Daulat Tuanku!

By Tunku Aziz
My Sinchew

In an article I wrote recently, Rulers for all Malaysians, I had suggested, in a spirit of helpfulness, that their highnesses the rulers should drop the word “Malay” and instead use the more commonly understood title Sultan, for example, of Selangor or Sultan of Kedah as the case may be.

Continuing to describe themselves as Malay Rulers at a time when inclusiveness is what is required as part of the process of integrating our disparate community of races seems to be a little perverse.

His Highness the Sultan of Selangor, in decrying the suggestion I had made in my article, has, I fear, got the wrong end of the stick. Even a cursory reading of the article will show that the position of their highnesses in the constitutional arrangements of our nation remains inviolate, and Malaysians do not want it any other way.

We recognise the crucial importance of stability in the life of a nation. Stability is inherent in the system of constitutional monarchy. Rulers in today’s terms must be forward looking and open to ideas. It is no longer appropriate, at the drop of the hat, to invoke the divine rights of kings, used in the past by kings and emperors the world over, to legitimise absolutism. Nothing in the nature of things is permanent and if we cannot adjust to change, we are doomed to extinction.

Of course, we respect the institution of rulers because we respect our Constitution. We believe the institution represents all that is noble; the fountain of honour and justice for all. It would be senseless to replace an institution that has worked well.

The post-Hindu Kedah Sultanate, for example, goes back to 1136, making it arguably the oldest ruling house in the world. This is history, not fiction. It has survived to this day because it has changed with the times. There will always be a role for relevant institutions, and we have opted for a system of constitutional rulers instead of other forms of government. That we will always protect.

The Sultan of Selangor has been less than fair to suggest that I am less Malay for submitting, humbly, that the term “Malay Rulers” be dropped altogether and refer to themselves as sultans. I know this could give rise to some confusion because there are Mamaks who use “Sultan” as part of their names.

We want our Rulers to identify themselves with all Malaysians and for all Malaysians to accept that our Rulers are their Rulers as well and, in this way hope that they will learn to embrace and understand the system employed in governing this, their country. The position of the Rulers will be greatly enhanced.

I am proud Malay, as proud as the next, in fact, prouder than most because I can trace my genealogy, in an unbroken line of recorded history, spanning a thousand years. I am not a Malay come lately.

History is important, but I do not let it stand in the way of my concern for national unity. The Malays must not allow the notion of Malayness blind themselves to the demands of the new social, political and economic reality. We and our Rulers will always have an important role to play in the future development of this country, but it will have to be a role we will share with the other citizens of Malaysia.

I have lived long enough to understand, though I do not always agree, with the basis of the Malay suspicion of the so-called non-Malay, particularly, the Chinese agenda. They point out that while the non-Malays are as quick as a flash claiming their rights, they drag their feet when it comes to fulfilling their duties and responsibilities.

Generalisations breed irrationalism and distort our sense of justice and fair play. These are long-held views, and sadly have become dangerous combustible tinder that, if not stopped, and allowed to ignite, could engulf this nation we are all trying to build, in flames of irreversible destruction to benefit only those on the lunatic fringe.

Not working toward a common goal grounded in fairness and equal opportunity is not an option for Malaysians of all racial and cultural stripes. In this great Malaysian endeavour, all of us have to subordinate our prejudices, often born of ignorance, in the greater interests of a Malaysia that offers a rightful place for all. The Rulers who are natural leaders have a particularly important role to play.

Daulat Tuanku!

  1. #1 by wanderer on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 5:40 pm

    The trouble is, we still failed to see ourselves to be Malaysian First…if you do not agree with me, ask the goblok UMNO DPM.
    The fear of dropping the word “Malay” will make them a lesser man!

  2. #2 by raven77 on Saturday, 4 December 2010 - 11:04 pm

    Royalty thingy is a dinosaur phenomenon…they will all be gone eventually….

    The world is moving at such a pace that those who do not respect talent and fair play wil end up with no money. With no money…..there is nothing else to be royal about….

    In 5 to 10 years time….Vietnam and Indonesia will be the next powerhouses of Asia after China, Japan, India, Korea and Taiwan

  3. #3 by monsterball on Sunday, 5 December 2010 - 12:41 am

    Mahathir made sure Rulers do what UMNO B want them to do or else…
    Lim Kit Siang expects big balls of fire strike the Rulers and all open their mouths in disagreement with UMNO B?

  4. #4 by limkamput on Sunday, 5 December 2010 - 1:09 am

    From one royalty to another is perhaps more palatable. Any other way, I don’t know. Who really got power? It is the UMNO government, no mistake about it.

  5. #5 by Jong on Sunday, 5 December 2010 - 3:32 am

    Yes, aren’t our 8 rulers Raja-Raja of Malaysia? And who is questioning the royal institution? And (quote:) ‘dared’ to question the role of the Malay rulers? – No one tried, just his imagination, something’s not right.

    About time we demand a return to common sense!

  6. #6 by dawsheng on Sunday, 5 December 2010 - 5:28 am

    For all intents and purposes, it is just impossible to get the equation from a logical point of view. How is it going to be any different to omit a word?

  7. #7 by wanderer on Sunday, 5 December 2010 - 10:15 am

    There are only 18 Royalties left in the modern world and Malaysian tax payers are footing the bills for half the number. (deleted)

  8. #8 by monsterball on Sunday, 5 December 2010 - 10:30 am

    No level headed Malaysians are questioning the Rulers.

  9. #9 by k1980 on Sunday, 5 December 2010 - 11:46 am

  10. #10 by k1980 on Sunday, 5 December 2010 - 3:37 pm


    George Bush’s Axis of Evil is Iraq, Iran and North Korea

    Jibbi’s Axis of Evil is PKR, DAP and PAS

    How much did Jibbi pay APCO to get this brilliant idea? wakakakaaaaa

  11. #11 by boh-liao on Sunday, 5 December 2010 - 7:40 pm

    Kelantan Ruler has stripped Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah of 2 state awards – interesting

    NR getting garang, called PR anti-national n evil, PKR as Parti Keluar Ramai-ramai, n DAP as a party ‘Anak Beranak Sdn Bhd’ – creative n interesting

    MCA CSL praised PR as an example of inclusivity, pointing out that in PR’s campaign materials during the last Galas by-election, d faces of all 3 component party leaders were displayed – interesting too

  12. #12 by Thor on Sunday, 5 December 2010 - 7:40 pm

    Umno’s elected PM knows how to talk kok in different languages in front of his machais in today’s BN convention gathering.
    Let us show him a “nah”, with our middle finger pointing up during this coming GE.
    Better still is to wear along Tee shirts with the word and picture printed on it.

  13. #13 by dagen on Monday, 6 December 2010 - 10:53 am

    Umno has infected the rulers with the sensitivities bug – the bug which carries a potentially fatal consequence.

  14. #14 by k1980 on Monday, 6 December 2010 - 11:34 am


    13GE coming in March 2011— check your voter registration status to make sure you have not been ‘eliminated’ from the list. And remember to send bn to oblivion this time around!

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