Friday, March 04, 2016

HRH read wrong newspaper?

Three days ago Malaysiakini published Utusan Malaysia not racist, says Perak sultan in which we read (extracts only):

Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah has defended Malay language daily Utusan Malaysia, saying that the paper is not racist but instead embodies the spirit of 1Malaysia.

Sultan Nazrin said those who branded the paper as being racist have an agenda to derail Malaysia's social contract.

"The Utusan Group and its main publication, Utusan Malaysia, is now branded as racist; (it is) intentionally played up by those who are put off by it and those who have an agenda to eliminate the social contract agreed upon by our forebearers in formulating the main policies that form an independent nation.

"They are increasingly vocal in questioning the status of the bumiputera in the country and do all kinds of subversive activities to dethrone the special position of the bumiputera that is enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

"They are in fact stirring a hornet's nest; they are instigating the people to play with fire," Sultan Nazrin said in his keynote speech at the inaugural Utusan Business Awards 2015 awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur today.

I opine that for two reasons we shouldn't and needn't argue with HRH about his views on Utusan Malaysia:

Firstly, it's considered 'insolent' and 'treasonous' in Malaysia to argue with or defy a sultan, as had been witnessed in September 2014 when Anwar Ibrahim (PKR) and the DAP in Selangor did not, like PAS, kuai kuai submit 3 names required by HRH for the post of MB to replace Khalid Ibrahim.

Then, the Sultan's private secretary, Datuk Munir Bani stated: "The Selangor Sultan is extremely disappointed by the actions of DAP and Keadilan in disobeying the decree he made on August 27 2014‎."

"DAP and Keadilan's actions reflect their insolence towards the royal institution and is treason towards the Selangor Sultan."

Mind, most of us didn't realise that on the matter of a ruling party (or coalition)'s choice of candidate for the state MB, the Sultan of Selangor has a constitutional right beyond approving or not approving that candidate.

Let kaytee play Edward de Bono here - say, if HRH had disapproved the 1st and then the 2nd name (say, PKR's Wan Azizah and PKR's Eli Wong respectively), I believe HRH would have obtained the same outcome. Ampun Tuanku.

While PKR and DAP's decision to submit only one name, that of Wan Azizah, might have been considered 'insolent' if we give Datuk Munir Bani some lexical latitude, I think the accusation of 'treason' might have been very much way over the top.

'Treason' is defined in the English language dictionary as "the offense of acting to overthrow one's government or to harm or kill its sovereign" which hadn't been the case as (a) the Pakatan was/still is the legally elected government and (b) everyone loves HRH (unless someone knows something sinister that I don't?).

OK, I hope the 'insolent' minefield has been well-charted so let's leave Selangor and return to HRH Sultan of Perak and Utusan Malaysia.

Secondly, on why we shouldn't and needn't argue with HRH about Utusan being not racist, most of us including even UMNO people already know Utusan only too well. Don't we?

Thus most of us should not and would not have been fazed by HRH giving Utusan a clean bill of social health. Malaysia is a democratic country and everyone of us including HRH has the right of opinion, though some caution is advisable in the matter of 'expression' of such opinions in public.

However, ampun Tuanku, I have to admit I have been rather stunned to hear HRH, a very learned scholar, mentioned "... those who have an agenda to eliminate the social contract agreed upon by our forebearers in formulating the main policies that form an independent nation".

'Social contract'?

Here's one of the several voices in Malaysiakini that have spoken out against that term 'social contract'. Noted political writer Kim Quek has this to say:

What social contract? Everything our founding fathers had agreed by consensus was written into the federal constitution, and the so-called “social contract” was a mere concoction by an Umno politician to justify the ruling party’s racist policies.

Further, the special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak is spelled out under Article 153 of the federation constitution, where its very limited scope is defined as reservation of quotas in public service, educational facilities and business licences.

The modest provisions of such “special position” certainly cannot be interpreted to mean the endowment of racial privileges to create a privileged class of citizenship.

Despite numerous amendments, our constitution remains egalitarian in letters and spirit and there is only one class of citizenship where all citizens are equal as expressly guaranteed under various articles in the constitution, including Article 8 (equality) and Article 136 (impartial treatment of all federal employees).

Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah’s speech is highly regrettable not only for imputing unnecessary meaning to Malay special position but also for partaking in partisan politics when he defended and praised Umno’s mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia, despite the latter’s notoriety as ultra-racist and the newspaper most frequently punished by the courts for committing defamation.

Thus the sultan has, through his support for Utusan, breached a fundamental principle of our constitutional monarchy – that the monarch should stay meticulously above partisan politics at all times.

The other Malaysiakini voices mentioned the Reid Commission and the original agreement by our founding fathers including the consensus to limit the special preference for Malays to only 15 years - OTOH, kaytee believes there could/might have been a misprint where the actual period limited for 'special preferences for Malays' was actually 150 years?

Curse the printer's hantu for the missing '0'. For those of you who don't know what the printer's hantu is, it's known today rather unromantically as 'typo', wakakaka.

But the best Malaysiakini reader-comment was by Rick Teo who stated: Sultan Nazrin, I beg to differ. You could be reading the wrong newspaper.

Polite and diplomatic, our Rick Teo, syabas sdr!

Indeed, and as mentioned above,.most of us including even UMNO people already know Utusan only too well.

However, I have been more than just stunned when I read HRH, a most learned scholar with all sorts of degrees from Oxford and Harvard etc, saying: "They are in fact stirring a hornet's nest; they are instigating the people to play with fire."

'Hornets (tebuans); playing with fire ...'!

Those words sound very very very familiar and probably what had been missing to complete that recalled scenario (from somewhere sometime ago) was a lil' red book being waved in the air from the podium as the speaker (of yore) talked about tebuans, playing with fire and testing his patience.

Oh yes, it's all coming back now. 'Twas in December 2005 when Badruddin Amiruldin stated as I had then written:

At the UMNO assembly, ethnic hero Badruddin Amiruldin gave his infamous hornet's nest threat, "No other race has the right to question our privileges, our religion and our leader".

He warned that taking away Malays' privileges would be akin to stirring up a hornet's nest with terrible consequence. Just in case the wannabe nest stirrer didn't understand the dangers of depriving him and mates from the institutionalised ethnic-based special privileges, he waved a book about the May 13 racial riots (in 1969), where the Chinese in Kuala Lumpur were taught a severe lesson of how terrifying racial rioting could be.

Ampun Tuanku.


  1. 'special position'

    this is what i got wrt article 153;

    The Commission recommended that the existing privileges should be continued as the "Malays would be at a serious and unfair disadvantage compared with other communities if they were suddenly withdrawn." However, "in due course the present preferences should be reduced and should ultimately cease." The Commission suggested that these provisions be revisited in 15 years, and that a report should be presented to the appropriate legislature (currently the Parliament of Malaysia) and that the "legislature should then determine either to retain or to reduce any quota or to discontinue it entirely."

    how do you 'tafsir' the above, ada expiry date?

    1. what is special position? license to hmmm....

    2. sila pergi tanya mursyidul am pkr apa itu special position. in case you don't know his whereabouts, dia sekarang berada di 'bamboo river college' doing his phd kot?

    3. if u dun know, that is fine. i first thot u have very uncommon view by looking at how u ask a question in a unique way. n of course we know where is anwar, whats yr point exactly? to insult?

    4. jgn marah la, nanti kena jual. now, what did you mean by 'license to hmmm..'? anyway forget abt pak syeikh in this case.

      let me tell you what i understand about the 'kedudukan istimewa'. sikit saja tau.

      the position of bumiputeras and legitimate interest of other communities are two sides of the same coin which is the responsibility of the king to safeguard. we can't simply 'robek robek' one side without the other side remains intact or unscatched.

      this is my tafsir of art. 153 briefly.

  2. From reading the news reports, it seems that HRH cited as proof of Utusan's non-racist stance by using the case of the Melissa Gooi incident : - he said "...the paper did not discriminate against publishing a column that was clearly aimed at defending the Chinese

    This was a reference to an article by Zaini Hassan on 5-Jun-2013: "Salahkah Melissa Gooi? Ajarlah Asas Perlembagaan di sekolah". If you read this piece, the 'defending' was actually using Melissa Gooi as an example to call for the country's supreme laws to be taught in schools - "supaya kita tidak lagi melahirkan Melissa Gooi dan rakan-rakannya, untuk hari ini dan generasi akan datang. "

    According to malaymailonline, "Sultan Nazrin today echoed the call, and urged Putrajaya to consider the proposal".

    Note that HRH's speech was made during the Utusan Business Awards, so you have to understand the speech in this context. Note also as Regent he made an almost identical speech on this subject at the Armed Forces ceremony "Pasca Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-13: Permuafakatan dan Perpaduan Nasional di Wisma Perwira ATM" on 8-July-2013 (see Utusan story "Terap pendidikan asas kenegaraan di sekolah - Raja Dr. Nazrin").

  3. To be fair to HRH, he is a constitutional monarch whose words are subject to "advice" from the Government of the Day namely, UMNO. He is not free to always say what he really wants to say, and sometimes says things he doesn't really personally mean.
    One clue is that the words used sound suspiciously like recycled UMNO drivel.

    Only thing is, in Malaysia's rojak-ed semi-Constitutional monarchy , HRH's have on various occasions overruled the Government of the Day in certain matters.
    It is often impossible to be sure what a Sultan says is his view or just government views.

    In the UK, for example , the Queen Never expresses a personal opinion on any matter of public interest.
    Of course, as a normal human being, she has her own views on any subject, but it is considered a breach of protocol for her to openly do so.

  4. One of the strangest press conferences in Malaysian history occurred today.

    Mahathir loyalists, some of whom are undiluted Ketuanan Race supremacists, rubbed shoulders with DAP Chinese chauvinists, (formerly ?) Mahathir-hating Anwaristas and various Has-Been BN Old Guards.

    Nothing good will come out of this Unholy alliance.

    1. yeah, pretty disgusting, the last time i feel the same way was when some guy cium muhyiddin hand. yuck!

    2. Yes, nothing will come out of this unholy alliance, this motley crew that somehow agglomerated out of opposition to Najib's actions. So far Najib has succceeded in fending of
      his attackers.

      However the Najib government's recent actions did not help his image or endear him to the people.

      In the latest development, wonder why the Auditor General Report is OSA'ed? " prevent information from being leaked ... ... affected the credibility of the Federal Audit department and the panel itself..." Huh?

      Will the report ever be made public? The people are waiting with baited breath for the report to prove that Najib is as clean as a whistle, has got nothing to hide, to finally vindicate him and put all his critics to shame, and add another notch to his strikes. What a let down...

      (Three decades ago, Mahathir made public the report by a three-man investigative panel led by Auditor General Tan Sri Ahmad Noordin on the RM2.5b BMF scandal.)

      Yes, the declaration from the strange press conference will carry no weight in terms of authority and will not affect Najib's position. Najib will soldier on for the remaining 2 and half years to the next hurdle (GE14) and by then he would have reinvented himself, maybe as some hero under siege or something. It would be interesting to see how he does it.

  5. history again kah? lks dun read history, he care about our future, thats y he have no problem to work with anyone. u ni pseudo dap supporter, yr principles not even worth the saliva of the developer. gaze into the nearest mirror b4 telling us what to do la.

  6. To understand better the speech and its circumstances here are some links:

    1) 1-Mar-2016: The Sultan's speech in full "MENJUNJUNG URUSNIAGA BERETIKA" here reference was made to his earlier speech in 2013.

    2) 8-Jul-2013 : Similar remarks made when he was Regent: Utusan news report "Terap pendidikan asas kenegaraan di sekolah - Raja Dr. Nazrin"

    3) 5-Jun-2013 : The Utusan article that he was refering to: "Salahkah Melissa Gooi? Ajarlah Asas Perlembagaan di sekolah"

    4) The Melissa Gooi incident: