Wednesday, June 30, 2021

In Malaysia DERHAKA is an act reserved for only Malays

Why does the PN regime get away with disrespecting the royal institution?

by S Thayaparan

“Imagine if it was Tommy Thomas’ photo with the same headline during PH time!” 

– Hannah Yeoh on twitter

COMMENT | What I like about Hannah Yeoh’s tweet, is that it neatly demonstrates with few words, how race has been weaponised in this country. It also gives us an indication, why the Perikatan Nasional (PN) regime will never throw in the towel, when it comes to this fight for its survival.

While the Malay establishment wars with itself, with various factions either attempting to prop up this regime or collapse it for self-interests, the average Malay partisan is attempting to find terra firma (solid ground) when it comes to the quick forming sinkhole of what used to be sacred Malay preoccupations.

What this pandemic has also done is expose the hypocrisy of the race and religion crowd and demonstrated how supposed sacred cows, in Malay politics, are not so sacred after all. Yeoh is right, if Tommy Thomas had made such a statement when Pakatan Harapan was in power, the Malay establishment would be calling for his head.

Furthermore, the DAP would be blamed – because the DAP is blamed for everything by this crowd – and this would have become, a horse manure talking point, about how the non-Malays do not respect the royal institution.

Kudos to Lim Guan Eng drawing attention to “… Idrus (Harun)’s sudden boldness against the Agong and the rulers now?” and for neatly pointing to the absurdity of the attorney-general’s (AG) argument when it comes to “cabinet” deciding when Parliament can reconvene. The line of reasoning by DAP’s Beruas MP, Ngeh Koo Ham, regarding this matter is in line with most mainstream constitutional law experts, or at least those I have been in contact with.

What we have here, is the AG getting away with “disrespecting” the royalty (by standards imposed on the average rakyat) and Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, calling for the courts to weigh in on this issue. Perfectly acceptable, but only if you are Malay, but more importantly, part of the Malay establishment.

Because if you are someone like human rights lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, then you would be charged. If you are someone like artist-activist Fahmi Reza, you would be charged. Indeed, if you were an average joe rakyat, and the minions from Putrajaya deemed what you said or wrote an insult to the royal institution, then you would be hauled up for disrespecting the royal institution.

Padang Rengas MP Nazri Abdul Aziz, when he is not acting as an official spokesperson for a cabal of plotters, but more importantly when he is not going abroad to see that his child is registered in a foreign school, likes to fly the Malay uber alles (above all) flag on campaign stumps.

Two years ago when Harapan was in power and during the Semenyih by-election, he cautioned Malaysians that the “Malays” were dissatisfied about non-Malays holding positions of power like the attorney-general, chief justice and finance minister – in probably the most ironic moment in Malaysians politics – because “….. (they) do not trust a non-Malay holding that position can be fair, instead of acting according to the skin colour.”

Nazri also made it a religious issue by claiming - “An individual swearing before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong must use the Quran because the king is a Muslim. If one does not use the Quran, then he or she is not bound to the oath taken.”

However, the main take away from this incident is when Nazri said this - “It is the duty of every prime minister and the government to defend the (Malay) privilege. However, the government is weak.”

So apparently the most sacred cow of Malay privileges, the royal institution, is not so sacred after all. Now forget the legalese and actual legal positions for a minute. Nazri said the position of the AG for example should only be held by a Malay “…in order to uphold the Federal Constitution and Islam.”

So either Idrus Harus is upholding the constitution, even though you could argue that he was disrespectful of the wishes of the royal institution, or he is not upholding the constitution while being disrespectful of the Agong.

Either way if a non-Malay has made such statements, you can bet your last ringgit that Nazri and the rest of the Malay uber alles crowd would be going ape manure. However, when we have the Malay establishment either remaining quiet or making pleas to “secular” institutions to resolve the issue, you know that PN has wandered off the Malay mainstream political reservation. So much for the position that only a Malay can protect Malay interests as defined by the constitution.

Nazri, of course, was then investigated for “sedition”, but nothing came of it. In fact, nothing comes of such charges when influential Malay political figures and personalities make such statements. This is all part of the “privilege” that comes with being in the Malay political establishment. The rules rarely apply to you and even when they do, you would not suffer the consequences of your actions like how an average Malaysian would. Please refer to a story on prisons that Malaysiakini just did.

Remember when Umno president Zahid Hamidi said democracy is dead in Malaysia because PN killed it? The only thing Zahid gets wrong is that the PN killed democracy in this country. PN may have landed the killing blow, but democracy has been assaulted in this country for decades under the long Umno watch.

Having said that, the best thing about the Sheraton betrayal is that it has finally exposed the farcical nature of Malay privilege. In reality all those sacred cows are sacrificial ones, and the only people in this country who are disrespectful to something like the royal institution are those who weaponised race and claim who want to defend it.

After all, through the decades, who was it that curtailed the powers of the royal institutions but at the same enabled a system of economic benefit, as Zaid Ibrhaim alludes to here – “Others are very wealthy and are deep into businesses; which can be done only with the support of the peoples’ representatives, that is to say, the politicians.”

This pandemic has proven two things. First, that this Malay uber alles government is a complete failure. And the second, is that the mainstream Malay political establishment cannot coalesce around a strategy that benefits Malaysia even when faced with a global pandemic, which threatens the political, social and economic ecosystems of the country.

Then again, as a non-Malay, my words mean bupkis. So here is Nazri again back in the day, his words prophetic – “Lots of issues that were unimaginable before are an issue now. As some said, (we are) surrendering our rights to others.”

Ain’t that the truth.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum - "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."


  1. Hari Korban Sudah Mari, So sembelih lah itu Lembu Suci; bagi DPM kepada kaum bukan Melayu/Islam. Belum Cuba Belum Tahu.

  2. DAP, by default, is considered disrespectful of Malay Royalty.

    Presumption of Guilt.

  3. No matter how the good commander rent and rave, it will not change anything.

    People like Nazri will ensure the Malays dominate every facet of Malaysian life. Wait till the population of Malays become 75% or even 70% of Malaysia.....