Sultans Must Read Their Subjects Well

By M. Bakri Musa

The current tussle between the Sultan of Perak and his Pakatan Chief Minister is not the first, nor will it be the last, such crises in the country.

Contrary to the assertions of constitutional scholars and legal practitioners, this is not a legal issue. Its solution does not lie with the court system. Nor does it require of us to return to the old feudal ways of blind loyalty to the sultan, as some traditionalist would wish.

I am not surprised that Sultan Raja Azlan, a former chief justice, would view this as a legal matter. However, the reputation and salvation of Raja Azlan specifically, and that of the institution of sultans generally, would require of him to look beyond the law for a solution. Anything less and he would risk our country degenerating into another Thailand, cursed with endless constitutional and political crises. Coming as it is during these trying economic times, it would also be a major distraction, one we could do without.

The continued relevance and indeed survival of our sultans depend on their ability to read the rakyats’ mood correctly, not on some cultural traditions, court precedents, or political expedience.

Lessons From The Past

Past experiences have shown that it was rare for the sultans to emerge from these political crises with their reputations enhanced, or the institution of royalty strengthened. Even when the sultans emerged as heroes, they exposed their blemishes. Raja Azlan needs to be extra diligent to make this episode the exception. Thus far it has not been promising.

Consider the Malayan Union fiasco in 1946. The sultans meekly agreed to the British “suggestion” of turning the country into a dominion. Whether it was British perfidy or the sultans’ stupidity, the result was the same. The price tag too was modest: piddling pensions and perfunctory visits to Buckingham Palace for the sultans. As a sweetener, just in case, they were awarded the knighthood of some medieval English order.

Fortunately their subjects, then almost exclusively Malays, were not as meek, or easily hoodwinked and cheaply bought. Under the leadership of the late Datuk Onn, the Malay masses, on the pretext of paying homage, descended upon the palace in Kota Baru where the rulers had gathered. They effectively prevented the sultans from leaving the premise to ratify the agreement with the new British governor, effectively scuttling the treaty. Thus ended the brief and naked British power grab.

It was also a devastatingly effective demonstration of the halus (refined) ways of our culture. Fortunately the sultans correctly read the subtle message from their rakyats. Good thing too, for had it not been for those village peasants intervening, our sultans would today be reduced to the status of the Sultan of Sulu. Today’s highflying sultans must be reminded of this – and often – lest they forget, as they are wont to.

Less than a decade later with the Federation of Malaya replacing the Malayan Union, and with the sultans securely ensconced in their palaces, this delicate balance between the ruler and the ruled would once again be tested, this time in the negotiations for independence. It turned out that our sultans were less than enthusiastic with the idea, at least initially. Not an unreasonable posture, considering the fate of their brother hereditary rulers in independent India and Indonesia.

Fortunately the sultans again correctly read the rakyats’ mood. After all, the pro-independence Alliance coalition scored a near unanimous victory in the 1955 general elections. Despite that, those rulers did not give in easily. They demanded – and received – assurances that their royal status would be enhanced. Indeed the Reid Commission tasked with drafting a constitution for the new nation codified the role of the sultans beyond their being mere feudal heads of their respective states.

The new constitution provided for a new national body, The Council of Rulers, headed by a “King” to be chosen from among his brother rulers. Unlike real kings however, the new Agong would, apart from being “elected,” have a limited tenure of only five years – unheard of for any royalty anywhere. Further, this Council would have veto authority on legislations passed by the bicameral (House and Senate) Parliament.

Functionally this Council of Rulers would thus be a Third House of Parliament, a miniature House of Lords but with an exclusive membership of only nine sultans. This enhanced status of the sultans also satisfied the Malay masses, feeding their vanity patriotism of Ketuanan Melayu.

With their now elevated status and considerably more generous civil allowances, our royal families soon acquired regal tastes beyond what they could have imagined in their kampong days. Now they compare themselves not to the Sultan of Sulu but the Queen of England and oil-rich Middle Eastern potentates. Actually, closer to the Arab potentates! Our sultans lack the social finesse and regal restraint of Windsor Castle but have all the excesses and vulgarities of the House of Saud.

Time has a way of eroding the wisdom acquired from earlier experiences. Royal excesses soon knew no bounds; it would only be a matter of time when the sultans would clash with the elected leaders. By mid 1980s the sultans would face an adversary in the person of Prime Minister Mahathir, a leader whose heritage and upbringing would put him not in the least in awe of things royal.

On taking on the sultans, Mahathir precipitated a severe constitutional crisis. He prevailed but the price was high. Mahathir had to unleash his hound dogs in the mainstream media to uncover every royal transgression, venal and minor, real and imagined, in order to discredit the sultans. It was not pretty.

While Mahathir effectively clipped the wings of these highflying sultans, they could still fly high and far. Barred from meddling in political matters, they found a lucrative niche in commerce. With that they could acquire the latest luxury jets to fly to their favorite distant casinos.

Political Tsunami Impacted the Sultans

Things would have remained the same, with the royals indulging their newfound wealth, had it not been for the political tsunami that swept Malaysia in the March 2008 election. Sensing a leadership vacuum with the Barisan coalition now crippled, the sultans began flexing their muscles. Pakatan leaders, uncertain of their new role, did not quite know how to handle these newly assertive sultans. By default and fearful of appearing to challenge the Malay sultans, Pakatan state leaders readily gave way to the sultans in Perak, Kedah and Selangor.

Even in states where Barisan did not lose, as in Trengganu, the sultan there was not shy in asserting himself. In no uncertain terms and without any hint of subtlety the Sultan of Trengganu rebuffed the UMNO leadership and succeeded in having an individual more to his liking to be the new chief minister. Prime Minister Abdullah was impotent; his candidate was summarily rejected by the sultan.

Not to be outdone, a few months later the Sultan of Perak intervened in the micro management of the state over the transfer of a junior functionary in the religious department, on the pretext that matters pertaining to Islam are the exclusive preserve of the sultan. His claim was not challenged.

Nature abhors a vacuum; a weakened Barisan and as yet uncertain Pakatan Rakyat created this opportunity for the sultans to reassert themselves.

What surprised me is that this power grab is being led by a sultan who is generally acknowledged as the most enlightened of the lot, having served as the nation’s chief justice and who has as his crown prince an intellect schooled in the finest universities of the West. That they chose to revert to their feudal past given the slightest chance was a great disappointment.

This power struggle between the sultans and the political elite, and among the political leaders, would not interest me except that it deeply polarizes Malaysians. That this polarization transcends race is no consolation.

After over half a century of dominant one-party rule, the country unsurprisingly has difficulty adjusting to the possibility of a minority or even change in government. This adjustment is most difficult on current leaders. Things would have been difficult even if the sultans were to play their constitutionally assigned role of honest brokers, but with their trying to reassert themselves, it makes for a combustible combination.

The other consequence to this power struggle is that the institution of sultan will never again be the same. The oxymoronic expression of ousted Perak Mentri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin, “Patek menyembah memohon derhaka!” (roughly translated, “Pardon me for my peasant insurrection!”) will now be part of our lexicon. More significantly, his Jebat-like stance has all the makings of a modern day Malay heroism. This powerful imagery is now indelibly etched in our Malay psyche.

It is not the sight of citizens giving the Perak crown prince the middle finger that stunned me rather that this was done so openly, spontaneously, and in-your-face style. The sultan’s website (put up initially to demonstrate a royal family very much in tune with its Internet savvy citizens) had to be deactivated as it was quickly filled with shocking insults. Even former Prime Minister Mahathir felt compelled to condemn those attacks.

It matters not; the genie is now out of the bottle. The sultans are now no longer what they once were. I do not lament this; I just hope that the sultans recognize this sea change in their subjects.

Nor do I miss the days of a strong and dominant government. That would be good only if the leaders were fair, honest and competent. Saddam Hussein’s government was strong and dominant; look at the devastations it created.

Canada has a tradition for minority governments, and its citizens are not at all ill served by that. Indeed there is considerable merit in having a divided or minority government. That would be the most effective system of checks and balances.

With a deeply polarized citizenry, the days of a supra majority government are gone. It is for this reason we must have an institution like the sultan that can act as an honest broker so as to maintain political neutrality and stability. Now that too is gone. That is what disappoints me most with this latest political crisis in Perak.

If a sultan as enlightened as Raja Azlan could not disentangle himself from this political morass, we have little hope that the other sultans would be any better.

There is a silver lining to all this. Thanks to Nizar’s Jebat-like stance of “Patek menyembah mohon derhaka!” Malaysia will never degenerate into an absolute monarchy. In times like this, we have to savor such blessings!

  1. #1 by mangofruit on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 12:04 pm

    “Ampun tuanku beribu-ribu ampun, patek menyembah mohon derhaka”. They used to say “love changes everything”, now no more. It is “money changes everything”.

  2. #2 by Thinking Two on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 12:04 pm

    Year 0001 to 1000 were Years of YIN.
    Year 1001 to 2000 were Years of YANG.
    Year 2001 to 3000 are Years of YIN and YANG where the Polarity is a mile stone.

    This indicates that YIN and YANG will be happening at the same time. Matters will be in a constant changing state.

    It was already happened in USA with Obama elected to be the US President.

    It is happening NOW.

    We are witnessing NOW.

  3. #3 by michael13 on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 12:22 pm

    Just a repeat from Obama:” To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and silencing of the dissent, you are on the wrong side of the history.” Patience and perseverance are two of the best friends of Rakyat NOW; because they will surely put us on the right side of the history in the next GE.

  4. #4 by pulau_sibu on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 12:31 pm

    I view something as very wrong. How can a royal family member who will succeed throne as sultan been a chief justice? They should not be in politics as well, not to say in the judicial system.

    Sultans may be wresting power from BN. BN are very happy now for the results. One day, Sultans may start a coup and take over the country, and make it something like one of the Arab countries. if you ask the people whether they like the BN or Sultans, I afraid most people would pick the sultans.

  5. #5 by leongwk15 on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 12:56 pm

    America, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and so on, these are some of the well developed and well to do countries in the world. They are not ruled by a King or a Sultan.

    If China is still ruled by the emperor till today, I believe their people still as poor as ever and way behind from the rest of the world. That is why the people of republic of China has to go for revolution and tumble the emperor. The emperor was enjoying and having a jollyful time in their life even though he knows the people and China is not progress well. One after another emperor took over and continue on the privilage and luxury in life.


    Fellow Malaysian are getting to know more of their rights and how a country should be running. It will not be long that we will see changes in power to rule and run the country.

  6. #6 by Thinking Two on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 1:28 pm

    Knowledge is POWER.

    They can’t fool all the people all the time.

    Everything is back to the Basic.

  7. #7 by monsterball on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 1:40 pm

    Man made laws and laws must be set aside……to hear the cries of helpless Malaysians for a gods gifted man…to protect them. Movies have shown….how justice are performed by Spider-man..Batman…and in real life…freedom fighters..all break laws to defend the helpless.
    Not one person…who goes to see a movie.showing a person .. breaking all do right things for the people and country….come out feeling disgusted.
    Producers of such films will go bankcrupt….if they show..a person with great power….so law abiding….ignoring the country and people…especially ..when the country is managed by a corrupted racialist government.
    Films are also to educated people…with hidden..moral and ethical messages.
    Bakri Musa…is another long winded…writer that is sounding up….UMNO??
    The style and message is boring and confusing.
    People’s Power are all waiting for the 13th election.

  8. #8 by One4All4One on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 1:44 pm

    Kudos to you, again, Bakri Musa! A very well written piece, especially with regard to the position of the royalty and monarchy in Malaysia vis-a-vis their impact on the political landscape.

    You, being a liberal anak Melayu and an intelligent and enlightened one at that, are in a better and enviable position than any others (read : the non-Malay) to freely speak your mind in an uninhibited manner and not running into the senseless risk of being branded as or accused of being anti-Malay, or anti-royalty, and suffering the consequential accusation of committing treason, sedition, etc., etc.

    Other than the impact of the position of royalty and their inherent interests on the political situation in Malaysia, one other significant matter which influences and dictates the way politics is being played out in Malaysia is communal politics.

    Communal politics has many faults and weaknesses. The prime evil is its abuse and manipulation by racists or opportunists and used indiscriminately and maliciously in creating fissures among the multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-religious communities in Malaysia.

    Nothing creates more trouble and tension in society than racial and religious posturing and positioning. And communal politics could be conveniently and effectively used to divide and rule the diverse community.

    Often, it could be observed in Malaysia that racial posturing and positioning are being used to gain unfair advantages in policy formulation and implementation. All at the expense of a more equitable, fair, transparent and sincere national integration and development.

    As such, communal politics should be entirely banned or outlawed to make way for multi-racial based politics.

    Then no one could lay claim that his/her political party or ethnicity has the unfettered exclusivity to all and sundry.

  9. #9 by ch on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 1:50 pm

    Dear all,

    The political landscape in Singapore was like in Malaysia 40 years ago. There were race based and even religion based political parties in Singapore then. Lee Kuan Yew took a hard nosed decision in the very early days that a multi racial inclusive party is the way forward. Kuan Yew also recognized that groups of elected representatives could band together and form new political pary and oust the government of the day if they could gather sufficient numbers. Hence the change in constitution that requires elected representative to step down if he chooses to change party affiliation. In the case of Malaysia, it does appear that party hooping is widely encouraged which of course runs counter to basic ethics effectively takes away the real power of the electorate and the foundation of modern democracy. It is widely known that Malaysia was presented with a golden opportunity to reform its political agenda and system following the March 2008 general election. A two party political system has more or less emerged and Malaysians finally had a voice in the running of the country. Of course in a two party political system, the government of the day has to prove its ability to govern and the electorate/people shall decide every 4/5 years on which party is best able to administer. Question before us is whether the government of the day is prepared to face the electorate every 4/5 years and vest the power to decide with the people? Recent events in Perak seem to suggest otherwise. The Sultan is just but a ceremonial leader and know well that his future and prosperity lies substantially in the hands of the government of the day. Hence it should not be any surprise if he prefers a devil that he knows than the deep blue sea. In the absence of state support, the Maharajas of India are just commoner today. Most of them are not doing too well in the business world (as they lack the acumen due to their palatial lifestyle before) and had sold their palaces and land for quick returns in order to feed their family or maintain their lifestyle. The British royalty is losing their support and so are most of the monarchs around the world. Do you think such scenarios did play in the mind of the Sultan every now and then?

  10. #10 by bennylohstocks on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 2:05 pm

  11. #11 by P.O.T.S on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 2:16 pm

    The whole Perak episode has shown that the widely acclaimed integrity of the Perak royal family may be nothing more than a smokescreen.

  12. #12 by sjchange on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 2:20 pm

    I wonder did he ever feel guilty and shame.

  13. #13 by Mr Smith on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 2:29 pm

    Living in indecent opulence and with high walls to separate them from the people and being treated as infallible (by UMNO when it suits them), it is unlikely they would be able to read the mood of the people.

    History has proven that personal interest and survival do play a major part in their considerations. The Malaysan UNION fiasco is case in point.

    Similarly they resisted Independence for fear of losing their lofty status and comfort.

    Who who want to risk the fate that befell India and Indonesia?

  14. #14 by Mr Smith on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 2:42 pm

    If the crisis is allowed to drag further, the sultan risks widespead vilification from his people unless he makes amends. His little reputation will be irrevocably tarnished.

    Ostrich in the stand mentality will do no one any good. Don’t expect the people’s wrath to just fade away. The well being of his people and state should be paramount. Smugness never wins.

  15. #15 by SameSame on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 3:11 pm

    We all can say what ever we want to say….this whole situation is NEVER gonna change. As long we dont change ourselves…..this will be the situation and we live with it. They will tell us…Go la back to where you come from…. and in many cases thats what they told us! As to where I came from….ipoh-perak-malaysia. I dont know any other home other than this home!

    So DAP/PKR/PR..get your acts together as you will see many people wanting to support you BUT YOU HAVE TO ACT RIGHT!!! Dont be like the other gang! Dont dissappoint us YET AGAIN!

    Lets wait for next GE..and make the CHANGE..UNANIMOUSLY!!

    So till then get the cards correct and people of the party join a ‘Bahagia Camp’ and do ‘brotherly-training’ NO JUMPING allowed and in wholesome come out a better party for the RAKYAT and not sdn bhd!

    If even this you fellas cannot do…..then habis la harapan KAMI SERAKYAT!

  16. #16 by wanderer on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 4:27 pm

    Three decades have passed, after Mahathir effectively clipped the wings of these high flying sultans, are we seeing the ugly heads of the Sultans resurfacing?
    The rakyat once thought and took comfort that the sultans, are their last defense, to protect their rights from unscrupulous politicians.
    It appeared, they are no better, their self interests came above everything…… giving a false image that they are neutral….and, they played it very well. When tested, they are not that neutral afterall!
    After the Perak episode, a lot of soul searching need to be done by the rakyat. [deleted]

  17. #17 by KerinchiGuy on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 4:50 pm

    can somebody please relate how raja azlan got be to be sultan of perak. or maybe give me a link where all is explained.
    i was told that perak used to choose their sultan in a similar manner as is done in negri sembilan. but all that has now changed.

  18. #18 by KerinchiGuy on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 5:10 pm

    Patek menyembah mohon derhaka!

    hmm, i was just thinking.
    i wonder if tshirts will sell with those words printed on them.

  19. #19 by One4All4One on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 5:17 pm


    The following link refers:

    How on earth do we have such pea-brained people around? Wondering out loud what they had been feeding on? What sort of education they had gone through? Who their teachers were? Where did they have their “education”, or if they ever had any?

    Who are their friends? Where have they been in the last six months, in the last two years, ten years ago…?

    Why didn’t they ask that Mr Karpal be banned from Malaysian soil? Or even perhaps from Asia? Or banned from the world?

    Are those people God fearing people? If they are, how could they usurp God’s will and power?

    Seems like there are a lot of power crazy people in our midst and in our land. “Pillar of society”??? What pillars? What did they support? Or rather, it is the people’s toil that had been supporting them? Perhaps they had been holding the people as crutches?

    And now to hold the people at ransom. These are the kind of people who should be banned instead for acting like spoiled brats, living off people’s blood and sweat.

    Don’t they have mirrors in their palatial homes to look into? Maybe they don’t, because if they do and were to look into one, and have dared to have asked : “Mirror, mirror on the golden wall, who is the fairest of them all?” , the answer would have been too unsavoury that their ears would drop off, theirs eyes would be blinded, and they could simply lose their minds!

    I cry for Malaysia. If tears could be shed now, they might have been tears of blood.

  20. #20 by One4All4One on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 5:36 pm

    wanderer Says:
    Today at 16: 27.57 (1 hour ago)

    Three decades have passed, after Mahathir effectively clipped the wings of these high flying sultans, are we seeing the ugly heads of the Sultans resurfacing? (wanderer)


    You missed the point. Didn’t you write that only wings were clipped?


  21. #21 by Onlooker Politics on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 5:49 pm

    Sultan Azlan Shah should have held a much more balanced view on the current political issues in Perak. The Sultan’s hasty rush in the decision making of dismissing MB Nizar would continue to discredit the Royal Families in Malaysia if the remedial action is not being taken to appease the furious Perakian people.

    Perhaps Sultan Azlan Shah shall read the History of the self-appointed mystic and faith healer of Russia, Grigory Rasputin (1872 – 1916) and try to understand better how a monarchy system could be brought to a decadence with the sheer folly of the Royal families themselves.

    Here is the excerpt from Wikipedia:
    “Rasputin’s influence over the royal family was used against him and the Romanovs by politicians and journalists who wanted to weaken the integrity of the dynasty, force the Tsar to give up his absolute political power and separate the Russian Orthodox Church from the state. Rasputin unintentionally contributed to their propaganda by having public disputes with clergy members, bragging about his ability to influence both the Tsar and Tsaritsa, and also by his dissolute and very public lifestyle. Nobles in influential positions around the Tsar, as well as some parties of the Duma, clamored for Rasputin’s removal from the court. Perhaps inadvertently, Rasputin had added to the Tsar’s subjects’ diminishing respect for him.”

  22. #22 by rubini on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 7:22 pm

    Sdr. Bakri Musa, I am always enthrilled to read your articles. I hope you will continue to contribute to readers like me. Your artcle articulates the situation very well & you well versed in the socio-politics of the country. Your opinions are well said. Syabas. You are correct, the situation is that one of legal or constitutional issue but one of idealism. Democracy brought the end of feudal rule, the Sultans in Malaya were given their due respect, as it would have caused psycological threat to the Malays if Sultanate ended. However, those who abuse their position, would surely see the end of their time. Remember Louis the 16th & Marie Antonniette of France?
    Sadly instead instead of finding a place in our society, the Sultans choose to manipulate situations. The fact is Malaysia should have been a Republic long ago. Perhaps the situation in Perak will be the turning point in Malaysian history.

  23. #23 by pjboy on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 7:31 pm

    I can only speculate that there must be some kind of vested interest from the Perak Royal House with BN, or perhaps BN made some kind of threats to the Royal Household. Whatever it may be. This is truly not the HE Sultan of Perak that we all love, respect & know for making such a stance. Ampun Tuanku. It is so clear & obvious that he had the power to dissolve Perak State Legislation but he chose not to. When he did not dissolve perak state gov, this was a signal that allowed BN (with the blessing of HE) to launch their dirty tactics to march into Perak state gov. This is a sad sad day indeed & we will never know the real reasons for such a strange decision. On the other hand, was HE not happy with the ex-MB of Perak?

    Historically, when we look at it carefully, always when BN leaders go against the Royalty is ‘alright’ (eg. Zakaria). But when it is the opposition, all kinds of slander & insults come flying from BN tongue.

  24. #24 by KennyGan on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 8:04 pm

    February 03, 2009 22:12 PM (Bernama)

    Throne Becomes Museum Piece If Unwisely Governed – Sultan Azlan

    KUALA KANGSAR, Feb 3 (Bernama) — The Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah said the monarchy could be reduced to a museum piece if it was not wisely and fairly governed.

    “History has shown that the downfall of a monarchy was not because the system was not good, but rather because of misdeeds.

    “Internal bickering and the ruler being wrongly advised by noblemen and court officials, who had vested interest to amass wealth or power, were among the causal factors,” said the Sultan at the pledge of loyalty and investiture ceremony at Istana Iskandariah here today, to commemorate the silver jubilee of his reign.

    Read them rest here at

    Yes, it’s the same sultan who sided with Umno’s vested interest and sacked the legitimately elected MB. Why didn’t the Sultan follow his own advice? Was all he said mere rhetoric?

  25. #25 by Jong on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 9:09 pm

    HRH the Sultan may have the last word, we the Rakyat will have the last SAY! In due time.

  26. #26 by swipenter on Thursday, 12 February 2009 - 9:40 pm

    KennyGan @ 20:04.55

    It is not mere rhetoric but prophetic.

  27. #27 by computation on Friday, 13 February 2009 - 4:26 am

    well with arrest warrants issued
    for the two moronic defectors
    why can’t nizar go to the sultan
    and tell him that its not possible for
    BN to form the government now?

  28. #28 by computation on Friday, 13 February 2009 - 5:07 am

    these umno people
    are very fond of threatening people to get their
    way. they are highly wicked.

  29. #29 by Bobster on Friday, 13 February 2009 - 6:37 pm

    Our Sultan of Perak effectively stripping off own power anointed to him by the rakyat and Almighty God since 9 Feb 2009.

    MB Nizar, be patience, we will always remember you for your great works in Perak.

    You be elected again in times to come. Hope to see people like you to be our PM one day.

  30. #30 by pjboy on Friday, 13 February 2009 - 11:16 pm

    BN has just confirmed to the world that Malaysians do live on trees – swinging from tree to tree where there is better & sweeter bananas to pluck. The worst & sad part is that HE of Perak endorsed this fact.

    To MB Perak Nizar (yes, you are still legally the MB – only not to BN-Law of Bolehland), your day will return. Whatever illegal MB of Perak promise, that’s fine. That’s the job of any MB to the people of that state. That’s not the issue. The issue was how it was carried out – against the wishes of the people of Perak. BN has shown time again that it has the ‘power’ to take away the rights of any rakyat at any time they wish to.

  31. #31 by cemerlang on Saturday, 14 February 2009 - 11:49 pm

    Kelantan has a Sultan. Kelantan’s Chief Minister is not a commoner because his name is actually a title. May be because of this, there is not much clash between the royal family and the Chief Minister there. Supposing if in Perak, a similar situation appears. Probably this power war will not happen. More members of the royal family should be involved in politics. They should be official politicians accepted by the people instead of enjoying their rights by birth only. People should start comparing the different Sultans in different states and see how each Sultan is managing his own territory. To date, the Sultan of Selangor sides with the Sultan of Perak when he called on the people not to disrespect the Sultan. It is not disrespect. It is because of something that is not very right, not very applicable these days and not fair to the people. Respect is to be earned and respect is mutual. All Sultans should read their own history once again and see what has gone wrong.

  32. #32 by Loh on Monday, 16 February 2009 - 6:55 pm

    ///If a sultan as enlightened as Raja Azlan could not disentangle himself from this political morass, we have little hope that the other sultans would be any better.///

    That is one important reason why the case should be settled in court.

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