Saturday, November 24, 2018

Roadsigns for constitutional rulers

Malaysiakini - The monarchs should stay above politics by the Agora Society:

LETTER | The Agora Society views with grave concern the recent trend in which sultans of the various states are increasingly involved in political affairs. Not only does it go against the role of the Malay rulers under a constitutional monarchy, but it also undermines the fundamental spirit of democracy.

Given that a democratic society is one that is based on the rule of law, to acquiesce to the rule of man is to make a travesty of the principle of being governed by consent under a democratic system.

All policies and their amendments ought to be subject to deliberation and debate by elected lawmakers in the legislature before they can be implemented by the government. Any act that trivialises this democratic process runs counter to the collective will of the people.

We are of the opinion that the sultans are entitled to comment on government policies but their views can only be acted upon after they have been reviewed and approved by the legislature or the government.

Since independence, this democratic process has long been strictly adhered to at the federal and state levels, as manifested perfectly in the parliamentary debate on the King's speech and the state assembly debate on the sultan’s speech.

Article IV (1), (1A) and (2) of the Selangor state constitution state clearly that the sultan “shall act in accordance with the advice of the executive council” except for several situations in which the sultan is given discretionary power, including:

- the appointment of a menteri besar,

- refusal to dissolve the state assembly,

- request for the Council of the Royal Court to deliberate on the special position of the sultan or religious ceremonies,

- issues pertaining to the sultan as the head of Islam or Malay customs,

- appointment of an heir to the throne,

- awarding of honours and dignities, and

- maintenance of the royal palaces.

Quite clearly, the state constitution does not provide for the sultan to interfere directly in state or local government affairs.

It is precisely because we treasure the monarchs as a symbol of national unity that we consider it of paramount importance that they should stay above politics and avoid being drawn into conflicts over partisan interests.

The monarchs should also maintain a neutral position that transcends all kinds of disputes so as to steer clear of even the smallest political mistake, for there is no better way to safeguard the reputation of the monarchs.

The decree by the Sultan of Selangor to remove the bilingual road signs in Shah Alam, the state capital, has indeed raised the issue as to whether the monarch has acted beyond constitutional jurisdiction.

Recently, the Sultan of Johor also reprimanded Chan Wei Kjhan, an Iskandar Puteri local councillor, for issuing a bilingual letter. The sultan’s warning that the said councillor should resign if he could not perform well represents another example of royal interference in politics.

The Agora Society would like to emphasise that every party should respect the autonomy of all the local authorities, including the multilingual policies that they have enacted. Be it the state government, federal government or the monarchs, none of them should interfere arbitrarily in the decisions made by local councils.

Should any of the elected or non-elected institutions be dissatisfied with a certain local policy, they may seek to address it via official channels by discussing the issue with the local authorities, or challenge the said local policy in a judicial court and let the judiciary resolve the dispute.

The writers are a loose network of activists who advance democratic progress through critical analyses and propositions based on the principles of democracy and good governance.


  1. Expect at least 50-100 police reports to be made against the author's of the letter, and they will be hauled up for sedition.
    And if the police reports are made in 6 different States, they will be arrested and transferred from state to state.

    That is how people are threatened into silence in Malaysia.

  2. The Monarchs having it's own Ruler's Council should be considered as the 4th check and balance of power in Malaysia besides the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary arms of a democratic country like Malaysia.

    As what happened previously during the BN regime, only the Ruler's Council/Monarchs was the only arm not compromised even though it did not stop the rot setting in.

    You never know when the Ruler's Council might be the saviour one day if a Hitler/Stalin arises among Malaysians via the democratic system.

    An expensive insurance system to maintain yearly no doubt but worth it to help ensure the country will never be destroyed one day thru some madmen.

    If ever any Monarch/Ruler were to call the people one day to rise in arms, surely the Armed Forces (various branches being headed by all the Monarchs) will be the first to heed such calls.

    That's the reality in Malaysia. civil society groups or NGOs or anti-royalists should pay heed to.

    1. sure or not? how come many anak raja like rpk wan to see bloodshed instead?

    2. Just like politicians, there are also good and bad Monarchs.

      So, a Ruler's Council is also like a small democratic arm of an existing Monarchy system in Malaysia.

      The Rulers Council must never allow politicians and relgious clerics to hijack their roles and responsibilities otherwise it will lead to their downfall one day.

    3. Where the f*ck is there a mention in the FedConstitution about the legality/authority of the council of rulers?

      There IS not such provision - never then & never now.

      R u buying into the trash that has been relentlessly promoted/faked by the mom?

    4. on this issue I agree with CK - Rulers Council has no political function nor is allowed it. Don't forget,. they are ALL constitutional rulers. Only the Malay culture and not legislation put them in a special powerful niche.

      Its sole purpose is to confer, consult each brother ruler and agree to issues on royal matters including their positions as Head of Islam in their respective states.

    5. could it be they r one that hijack the peoples ignorance to ensure they stay?

    6. Do you all know that whenever the word or consent of Agong is required, it is the Rulers Council which made the decision involving Federal matters or appointments?

      All major Federal administrative posts in the executive, legislature or judiciary and all Armed Forces officers appointed needs the approval of the Rulers Council before Agong can sign-off.

      Tak tau, duduk diam-diam and do not be seen as jack-ass.

    7. everything is decided by the PM (though theoretically by teh cabinet). The Agong just signed as advised.

      Insofar as The Rulers' Council is involved, its main role is, as per Article 38 of the Constitution of Malaysia, the election of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) and his deputy, the Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong, which occurs every five years or when the positions fall vacant (either through death, resignation, or removal from office). The Rulers Council also plays a role in amending the Constitution of Malaysia and some other policies, in particular, those Articles which have been "entrenched", namely those pertaining to the status of the rulers, the special privileges of the indigenous Bumiputra, the status of the Malay language as the national language, and the clause governing the entrenchment of such Articles.

  3. Hi Agora Society, if you think that HRH Sultan has let the people down by overstepping the bounds of his authority, then go and rally outside the palace gate. I would like to see how many of the rakyats will hold up placards supporting your cause?

    1. Don't u ask!

      When the situation had ripened, such thing COULD happen. Do remember when mamak initiated the constitutional amendment to clamp the powers of the rulers, u saw many rakyats(melayu included) holding up placards supporting his cause.

      Blurred & moronic f*cks like u should consider the open secret that the agong had accepted RM100M to go on emergency leave on the eve of 509. Mamak is using this to puppet-play with him. Hence, anything mamak 'advised', goes!

      See the final consequence if u follow this line of thoight? Wakakakakaka…

      Yr spurious feudalistic royal support IS just yr undeclared aim to perpetual yr tkngkat addiction lah!