Wednesday, April 10, 2019

PM Mahathir versus Johor Sultan

MM Online - Stay out of Johor’s affairs, Sultan says (extracts)

JOHOR BARU, April 10 — Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has issued a warning to unnamed parties who have been interfering with Johor’s affairs, saying that the state still has a sultan.
“With regards to Johor, do not interfere with the affairs of this state because this sovereign state still has a Sultan.

“I am currently abroad, but have been following the progress in the country, especially for Johor, through various reports,” Sultan Ibrahim said in a Facebook post.

“I will make the best decision for my people when the time comes,” he added.

Sultan Ibrahim’s statement comes after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said that the role of appointing the new Johor mentri besar lies with the party that won the election, not with the Sultan of Johor

As I've written yesterday, constitutional monarchs 'reign but not rule' - note plural in 'monarchs' as Malaysia has one Yang Dipertuan Agong (federal paramount ruler) and nine sultans as rulers of nine states.

The exceptions to having state rulers are the states of Penang, Malacca, Sarawak and Sabah, all being ruled directly by the Yang Dipertuan Agong or King).

Wikipedia informs us that:

British political scientist Vernon Bogdanor, paraphrasing Thomas Macaulay, has defined a constitutional monarch as "A sovereign who reigns but does not rule".

In addition to acting as a visible symbol of national unity, a constitutional monarch may hold formal powers such as dissolving parliament or giving royal assent to legislation.

However, the exercise of such powers is largely strictly in accordance with either written constitutional principles or unwritten constitutional conventions, rather than any personal political preference imposed by the sovereign.

In The English Constitution, British political theorist Walter Bagehot identified three main political rights which a constitutional monarch may freely exercise:

. the right to be consulted,
. the right to encourage, and
. the right to warn.

Many constitutional monarchies still retain significant authorities or political influence however, such as through certain reserve powers, and may also play an important political role.

The United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms are all constitutional monarchies in the Westminster system of constitutional governance.

Two constitutional monarchies – Malaysia and Cambodia – are elective monarchies, wherein the ruler is periodically selected by a small electoral college.

Also, the Federation of Malaysia has set rules (or laws) pertaining to state prerogatives, such as religious rights (where the state ruler is head of Islamic laws, governance, administration and policy making, and state land rights. Sabah and Sarawak enjoy more automous rights but this post does not intend to discuss those, yet anyway.

On the last state right of land, namely, state land rights, it is not to say the royal ruler of each state decides on disposal and administration of the state land (other than those he personally or as a ruler owns). The job is that of the Dewan Undang2 Negeri (DUN) where the MB is head of the state cabinet (exco) in the DUN.

But as we have seen recently, the Johor ruler has assertively made his claims over Johor land. Thus fra, no one dares to rebut him on his (this) assertion, but that doesn't mean HM has been correct.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Malaysia would no longer be a democratic country if monarchs were allowed to choose the prime minister and mentri besars, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

Responding to Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar’s warning to unnamed parties to stay out of the state’s affairs, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia would have been ruled by an absolute monarchy if that were to take place.

“I am in the opinion that if we assume that those who chose PMs and MBs were the monarchs, we will no longer be a democratic country anymore.

“This is because a party that was rightfully chosen by the people that has the power to appoint MBs have had their rights denied and thus undemocratic. We would be a country with an absolute monarchy,” he said during a press conference in Parliament today

Personally, much as I don't like Mahathir, constitutionally I have to agree with him, wakakaka.

Of course a MB has to be protocol-wise and practical-wise be accepted/approved by HRH of the respective state (or HM Johor), or the MB (CM) working with a hostile ruler would find his working life unbearable and almost (although not totally) impossible.

As I've written earlier, I respectfully disagree with my matey RPK who defends the royal presence as a vigorious 4th branch of government in Malaysia, namely, (1st branch) Executive (PM and cabinet), (2nd) Legislative (Parliament - Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara), (3rd) Judiciary and (4th) Royalty.

I subscribe to the original Westminster model where there is only the former three (minus Royalty).  Most Commonwealth nations who have inherited-adopted the Westminster model, eg. India, Australia, NZ, Canada, Singapore (and more) have complied with the same example as set by the British - those like India and Singapore have constitutional 'heads of state' (presidents or GG or 'Big Boss' or whatever) instead of a royal head.

Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, Canada, Australia & New Zealand

President Ram Nath Kovind of India

President Halimah Yacob of Singapore 

But I did acknowledge that in our still feudalistic-minded Malaysian society, RPK may be effectively-practically correct if not legally so.

Yes, in Malaysia the royals have successful burrowed into the mindset of their citizens as a factual if not legal component of the government.

And the more assertive the state ruler is, the more grip he would have amongst his (state) citizens. Indeed, compare the assertive personalities of HM Sultan of Johor with that of the previous (almarhum) HRH Sultan of Kedah (I apologise to the current HRH Kedah as I do not have the oportunity to observe his character).

Everyone knows the DNA of the Johor royal, with the previous (almarhum) ruler being the most terrifying, the current the most fair and loved, and the future (TMJ) as yet unknown though he has shown bits and pieces of his granddad.

When the current Johor ruler published his royal policy that he be addressed formally as 'His Majesty' (HM) rather than 'His Royal Highness' (HRH), I scented trouble with a capital 'T'.

I admit I had wildly speculated HM might be considering an autonomous rule for Johor, quite separated from (and with the minimum) Malaysian federal rule and polices, and very close association with (as well as guidance from) Singapore.

HM must have sensed Johor is in a terrific-strategic location as the state borders a 1st world nation and is also nearby to the very rich nation of Indonesia. Its eastern flank can be developed to receive enormous trading directly from China (including HK, Macau and Taiwan), Japan, South Korea and the rapidly developing Vietnam.

But please ignore me - as I have said I was wildly speculating, wakakaka.

Anyway, back to the core of this post, I smell trouble ahead for Putrajaya (Mahathir) versus Kota Iskandar-Muar (HM Sultan Johor), both of whom already have an ongoing vendetta from yester-years (with previous Sultan) and which has been further exacerbated by Mahathir's very hostile attitude towards Johor's Forest City development (because of Mahathir's hatred for Najib and Chinese).

Constitutionally-legally Mahathir is right that the Johor Sultan is a constitutional (and NOT an absolue) ruler and should reign (not rule) kuai-kuai, but then, how strong is HM's influence among the Malays? 


Malaysia's constitutional monarchs as "Sovereign who reign AND also rule".


  1. i will support mahathir 100%, especially against a serial liar like rpk.

    1. I support RPK.

      "The matters should be brought back to their right position and that the Malay Rulers should once more begin to rule and the British return to their true position of advisors". ~ Sir Hugh Clifford [1927]

    2. i would support rpk too if the other side is hadi. serial liar is much more predictable compare to the syaria compliant one.

      thank god its friday tomorrow.

    3. Wakakakakaka…

      Penghianat bolihland!

      Advisors errhhh…?

      Powerful enough to exile ANY inconsequential sultans of the land to the remote islands in the South Indian Ocean!

      Powerful enough to elect sultan bonaka to carry out their wishes to rule!

      R u sking for the pommie to be the master of the land AGAIN?

      In the same spirit of those blurred hongkie 'independent' movement?

      Memang cantik!

  2. ( strong is HM's influence among the Malays?)

    "Raja-raja Melayu dengan orang-orang Melayu tidak boleh dipisahkan, ibarat aur dengan tebing, seperti isi dengan kuku, bagai dakwat dengan kertas".

    ~ Titah DiRaja sempena Majlis Perasmian Multaqa Ilmuwan dan Profesional Pahang 2017 di Hotel Grand Darul Makmur pada 19 Ogos 2017.

    1. Said WHO?

      Ooop… the blue bloods!

      What about voices of the rakyat jelata of the NEW M'sia sans those blurred & backward marching feudalistic fools?

      Don't count errhh?

      Said u? A mfer of inconsequential rant!

    2. "Said WHO?"

      Kebawah Duli Yang Maha Mulia Pemangku Raja Pahang i.e. the present DYMM YDP Agong.

      CK.. do you know that you are an infidel reprobate?

    3. Is his saying carry more weight than the rakyat jelata?

      As a non-elected ceremonial head of the country, he SHOULDN'T take side in his speech!

      By saying : Raja-raja Melayu dengan orang-orang Melayu tidak boleh dipisahkan, ibarat aur dengan tebing, seperti isi dengan kuku, bagai dakwat dengan kertas".

      What about the Nons?

      Never the citizen of the land he so wanted to claim to 'preside'?

      Fortunately, when he said those words, he WASN'T the head of the country. Neither was he the head of that state.

      Pemangku mah!

      If u want to tie him in NOW then u know f*ck about been a reprobate - bcoz obviously u r acting out of what u meant!

      Thus, that saying of this blue blood carries ZILCH representation for this nation of multi-cultures WHEN he carries NONE of that title as the Agong.

      Keep that in yr small mind, zombified ketuanan freak!

    4. cant ww have benevolent raja, benevolent king, n benevolent british governor since we dun mind benevolent dictator?

    5. Mfer, not for u to say!

      Benevolency has to be seen in action to qualify.

      Not just yr fly-in-the-mouth diatribes!

      But, then again, for a wagging dog, all bones r the same whether given by who.

    6. nep qualify. mahathir sure give u lots of bone.

    7. Wakakakakaka…

      Nep qualified?

      Only IF it was/are implemented as truthfully as in the STATED letters printed on the paper!

      Mfer, r u trying to be a student of that mom?

      KT would love to have a classmate like u ler.

  3. This spat has the potential to form another schism amongst the Malays. The assumption that all Malays support the royals have yet to be proven.
    I don't think it is 100%

    So now not only do we have splits along the urban/rural/PAS/Amanah/PKR/UMNO/Bersatu/East Malaysia/West Malaysia/Idontcare lines we now have a royal/anti-royal split in amongst all that.

    Welcome to the rollicking world of democracy...! I'm Lovin' It..!

    Will we see a Jexit?

    1. ["Sabah dan Sarawak ada MA63 mereka. Johor juga ada MA48 dan MA57 mereka".]

      Yea..Likewise, I'm Lovin' It too. I'm takin' a gallery seat and slowly munchin' d rempeyek.

    2. Republik Malaysia is more likely to happen than Jexit, though both are dangerous developments.

      The 17-25 year old Malays whom I interact with a lot don't bother much about Royalty one way or the other.

      But if ever the Royals become a negative disruptive force in the country, don't underestimate the possibility younger generation Malays will turn against them.

    3. Jexit?

      Independence for Sabah & Sarawak first.

      Then the reversal to the status of the strait settlements for Penang & Malacca!

      Then let those morons f*ck around with the likes of the federated & non-federated malay states.

      Failed state - final curtain call!

    4. most of Indonesia's sultans have "disappeared" with the exception of the Yogyakarta Sultanate where Sultan Hamengkubuwono X is much revered by the Jogjakartaans - it shows there can be an exception towards republicanism even in republic Indonesia. His heir is Crown Princess Mangkubumi - she has been conferred the title of Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Pembayun (Princess Royal)

  4. This reminds me of the Johor-Riau-Lingga Sultanate. This empire was split by the Dutch and the British. Today, two members of the royalty were acknowledged as National Heroes of Indonesia. I have been to Lingga. Most of the Malays in Lingga speak fluent Malay with Johore accent.

    1. Johor Royalty are from a Riau line

    2. Wakakakakaka…

      Who's vomiting shit?

  5. Anyone realise why UMNO and PAS are being so quiet on this matter? Is it because they are behind the Deep State to create this mess for TDM and the PH Govt?

    Now with a power tussle going on, where are the voices from these 2 parties who pledged to support TDM? Why desert TDM when having a Constitutional crisis brewing of their part doings? Are they Royalists or Democrats?

    This crisis is going to be even bigger than the previous talks of secession by the Borneo States of Sarawak and Sabah and now on preserving the MA63 rights when forming the Federation of Malaysia which rightfully should be honored but betrayed by their own people's representatives in Parliament.

    Perhaps, Johor DT should also be allowed to secede to solve the problem, since the State was the first state to ever have it's own Constitution in 1895 which was copied by other States including the Federal Constitution and defining also the meaning of Constitutional Monarchy for Johor and the Ruler's roles and powers.

    Since everything finally boils down to the justification of protecting the people/subjects by everyone involved as the major justification, the only solution out of this constitutional mess would perhaps be to hold a Referendum among all Johoreans and let the people/subjects of Johor decide.

    Then amend the States and Federal Constitution according to the results of the Referendum to ensure future Johoreans and Malaysians obey the Rules of Laws.

  6. If Royalty operates on an apolitical basis, with integrity, they will retain the support and loyalty of Malays, and all Malaysian citizens, for that matter.

    If they take sides politically, or conduct their own politics, or use the power to favour their own private personal business interests, they will lose support and respect.

    For most of human history, a form of hereditary Kingship was the predominant form of power. One family held power, until it lost power, to be replaced by some other ruling family or a period of anarchy.

    In the 20th Century, the move towards Republicanism worldwide has been irresistible, sweeping away most of the hereditary monarchs. Many met violent or ignominious ends.
    Individuals still lust for power, but royal families are unacceptable in much of the world.

    The concept of Constitutional Monarchy was a way to adapt to this Republican movement. A non-political Monarchy that serves as a symbol of the country's history and heritage but without power may yet survive for a long time.

    Monarchs who attempt to revert back to real Ruling power, I'm afraid, will get swept away into the dustbin of history, sooner or later.

    Malaysia is not an island.

  7. Dear KTemoc,
    Is it seditious to suggest that a referendum be held to find out whether the rakyat really need a royal ruler or just an elected President from the maases.
    The Malays do not need protection from you know who.

    1. though not a constitutional lawyer, I have to guess 'YES' as it questions the current Constitutional clauses pertaining to the position of the Malay rulers - don't touch, don't say, don't get into trouble, wakakaka - ampun tuanku

    2. It should not be seditious for Parliament to decide and act on a referendum, like for the independence of Scotland. Like has been said many times, nobody is above the law and Parliament makes the law.

      A referendum on Scottish independence from the United Kingdom took place on Thursday 18 September 2014. The referendum question was "Should Scotland be an independent country?", which voters answered with "Yes" or "No". The "No" side won, with 2,001,926 (55.3%) voting against independence and 1,617,989 (44.7%) voting in favour. The turnout of 84.6% was the highest recorded for an election or referendum in the United Kingdom since the introduction of universal suffrage.

      The Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013, setting out the arrangements for the referendum, was passed by the Scottish Parliament in November 2013, following an agreement between the devolved Scottish government and the Government of the United Kingdom. To pass, the independence proposal required a simple majority.

  8. The winner takes it all
    The loser standing small
    Beside the victory
    That's her destiny

  9. Game over!

    Mamak's wish GOES.

    What can that majesty does BUT to comply after having a second of venting his syiok-sendiri ego?