I was in Seremban yesterday (on Thaipusam day) visiting a friend. On the fence bordering the field in front of King George V School, there was a banner showing the picture of Tunku Abdul Aziz. Tunku Aziz is a former vice president of DAP. The banner declared that Tunku Aziz will be a speaker on current political issues. As I was driving past, I could not tell whether there were other speakers. Tunku Aziz’s face was featured prominently on the banner.
I asked my friend, what was the occasion that required the presence of this former VP of DAP, whom the party held in great esteem. Tunku Aziz has since carved a name as a critic- at- large on DAP. DAP hasn’t spoken ill of Tunku Aziz even though they have parted company. As for Tunku Aziz, he has been a much sought after commentator on DAP politics especially by members of the MSM. He is free to do as he pleases.
I was told Tunku Aziz told his audience of around 100 people of efforts by the DAP to court a son of the ruler of Negri Sembilan into the world of politics. To be more specific, courting the prince to join DAP.
The son of the ruler in question is Tunku Zain al Abidin ibni Tuanku Muhriz. He is as we know the person behind IDEAS- an NGO committed to the propagation of good thinking and civilized debates on a wide ranging of topics. He also writes a column on Fridays in a leading newspaper. He is a graduate of LSE and has worked, I am told at the House of Commons. Politics is therefore not entirely a field in which he has no knowledge.
If one has met him, one will be impressed at the prince’s knowledge and intelligence. He articulates effortlessly on a number of issues and I can assure you, he can hold his own in any debates and discussions. In short, in contrast to how I classify some people, this prince can walk and chew gum at the same time.
The prince has admitted there were indeed meetings between him and representatives of the DAP. The first meeting I am told, was arranged by Tunku Aziz himself. Tunku Aziz actually proposed to have the meeting at his house over a meal but the meeting was finally held at a clubhouse.
Tunku Aziz can’t pretend not to know the intention of the meeting. If he did indeed have actual knowledge or had imputed knowledge given the person of his intelligence, then he can be said to acknowledge the credibility and potential of such a meeting. Otherwise, he would not have gone along with the idea and was indeed instrumental in arranging the meeting.
Yet in his talk on current politics, Tunku Aziz chose to reveal the substance of the meeting. That he has chosen to reveal the private nature of the meeting or meetings, such action on his part can only reflect the vengeful action of Tunku Aziz. Or even reflect the ratting nature of the man. But we are not here to discuss the finer qualities of Tunku Aziz.
What is the issue really? The DAP is a legitimate political party long maligned as being anti-Malay and anti-Monarchy. Now if DAP has approached a prince of a ruling house, that can only show that DAP has come to terms with the political, social and cultural realities of Malaysia. The presence of Malay rulers and of their existence and influence has to be factored in. if DAP leaders have approached and made overtures to Tunku Zain Abidin, I say, this is a strategic move.
That aside, Tunku Aziz’s objection to DAP meeting up with Tunku Zain seems to convey the message that only certain political parties or persons from particular political parties are qualified to meet up with any member of the Royal Families. DAP leaders and members are also loyal subjects of the Malay rulers. The rulers are sovereign over all Malaysians and not only rulers of particular groups. Raja2 Melayu means the rulers are Malays, but rule over subjects composed of various races. DAP has as much right as with any other parties to engage with members of the Ruling Houses.
Why should we question the freedom of DAP and the prince in question to meet up? I am sure the prince and the DAP were not conspiring to do ill on this country.
What if the prince has actually agreed to whatever DAP proposed to him? Why should we even question his freedom to exercise a personal choice? If he had done so, why should his choice be abused while we applauded when other members have chosen to join other political parties? Why should his choice if he had done so, be judged negatively and wrong, while the choice of other royal members were held as right?
And I see the prince has come out with a preliminary explanation of his actions. Actually he should not even be called to explain his actions as it is entirely within his rights and personal freedom to make a choice.
So to Tunku Aziz and his supporters, let no one be sanctimonious when it comes to Tunku Zain al Abidin while we supported and regarded it as proper when others before Tunku Zain have entered politics. Tunku Zain has listed down a list of members of the Royal Houses that have gone into politics and left indelible marks in the history of Malaysian politics.
Or do we find it objectionable that a member of the Royal House should even fraternize with opposition political parties such as the DAP? The DAP has not committed any wrong in meeting up with Tunku Zain.
UMNO does not own the Malay rulers.