(A fair king is a king to obey, a cruel king is a king to fight against)
About three weeks ago I posted Bismarck: The king reigns but does not govern, in which I commented on Malaysiakini news article Raja Nazrin: Rulers will not act on wrong advice.
Some people had actually rejoiced that on HRH's promise we may be getting some so-called royal ‘check & balance’, but I was filled with dread for I fear royal interference in politics after witnessing the unnecessary humiliation of Perak MB Nizar.
I was not impressed at all by that episode, made worse when the reason given for chopping the MB off at his knees was wrong!
Only Karpal Singh had the constitutional knowledge, conscience and guts to speak out loudly against the wrong against Nizar, even at the risk of being accused of lèse majesté.
In my post I stated that the democracy of Malaysia, warts and all, already has a system of ‘check & balance’, which admittedly didn’t work too well until recently, but then, I asked pointedly, when it didn’t work well, where were the royalty?
I posed the rhetorical question: Why then is our democratic system of the tripartite ‘check & balance’ (executive, legislative and judiciary) beginning to awake from its Rip-Van-Winkle-an slumber?
Maybe AAB has loosened the shackles, maybe Anwar Ibrahim has provided the leadership, maybe the people have been sick of the arrogance of unfettered racism and the rampant exploitation of politics for reasons of individual avarice, and thus are more prepared to exert their voice, etc?
Whoever, whichever, whatever, our political reawakening and enjoyment of a more liberal political environment have been attained without any help from royalty! Not an iota! None whatsoever!
They were deafeningly silent when they should have spoken out, but now, like us they too are flexing their own Mahathirised-atrophied muscles in the changed socio-political environment, and reinventing their role in and relevance to society, to enhance their personal status and claw back their stripped down power.
Hardly surprising, soon after, Malaysiakini published March 8 emboldens monarchy in which Negeri Sembilan Regent Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Jaffar stated:
Royal immunity has been lost for 15 years. It needs to be reclaimed and reinstated so that the constitutional monarchy can be restored its full sovereignty so as to play a more fitting and effective role in the 21st century as guardian of the constitution so that the endeavour to safeguard the interests of all communities, to promote peace, prosperity, economic security and good governance can surely be fulfilled.
The fact has been that we, the public, have achieved all that followed from 08 March 08 by ourselves without any help from royalty, for none was forthcoming from them.
In fact, we have been enjoying better protection from some feral members of royalty since Dr M clipped their fangs and claws.
If there is one thing we can thank Dr M, it would be his putting a notorious and feral member of the royalty in his place. Thank goodness the tyrannical days of Sultan Mansur Shah of the Malacca Sultanate is no more, and let’s keep it that way.
Royalty still has a unifying role to play without their direct dabbling at the coal face of democratic politics ..... though, mind you, many of us were utterly disappointed by the less-than-unifying pronouncement of the recent Rulers Conference.
Today I read in Malaysiakini a letter written by WDS27Z titled Malay rulers have neglected duties as protectors.
WDS27Z essentially asked what I had – when democracy didn’t work too well in Malaysia, where were the royalty?
It’s only now, when they sensed a weak PM, they have begun to ‘act tough’.
WDS27Z wrote (extracts): Tunku Naquiyuddin compares Malay rulers to monarchs in other countries and laments that the Malay rulers are the only monarchs who do not enjoy the immunity their peers around the world enjoy.
Dear esteemed regent, monarchs in other countries did not (at least, not in civilised times) shoot at drivers who overtook their cars.
Yes, I’ve heard of this one from many sources. I've also heard of a member of the royalty assaulting a caddy very seriously or fatally. The caddy's brother, a soldier, was so incensed by his caddy brother's injuries (or death?) that he ran amok in the Chow Kit (?) area in Kuala Lumpur, shooting a couple of civilians dead.
Should legal immunity be restored to royalty? Maybe Dr Wan Azizah should re-think her PKR publicly stated policy. Please don't just think of ingratiating your husband into the warm embrace of their Royal Highnesses.
WDS27Zcontinued: Neither did their royal children go to schools where teenage students were playing hockey and demand that "No 2 and No 18 be brought to the palace tonight" …..
Yes, we all know this, the final straw that led to Dr M’s action, and may Allah swt, God and Lord Krishnan bless him (Dr M, that is) for castrating the bane of the frightened public. No one else had the guts and the personality to do what he (Dr M) did.
And Dr Wan Azizah, I believe the family of the hockey coach, the late Douglas Gomez, may have more than a few words to say about restoring legal immunity to royalty. Why don't you consult them?
Then WDS27Z shocked us (or at least me!): ….. or go to nightclubs and have their bodyguards tell a man that his wife needed to spend the night at the palace for the ruler's pleasure.
I have been shocked because I haven’t heard this one before, so I wouldn't know who was the ruler, but more importantly, tell me what you would have done if you were that man told that the ruler wanted your wife at the palace that night (let me put it graphically) for him to fuck?
In an almost similar situation (but not involving wives or sex, but sheer unmitigated tyranny) my uncle told me about his Malay friend in the Armed Forces who openly stated that if a ruler (fond of bashing officers in public at his whims and fancies) were to so much as touch him he would immediately retaliate and bash the ruler and f* the consequences.
Obviously the bloke was so mad at the tyranny (maybe he saw what were terrible tyrannical injustice perpetuated against his brother officers) that he threw caution to the wind.
The military big brass were so convinced of his voiced resolution and thus terrified that they neutralized the possibility by keeping him away from any encounter with you–know-who.
WDS27Z concluded: Immunity has its immense privileges but, unfortunately, along with it comes responsibility. Rulers need to display that they are able to act responsibly before they can ask for immunity to be re-established and they need to show that they will collectively take responsible and appropriate action when one of their brethren acts in violation of the inherent expectations of this freedom.
Yes, where were they then?