Najib must clear his own mess

By Tunku Aziz

MAY 7 – I never for a moment thought I should live to see the day when a traditional hereditary ruler of a Malay State has taken such a rapid slide in his people’s estimation, approbation and adulation as has the Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak. It took one unfortunate, ill-conceived and ill-considered decision over a petition by the Pakatan Rakyat Mentri Besar Datuk Nizar Jamaluddin, to dissolve the Perak State Assembly that has turned Perak into a politically difficult and dangerous situation.

His Highness Sultan Azlan Shah is no ordinary ruler. As a former Lord President and head of the Malaysian judiciary, he ascended the throne of Perak as someone well-qualified by education and training for what, for all practical purposes, is a largely ceremonial sinecure. Be that as it may, the position carries a heavy constitutional responsibility.

It has become quite apparent that while his legal knowledge may be assumed to be extensive, his training more than adequate, his wisdom in dealing with a delicate and important political matter of public concern, on reflection, has in my humble opinion, turned out to be questionable. A great deficiency in a ruler who showed so much early promise of being a wise, liberal minded and benevolent leader.

When the final chapter of the Perak constitutional fiasco comes to be written, the country, and the world, will be able revisit and understand better the magnitude of the debilitating effects of the royal decision on the Malaysian body politic. Malaysians, in particular, will view with horror the ugly scars left on their nation’s nascent democracy, and they will be constantly reminded how one hasty error of judgement was enough to trigger a political tragedy of the worst imaginable kind. A Greek tragedy pales by comparison.

The saddest part of all is that the resultant unseemly legal wrangling could have been avoided. The fact that the flawed decision was not reversed, within a day or two when it became abundantly clear that the decision not to dissolve the Assembly and call for fresh elections was manifestly unfair and unethical, was nothing if not sheer carelessness, in all the circumstances. I maintain that even now it is not too late to reverse that politically fatal decision and bring to an end this disgraceful episode in the history of participatory representative government in our country.

There is no disgrace or humiliation in coming to terms with one’s honest mistake. No one, even the wisest among us, is infallible. If the Sultan believes, as we know he does passionately, that his royal duty is to serve the public interest, then NOW is the time to give that commitment practical effect.

The Perak fiasco is not about to run out of steam. We must accept that the situation will get worse before it gets better. I saw the images from the State Assembly “sitting” on national television at lunch time today (7 May 2009) with a sense of unbounded revulsion. The scene of warring politicians shouting invective was not a joy to behold.

To use a medical analogy, the Perak affair will be a running sore. Only the Sultan of Perak can provide an effective cure. To ignore what is obviously an untenable constitutional position is an act of grave irresponsibility, and while the Prime Minister thinks it is a great idea for him to give the impression that he is above it all, I should like to remind him that he is not blameless, far from it. It was his active act of muddying the Perak political waters that brought about this current crisis in the first place.

He now has a chance to show that he is not a partisan prime minister, but a national statesman who is prepared to intervene decisively to put matters right in fairness and equity.

Looking back, it was not such a clever personal coup after all. His machination was so abysmally repugnant even judged by the consistently low ethical and moral political standards of UMNO/BN that I find myself wondering whether I could trust him enough to buy my next second-hand car from him; this is the same man trying to persuade us to buy his 1 Malaysia. What a man! (With apologies to G.B.Shaw)

  1. #1 by Godfather on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 10:04 am

    What do we expect when royalty gets involved in business – not through a trust, but as direct investments in companies that rely on political patronage to make money ?

  2. #2 by All For The Road on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 10:10 am

    A ruler who cares for the problems and welfare of his subjects will naturally earn the loyalty, respect and adornment of those under him.

    The only solution to the political impasse in Perak is for fresh state elections to be held. Let the people decide whom they want to lead the state government once and for all! The people’s verdict then has got to be respected by all.

  3. #3 by pee_ash on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 10:12 am

    godfather is right, straight to the point.
    Pakatan open tender policy is good for rakyat only, not for the \VIP\, \Royalty\,…
    BN awarded a huge contract to a single company right after the so-called take-over.
    As for the rest, it’s up to everyone to draw the conclusion.

  4. #4 by TomThumb on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 10:28 am

    What is there left to add?

  5. #5 by mendela on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 10:34 am

    All Malaysians and the world saw the dirty plays by UMNO yesterday.

    UMNO has won the battle but lost the war totally!

  6. #6 by StevePCH on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 10:37 am

    that’s unavoidable when State rulers have themselves conflict of interest. We are seeing an emergance of this trend and I am will ot be surprise if we see more of what that is happening in Terengganu , Perlis and Perak to spill over to other states.

    The real question is how far the rulers will go now. Malaysia is today a threatened democracy because the constitution is only a pice of document. It core can be bend and mold to suit the requirement of it’s master.

    Black … Black … Black indeed

  7. #7 by sheriff singh on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 10:41 am

    A ruler swears to protect his people, take care of their welfare and generally their well-being, to ensure justice, peace and the rule of law.

    Elizabeth I (the first) had to do her duty to her country and to protect her subjects even sending Mary, the Queen of Scots, her close relative, to have her head chopped off. She had sworn and she had to do her duty, even if it pains her. She had the courage to do this. What followed was the great Elizabethan era.

    What of the leaders of Perak and Malaysia?

  8. #8 by -ec- on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 10:43 am

    lesson learned: when PR is ready to gain mandate from the people to take over the administration of the country, please ensure that PR has a good and comfortable majority. Else, we will see the same show again, not in a state assembly, but in the August House.

    really, can someone please tell the police: they can’t keep terrorizing the citizens of this country. this is not their duty.

  9. #9 by AhPek on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 10:47 am

    “There is no disgrace or humiliation in coming to terms with one’s honest mistake.”. Tunku Aziz.

    Of course,Tunku you are dead right for it is human to err but it is also human to recognise that mistake,learn from it and bounce back.
    But then again is it a mistake? A clue to this may be found in Godfather’s comment “What do you expect when royalty gets involved in business-not thro a trust,but as direct investments in companies that rely on political patronage to make money?”.

  10. #10 by ALLAN THAM on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 10:48 am

    My family vote still split 50-50 in last 308, but next GE I will make sure 100% go to PR. Yesterday Perak fiasco has convinced me solidly BN will never change for better and it getting worst and rotting away.

  11. #11 by a2a on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 10:55 am



  12. #12 by wesuffer on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 11:12 am

    call for najis resign

  13. #13 by Tickler on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 11:13 am

    Ms Hee the BN Dy Speaker “haram” tore up Malaysian currency notes in the Assembly.
    This is an offence. It is also an insult to the King whose pic appears to the notes.
    When Ahmad Ismail and his men were tearing up Gerakan`s KTK photos in Penang there was an outcry.
    Is Koh Tsu Koon mightier than the King?
    Why is there no police report against jelapang whore?

  14. #14 by Tickler on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 11:14 am

    What does the Sultan Of Perak say to the Agung`s pic being torn up?
    Ok izzit?

  15. #15 by ALLAN THAM on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 11:18 am

    Jelapang should be charge with sedition for tearing the Agong picture? what say the Patil?

  16. #16 by Tickler on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 11:23 am

    Burn m`sian flag get charged.
    Tear Koh Tsu Koon picture, UMNO apologises.
    Tear Agung`s pic……..everyone thinks it is a big joke only.

  17. #17 by a2a on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 11:28 am




  18. #18 by Tickler on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 11:31 am



    Betul cakap. Ms Hee is setting foundations for overthrow of Monarchy.
    Vive La Hee!!
    AG agrees

  19. #19 by k1980 on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 11:42 am

    Jelapang toadie will be charged with sedition for tearing the Agong’s portrait if she is in the Dap… but since she has hopped over to the mca, all is forgiven. Heck, she could have crapped on it for all umno cares

  20. #20 by prelude3372 on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 12:06 pm

    Can I lodge a police report on this frog frm Jelapang for tearing the RM 50 bill which also has the Agong potrait in it?

    What would be the impact on this frog? Any good lawyer to defend me….hehehehe. (Well in Malaysia, a person who report a crime againts the ‘inpowered’ is the criminal in the eyes of the police). Uncle Lim, sheard some lights on this

  21. #21 by mendela on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 12:14 pm

    Who were the uniformed idiots who manhadled the PR speakers?

    Were they policemen? UMNO scumbags? Mat Rempits? What uniform did they wear? Who provided them with those uniforms?

    If they were policemen, shouldn’t them got more important tasks to do?

  22. #22 by sean on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 12:32 pm

    Dear Tunku Aziz,

    Umno as everyone know then and now…are a devil in disguise.There is a chinese saying…”they them self are ghost as well as god”.
    Unfortunately these goons are smart when it comes to being dirty.We have to take our hats off for umno for being talented in the game of being dirty.
    Lets look at they way they treat our monarchy.Do they treat them with respect or not?My answer is NO.
    Do you know that before the Perak Saga in February….most Malaysian have been looking towards our revered Monarchy for wisdom and direction.And this is what fears Umno most that the people are starting to look towards our monarchy for guidance and wisdom etc.
    Then this saga in Perak came in…is this a coincidence or not?
    Umno needed this and thus created chaos and unfortunately dragged the Perak monarchy into this unwanted incident.
    So with Umno celebrating their victory, they managed to get the people to have a second look at our monarchy and created doubts again in people’s mind.This is what they wanted to do all the while.
    But all are not lost though…….
    The hurdle and race now is to find out who will reach the finishing line to declare a “FRESH ELECTION” in Perak.This will Eventually redeem whatever that have been lost the respect from the people not just in Perak But whole Malaysia.Let it not be Umno that will request the royalty for a fresh mandate for Perak because if that happens……….the one that will succeed to redeem what’s lost will actually be the ghost themself. Lets us all stand behind our royalty and pray that they will have the wisdom and reach the final line first to dissolve the state assembly before umno the ghost reaches the finishing line.

  23. #23 by pakmang on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 12:39 pm

    From the issue of Perak State Assembly yesterday the Rakyat of Malaysia should open their big eyes and think carefully who shall we vote for in the next election.

    We must make sure that we dont simply vote the candidates who will become the thiefs and pirates again! And also to be aware that the Malaysia laws and policies are only in favor to the BN cronies!
    Shame !!!! Anyway watch out of what you do!

  24. #24 by isahbiazhar on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 12:39 pm

    In the end it is the people’s power which will prevail.All the bloggers cannot be arrested if they vent their anger.The Sultan of Peak must decide and call for an early election otherwise if will be next to impossible even for the army or the police to contain as the police and the army are just like any other citizen.We do n ot want to see any civil war arising out of a simple decision; to save the state or save the country.Najib should call on the Sultan and ask for a dissolution and an immediate election to decide the fate.The acts at the assembly had been one of hooliganism on both sides which shows we are still uneducated and we have people who are not fit to be elected.

  25. #25 by k1980 on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 12:48 pm

    //We must make sure that we don’t simply vote the candidates who will become the thieves and pirates again//

    Actually there will always be opportunists who will swap parties if given enough incentives to do so. For a buggah who has never seen a million bucks before, hopping to the other side is bound to happen if offered a couple of million to do so. The only way to prevent such nonsense is to introduce an anti-hopping law

  26. #26 by puteri pinang on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 1:06 pm

    Desperate Politicians, izzitnot? So desperate that they have to use force on the elected rep. This is day light robbery !
    Truly sub-standard leadership – pariah!!!
    By not granting the due respect to the elected rep, they are not respecting the Rakyat. How can we have such a leadership exist in our country, people? May be they are banking on people having short memories, siapa cepat siapa dapat; come GE time, more strategies are up, goodies for the mentally weak, like the Jlpg katak..

  27. #27 by limkamput on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 1:24 pm

    We obviously can’t expect the PM to do anything detrimental to his own or party’s position. It is pointless to talk about laws, the constitution and legality anymore. Think strategy, not reaction. The issue is what “strategy” will make the Sultan listen and change his mind. Have PR and people who feel strongly of the events unfolding thought sufficiently hard enough. I don’t think so. We are just reacting accordingly to the “inevitable” and for some wannabes showing more legal prowess. This is sad, sad, sad.

  28. #28 by limaho on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 1:57 pm

    There is only one way to quickly correct the wrong. That is to call a fresh election. The people of Perak will then decide who they want to rule them.

  29. #29 by uncle m on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 2:02 pm

    The only solution in Perak is to have a fresh state elections to be held. Let the people decide whom they want to lead the state government once and for all! The world saw the dirty plays by UMNO yesterday. From the issue of Perak State Assembly yesterday the Rakyat of Malaysia should open their big eyes and think carefully who shall we vote for in the next election.

  30. #30 by chengho on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 2:07 pm

    hi ya… tunku aziz enjoy yourself go and watch hbo ‘recount ‘movie u can learn something…do not forget ur glass…

  31. #31 by uncle m on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 2:16 pm

    Police please take more action on mat rempit, rape and many more criminal cases and not on lawful lawmaker. What wrong did they do? Do not be one sided, the people are judging what action you are taking against the lawmaker.

  32. #32 by ctc537 on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 2:18 pm

    isahbiazhar Says:
    …………….. Najib should call on the Sultan and ask for a dissolution and an immediate election to decide the fate. …….

    PM Najib should have done it in February, but it is still not late to do it. Problem is, BN/Umno is obviously so afraid of losing the state election (if one were held) that they seemingly preferred to let the situation turn ugly than make themselves look bad in the eyes of the people. I should say Umno is very short-sighted, and the party members have not read the book titled “Sun Tzi’s Arts of War” which TDM reportedly gave every member of his Cabinet a copy way back in the 80s. In a democratic country nothing is more important than gaining the support of the people through implementing pragmatic and people-centric programmes. And in a multi-racial country like ours, nothing is more important than winning multi-racial support.
    PM Najib can clean up the mess he himself created by giving the mandate back to the people of Perak. He should instead concentrate on selling his 1Malaysia concept which is more important than the Perak takeover. In addition, abolishing ISA, appointing another IGP in view of the worsening crime scenes, cooperaing on economic matters with PR-controlled Selangor and Penang, two of the country’s most advanced states. PM Najib should always remember that maintaining and improving people’s livelihood is the surest way of winning over people’s goodwill.
    As a Chinese saying goes, the most unwise thing a person can do is ‘xun ren bu li ji’ or hurting other people and at the same time not benefiting oneself. The Perak takeover and the subsequent mayhem is but one good example.

  33. #33 by voice_70 on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 2:28 pm

    1Malaysia and also 1shattered Perak.
    It is shameful to see statesmen treated like tugs.
    What happened to democracy? Is PDRM acting as a neutral party?
    Again respect goes down the DRAIN.
    How can we let the future generations be ruled by tugs!

  34. #34 by uncle m on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 2:33 pm

    Is ganesan an elected adun of perak? If he in not and appointed him as a speaker, why do we have election for?

  35. #35 by taiking on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 2:38 pm

    Now we all know the real lessons learned when some idiots were sent to taiwan last year. And without doubt, invaluable knowledge had been gained and equally without doubt, had been disseminated in generous doses to the rest of the idiots; and now the knowledge was put to use in a real-life situation. The mess that resulted from the absolutely bad application of the foreign gained knowledge bore evidence of the fact that they have not quite master the knowledge. But would they improve with practice? That remains to be seen. But being products of a (-)meritocracy system, my gut feeling is they would only worsen things for themselves even with practice!

    Azlan Shah had blundered. That is no mystery. As an ex-judge he ought to know the utility and importance of correcting wrongs and of putting things right again and of redressing injustice. He ought to call upon that aspect of his mental constitution to deal with the situation now in hand. A situation which in the first place ought not to have happenned but for the actions of the power crazy and super greedy umno idiots. A situation which became acute as a direct result of azlan shah’s misjudgment and wrong decision. And finally a situation which the umno idiots saw fit to widen and deepen and aggravate.

    After 308, the sensible thing for them to do is damage control. Instead they foolishly choose to inflict further damage upon themselves. The perak fiasco is the best example I could think of. At least badawi the weak pm would not have let this happen. Najib is seen as brutal but he does not seem to be in control. He is influenced by too many things, issues (concerning others as well as himself) and people.

    The mistake by azlan shah affects not just the state of perak and her people but umno and the nation as a whole (both nationally and internationally). As if the bad international publicity surrounding the submarine deal and the murder and disintegration of the mongolian woman are not enough. Now we have illegal power grab and barbaric wrestling for control of the legislative assembly by umno.

    Judges can do a lot to put things right. Azlan Shah is in a better position. He is able to set the clock back and undo the mess by dissolving the assembly so as to pave the way for a fresh state-wide election.

  36. #36 by puteri pinang on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 3:05 pm

    We are talking about Fatherly Love, ok? The love for the daughter exceeds everything else. Well, this is Bolehland. It inherits a totally different culture from that of China where love for the motherland is above all others.

  37. #37 by Ken G on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 3:15 pm

    Can the Sultan of Perak keep his elegant silence over the ruckus in the Assembly and the trampling of the state constitution? When will he realize that the price of handing power to BN with an unjust decision is too high?

  38. #38 by raven77 on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 3:34 pm

    The Monarchy must go…..

  39. #39 by Loh on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 4:22 pm

    The Sultan of Perak decided in March to allow BN to take over the state government. He cannot now dissolve the state assembly whether he likes it or not, unless he is requested to do so. The person who can do it is not Zambry, he is Najib.

    Najib did the coup in March for reasons only he knew. It might be a way to stop Anwar working on change in the federal power. It could be a show of leadership. What is worse, it might be a way of getting an additional state government to appropriate its resources for party member loyalty advancement programmes.

    If the BN government accepts the rule of law, it would accept that the three kataks in Perak, two were under corruption suspicion watch-list, and all have submitted the letter of resignation from the state assembly had ceased to be ADUNs. Whether or not the second MB was accepted, the state government will have problems functioning properly. One possible solution would be through by-elections, and for that the Speaker of Perak LA had submitted certification of ADUN vacancies to the Election Commission for action.

    The Election Commission has only the duty to organise elections and by-elections as the case occurs. It was to determine the existence of vacancies based on certification of the competent body, which according to the Perak state constitution in the present case rests with the Speaker. The Election Commission does not have any authority to determine through any other means whether the vacancies existed. The chairman of the Election Commission had acted beyond its authority in rejecting the letter informing him of the three vacancies that exist since March. The matter was before the court, and the decision of the court to uphold the action of the Election Commission is ridiculous. Arising from those decisions law schools in the country will have to retrain their prospective lawyers on this finding, if they intend to practise in Malaysia. But with that training, they will not be able to work in legal profession anywhere outside the country. Such damage to the legal profession was the decision of the federal court.

    There were many court cases arising from the Perak power-grab; some have concluded while others are ongoing. The decisions from the courts provide excellent training material for laymen to judge the bad judges. All these are the consequence of assisting Najib to satisfy his three objectives for taking over Perak government.

    Najib has ascended the throne, and he can very well close his eyes and ears to what happened in Ipoh on 7 may. He can live in the bliss of pretended ignorance while enjoying his walk about in Selangor. (It is of course not safe for him to walk around in Ipoh). So having Perak under BN can only serves his member-loyalty programmes. If he intends to reform UMNO, that programme is not needed. He can clear the mess in Ipoh by instructing Zambry to request the dissolution of the Perak Assembly, which would not face objection from Pakatan, and would be acceptable to the Sultan.

    What are the adverse results to BN in dissolving the state assembly? Quite obviously the three kataks will not win in the next election. It is most probably BN would lose the state government again. That was only status quo as of February.

    What are the gains? If Najib is interested in new politics, he should allow the law to take its course, in charging the two corrupt suspects in court. That was better than trying to amend the constitution to stop katakism. But Najib will not get away as though nothing happened, even if he ordered Zambry to surrender power back to the people. But it would show that it is correct to allow Najib to serve and redeem himself which carrying his baggage. Certainly, the people would hope that a person who has the making of a statesman should hold his position.

  40. #40 by TomThumb on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 6:58 pm

    Someone should file a police report (it doesn’t matter if the police is going to do anything about it) about that Hee woman who publicly and defiantly tore up the country’s legal tender with a picture of the country’s monarch on it.

    This has more to do with exciting disaffection against the Agong than the act of calling for people to make black as the colour of choice on a certain day.

  41. #41 by ekans on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 7:06 pm

    On 8 May 2009 at 14:07.18, chengho said:
    hi ya… tunku aziz enjoy yourself go and watch hbo ‘recount ‘movie u can learn something…do not forget ur glass…

    You yourself should also watch Frank Capra’s 1939 classic ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington’ (starring James/Jimmy Stewart)…

  42. #42 by TomThumb on Friday, 8 May 2009 - 7:08 pm

    “Have PR and people who feel strongly of the events unfolding thought sufficiently hard enoug?” limkamput

    No, we are all too stupid – unlike you. You’re the smart one. Pray tell us what else to do.

  43. #43 by 1umnolaysia on Saturday, 9 May 2009 - 6:09 pm

    I personally believe what is happening is in fact a GOOD sign, I believe people need to fail to learn. Only by failing faster can recovery take place sooner. Economic collapse in particular would surely teach all complacent malaysians we can not afford to be incompetent anymore.
    How many decade more do we want to promote incompetence ?
    The fight should be shifted to make more people realise the truth and to provoke the tyrant to make more mistakes or should i say show their true nature to the nation and the world.

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