs of a particular royal some years ago, perhaps indicating his 'Dr' title extends as well to dental care, wakakaka.

He even alluded to the possibility of foreign influence in the Johor state bill, suggesting that outside forces are making use of royalty for their own interests.

He said: "Of late there has been a tendency to ignore the constitution and to effectively change it by other means. Nobody can change it on his own. States cannot change it nor can rulers without the approval of the federal parliament and the federal government."

"The constitution is the basic law of the country. When a precedent is established, it will become a base for other changes."
"These people must stop especially when they are foreigners."

That evoked speculations about possible strong influence from our near south in the Johor MB being strangely adamant on airing a bill which even UMNO's mouthpiece Utusan has taken 'valuable' time off, wakakaka, from its usual bashing of nons in order to indicate UMNO's unhappiness with the proposed new law, which would give HRH executive powers over the proposed Johor Housing and Real Property Board.

I sense that Dr Mahathir must have been 'briefed' kau kau about the Johor strange and constitutionally bizarre bill.

As mentioned earlier and reiterated here as a refresher, under the new law HRH will gain executive powers including the right to appoint board members, determine their allowances, scrutinise the board's accounts as well as being empowered to dissolve the board.

One has to ask: Why, Why, Why is MB Mohamed Khalid Nordin insisting on introducing a new law which both sides of politics in probably the first demo of bipartisanship have frowned upon?

What is his motive?

I doubt it is to test grounds on bipartisanship, wakakaka, but jokes aside he is playing a dangerous game. Hope he is not another who believes as a 'Royal MB' he can do what he likes.


  1. What difference does it make to ordinary Johoreans? Whether executive power is in the hands of Sultan or BN?

    Ordinary Johoreans will still gain nothing, right?

    Can only gawk at the immense amounts of money flowing to whoever has the executive powers.

    To Johoreans who are protesting "Go eat Cakes"


  2. Why is the mb proposing the bill ?

  3. [edited slightly by kaytee, wakakaka]

    How long ago was the last time you stepped on Johor soil ?
    5 years ? 10 years ? more ? Let me bring you up to speed.

    The Iskandar Development Region is an amazing place. Within a radius of about 80 km of Johor Bahru, new development is springing up almost every day. It is one huge construction site.

    With huge quick profits to be made, all kinds of profiteers and dodgy characters are jumping into the game. Land previously restricted for agriculture and just waste land need to be re-zoned for commercial development Projects need to obtain planning approval.

    The Iskandar Development Authority, designed as a 1-stop regulatory approval authority, has become a 1-huge den of sleaze.

    Government officials are taking their cut. Politicians from BN/UMNO are taking their cut.

    Even DAP's total silence on the matter, when they are so vocal on other subjects, makes me suspect something is not right.

    Not wanting to get your blog into trouble, I will only say the Johor Royal Family [deleted] are heavily involved in Business Activities here, it is on public record. Just Google "Johore Sultan shareholder".

    Some who still believe in the Sultan as an honest arbiter see him as the last line of defence before Johor goes to ruins. For them, giving the Sultan supervisory power over the Johor Housing and Property board serves as a check on the activity of cronies and rentseekers, and makes good sense.

    Others see him as part and parcel of the governance problem in Johore , and giving him authority over such a powerful body further worsens the problem. "Harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi..."

    For me, the solution for this particular matter is simple. Keep the Sultan out of all decision making matters. That way we avoid putting him in a position where doubts and suspicions arise.

    In a democracy, whoever wields power and authority must also be subject to public accountability and possible criticism.

    Since criticising the actions of the Sultan may amount to Sedition, the Sultan must be kept out of situations where he has to take decisions and actions which may be held to responsibility and possible censure. the Sultan the Saviour or [deleted and inserted] what ?

    1. Hahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahaha!

      Or sultan of swings.........Hahahahaha!

      Okie, you cibai fucker Hua Yong or HY.......Go squeal saying that it's not relevant.......Time to use Brain la..........Idiots

      Money for nothing and the chicks for free........Yeah, Johorean, one prince kenna tangkap at PIE........Hahahaha.......That melayu singapura inspector never bagi chance.......Hahahaha

      Rumours go around that johore royalty prefered singaporeans instead......Heard of once Sultan Johore called for Long Live Straits Settlement..........Sue me if I am wrong.......Onn Jaafar was bloody pissed.....

      I want my MTV

      Show me the fucking money......

    2. "Then came the churches then came the schools
      Then came the lawyers then came the rules
      Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
      And the dirty old track was the telegraph road"

      the fuckin spore lawyer rule only apply to one with no money n power, no? have u been wondering y the prince can still drive as he wish to in spore?

      "Yes and they say we're gonna have to pay what's owed
      We're gonna have to reap from some seed that's been sowed"

  4. [edited slightly by kaytee, wakakaka]

    Will the Sultan [deleted and inserted] affect Johor's development like what UMNO has done? I do not know. What I do know is what I can see in Johor. Remember how that bastard [deleted] stole the Stamford and Lee Rubber land from the Chinese? [deleted] acquired MPHB land at RM 0.98 per square feet and then later sold the land for RM 8.00.

    The Iskandar project involved the acquisition of at least 100,000 acres of Chinese and Malay reserve land which UMNO later sold at massive profit. Foreign buying of property in Johor promotes great economic activity but the real estate sold to them must not be build on the backs of the rakyat.

    The Sultan wants to transform Johor from a neglected BN 'fixed deposit' into an international destination for real estate investments like Penang. UMNO has neither the expertise nor the political need to carry out the transformation. Penang has the DAP to clean out the BN shit from the state. Penang today is a far cry from the Penang of 2008. In six short years Penang is on its way to reclaim 'The Pearl of the Orient' title.

    Johoreans are not blind to what is happening in Penang. They also want clean streets and good jobs. Are they then to wait for the DAP to take over Johor and embark on the transformation? Let's get real here. Dyana could not even get into Teluk Intan.

    What are Johoreans suppose to do? Continue waiting for another 50 years? Constitutional problems are the least of Johor's worries. Johor shares the misfortune of Sabah and Sarawak as BN's fixed deposit states. Perhaps the time has come for a modern day version of Johor's Kang Chu system without the gambling and drugs. Johoreans love the country but they cannot be made to wait forever. What are constitutional matters when Johoreans see their state dirty and its infrastructure falling apart?

    Perhaps Utusan should ask 'Apa Johor mahu?'