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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday, 19 September 2014

The Selangor Saga: Finding Closure?

Yesterday we learnt the Palace has rebuked Anwar Ibrahim. The Sultan has expressed his displeasure through a letter. The letter was made public. This is highly irregular. Making it public that is.
The King although vested with powers which are a formality does not translate into an opportunity for the sovereign to enact personal political preference. The King is non-political.
His advisors are making the King political and partisan.
The Sultan however has every right to be displeased. His displeasure is covered by his right to warn.  Anwar has been warned that he has erred. He has since apologised and sought forgiveness. What more do we want to exact from him? For more than 17 years, we have had his flesh. Do we now want his pint of blood?
Since we follow the Westminster style of government, according to the Victorian economist, Walter Bagehot, the sovereign has 3 rights: "the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, the right to warn".
According to Bagehot, a Sovereign would, over the course of a long reign, accumulate far more knowledge and experience than any minister. And perhaps the HRH Sultan of Selangor has accumulated more wisdom than any minister.
But his counsels ought to have done better other than encouraging a collision course between elected reps and the Sovereign. This is a dangerous path; the irresponsible advisors to the Sultan are encouraging the king to follow.
This will place the palace in confrontation with political parties, never mind if UMNO isn’t part of it at the moment.  But UMNO is eager to see a confrontation. As I said in an earlier article, this would ferment a martial mood among the Malays- our King is threatened, our honour is at stake. Let us mengamuk. Call in Perkasa, Isma, and the unregistered Malay groupings which are regarded as legal unlike the Penang Volunteers.  UMNO couldn’t wait to capitalise on this and take repressive actions.
But alas, I fear the Malay mind-set cannot be rescued by the cheapskate and alarmist allegation that the Malay monarchy is under attack. The Malay mind-set is not as simplistic as UMNO would have wished it were.
In appointing a chief minister, the Sovereign is guided by constitutional conventions. The main requirement is to find someone who can command the confidence of the Selangor DUN.  That is the only qualification.
This is normally secured by appointing the leader of the party with an overall majority of seats in the House, but there could still be exceptional circumstances when the King might need to exercise discretion to ensure that his Government is carried on.
When Khalid was called to the Palace, the King ought to have asked him if he can form a government. But Khalid wasn’t asked or before the King could ask, he offered his version of events. He could have turned down the offer by simply telling the truth- he does not have majority support and that Wan Azizah has it. Or he could have accepted what is a called an exploratory commission, returning later to report either failure or, success in securing a majority. He did not. He did not tell the truth. He did not want to free Selangor.
Is this the beginning of an assertive and adventurous monarchy? It will eventually lead to a clash between king and people. The people do not now include UMNO, because we know UMNO is aligning itself with the monarchical democrats. This group wants to see the King on their side so that they can use his stature to bulldoze through their political agenda.
I use the term monarchical democrats to refer to the political parties that uphold elections as means to secure power and then assign absolute- tending powers to its ally- the Malay Monarchy. It is a quid pro quo arrangement. We support near absolute powers and in return, you help us out. The monarchy is clearly showing that it is siding with UMNO.
The Monarchy is here to help and protect Malays. They are not here to protect UMNO and its leaders.
Let us not allow ingenious or disingenuous minds (depending on how we see them) torture the language and intent of our constitution. Ours is a parliamentary democracy. The king is a constitutional monarch. The wishes of the people as expressed through the conduct of elected representatives must reign supreme over any other wishes including the private wishes of the constitutional monarch. Let me repeat myself silly on this- we don’t have an absolute monarchy.
The whole purpose of our constitution at all levels is to give more liberal latitude to the people to exercise their discretion rather than freedom to the monarch. The means by which this purpose is to be achieved is reverential to the King as it ought to be- that it is to be presented to the King in the form of advice for ratification rather than rejection or alteration.
Therefore I respectfully submit that the wishes of the people as expressed through the conduct of their elected representatives have more authority that the wishes of the reigning constitutional monarch. The parties submitting only one name to the reigning constitutional monarch acted on better authority that the monarch himself who is bounded by the provisions of the constitution.
The principle is the same-whether it is the constitution of the nation or the state. The majority supported Wan Azizah as MB- that is a fact and it is not for anyone outside to judge the soundness of their motives. As to her qualifications- I think that is not in dispute. Perhaps she may not be able to engage in verbal jousting in the dewan- but in time she will do it. Tun Razak wasn’t an orator but was a master administrator- (the son is neither here nor there), the previous MBs of Selangor were not that qualified- Razali Ali was a penghulu and had Dr Mahathir Mohamad as brother in law, Hormat rafie was a band boy. The qualification to become MB is one who commands the confidence of the majority. If a trishaw puller commands such, he has the qualification.
Some people thought as I do, that Azmin the thinker, the methodical planner would be more suited to be the MB of Selangor- but the majority has a different opinion. So despite our own private reservations about Wan Azizah being a potentially effete leader( more at home at bringing packed foods and refreshments to PKR meetings and playing with lanterns), 30 of the elected reps signed a pledge in support of wan Azizah.
Unfortunately both parties are right in the way they looked at the political situation. A compromise may be necessary in order to avoid a collision course between elected reps and the monarchy. That could be very destabilising. That would require some accommodating gestures.
In the end, to avoid unnecessary collision course with the Sovereign, PKR may have to make some adjustments. The adjustments may involve endorsing someone else other than Azizah but from PKR. It will still get its person to be MB and more importantly, kick out the conniving Khalid. Also, to make the white of UMNO’s eyes whiter.


Anonymous,  19 September 2014 at 08:16  

Is this the beginning of an assertive and adventurous monarchy? Yes!!

"..a Sovereign would, over the course of a long reign, accumulate far more knowledge and experience than any minister."
In this instance I don't see that happening.
"The monarchy is clearly showing that it is siding with UMNO."

A ruler should NEVER rebuke his subject in public. Remember, its fishy when it never done to UMNO friendly commoner or politician. Only to Khalid Samad, Anwar, PKR and the DAP. Odd in't it?

ordinary malaysian,  19 September 2014 at 08:49  

It is unfortunate that we don't get to hear the rakyat's real voice because of the fear of running foul of those who think they have carte blanche over how they run our lives, including what you can or cannot say.

So whenever we say anything, we have to couch our words. And this in the 21st Century!

Isn't that unacceptable balahulu?

Looks like we are no better than living in a totalitarian state or still cowering before medieval lords who had the power of life and death their in their hands.

Yet we pride ourselves as the world's best democracy (or soon to be) circa The Kangkung Promoter.

Ergo whenever we are wont to say anything on certain subjects, we have always to impute wisdom and blame others.

Never it seems, wisdom is misplaced. And in this vein we are forced to perpetrate and perpetuate a grand saccharine saga that nobody needs but still have to buy for a pound or a penny.

bruno,  19 September 2014 at 08:58  

Dato,when the sultan was still overseas,the PR leadership was already criticising him in public for not favoring Wan Azizah's candidacy.They should have waited for him to reject her candidacy before opening their mouths.They knew that they were going head on with the palace and they continue screaming till their lungs burst.And what the f*ck to beg for forgiveness later,when they knew what they were doing in the first place?Political morons or circus clowns?

yoko ono 19 September 2014 at 09:09  

what an ending to your article!!!so wise.check what the sultan did between 5pm to 6 30pm at the palace 2 days ago.he may agree with you.cheers

Pok Li,  19 September 2014 at 10:04  

The Selangor MB saga should have been concluded the moment Wan Azizah produced SD from 29 ADUNs declaring support for her. Its as simple as that. What ensued later were merely dramas that do not have any value from constitution, political or moral perspectives.

Anonymous,  19 September 2014 at 10:40  

There seems to be two sets of rules in Msia. One for Umno and the other for the rest. It seems that the Sultan also abide by this unwritten convention.

The Sultan in his letter of rebuke explained that even BN gave multiple names. The letter narrated the incident where the BN PM had an audience with the Sultan where a few names were shown to him for his selection.

Ironically, the same audience was not granted either to Anwar or to Wan Azizah despite both requesting for it. Why was this different treatment? If an audience was granted, the issue would not have prolong. Privately the Sultan could have informed either of them that BN also submitted a few names.

Sadly, the appointment of the MB which should be decided by the electorates through their ADUNs is becoming more like a beauty contest. The winner is left to the personal judgment of the Sultan and his advisors; and not to the party or allied parties who command the majority seat.

The adage that the King 'can do no wrong' actually means that by abiding by the law of the land, then the King can't do any wrong. That saying or adage was coined to remind the King that he can't act in disregard or run in foul of the law. The people expect him to be above the law by obeying and complying with the law itself.

Whatever the suspense now in withholding the name of the MB, let's hope that the Adun who commands the confidence of the majority be appointed. Nothing less would suffice. That is what parliamentary democracy and constitutional democracy means.

Anonymous,  19 September 2014 at 11:08  

we the rakyat expect the ruler in his wisdom to "take" the advice of his "advisors' with a big pinch of salt. He can definitely see that advisors when partisan in their thinking would have created an unhealthy situation which the ruler definitely does not want.
In his wisdom, the ruler will ignore these unwise advice.
Since he has consistently insisted on convention, he will by right, by convention and by the constitution appoint Azizah to be the next MB.
Let the advisors cry and shout as loud as they want.
p/s: by the way, UMNO knows it is folly to submit than one name when it is their turn.

Anonymous,  19 September 2014 at 12:24  


What can we do to help DAP get more Malay voters? I think we can forgo PAS and we need new strategy to get more Malay voters.


elizabeth 19 September 2014 at 13:07  

I disagree... if PKR were to make such 'adjustments' it is still a victory for the powers that want to sabotage PR. If PKR compromise the ramifications at GE14 will extend beyond selangor. I would rather Selangor hold a snap election than to see anyone other than Wan Azizah become MB. If we dont stand our ground now, little by little, the people who have been engineering the current difficulties will expand their evil scheme.

Pakatan just need to call for a sitting, and put all the ADUN to a vote to see who has majority. If the Dun sitting give the majortiy to Azmin, so be it and not any other way.

Anonymous,  19 September 2014 at 13:31  

What you mentioned in the last paragraph is probably the best compromise to make right at this time. If anything, its just to calm the situation for now. There are too many wrongs in this sorry episode from beginning to the present. All will come out losers including the palace. If Umno thought they won brownie points, they are mistaken. The impression given to the rakyat is that it is another confirmation that they are just a bunch of brainless shit stirrers and sore losers.

Anonymous,  19 September 2014 at 16:22  

Agreed. Hardworking Azmin can do it if Azizah is rejected. To avoid direct collision with the palace some adjustments have to be made... in case.

ordinary malaysian,  19 September 2014 at 16:33  

Pok Li 10:04 Right! that's what should have had happened (choosing an MB is not rocket science, with all due respects) That it did not happen, has raised questions in the minds of many people and has probably caused the rakyat to lose trust. That it has dragged on for so long when it should have been a simple matter to have called the parties concerned to ascertain who actually enjoins the majority support to be appointed the MB (especially in light of PKR's claim that Kak Wan has the SDs of 30 Aduns) Now, whatever happens, the public cannot reasonably be expected not to draw their own conclusions and none would seem to be salutary ones. That is the real tragedy, for when trust in so important a matter is lost, it is difficult to be regained.

Anonymous,  19 September 2014 at 19:36  

Monarchical adventurism will pave way for other types of adventurism. In less than a decade from now, all will be unrecognizable. Be our guest, make your move.

Anonymous,  19 September 2014 at 20:00  

Any other Adun, Azmin or Adun Ijok would be acceptable as a compromise candidate for MB.

But the Ulamak faction in Pas led by Hadi also has an eye for the MB's post albeit by a back door; it being collectively agreed that it is a PKR post.

Already at the Pas Assy, the rep from Perlis who asked that Pas publicly state its stand that it should reject the MB's post was roundly booed by the other delegates. And delegates from Trengganu had openly asked that Pas should accept the MB's post. That shows the true intention of the ulamak faction in Pas.

If a Pas Adun is selected and they accepted the appointment, in total disregard of PR consensus, then there is no other alternative for PKR/DAP but to challenge the appointment. Nizar challenged Zambery's appointment as Perak MB and was initially successful at the High Crt. Most commentators agreed that the High Crt judgment was the proper and appropriate judgment.

Closure of the Sgor MB's saga also demand a judicial pronouncement of the Sultan's discretionary power in the appointment of an MB. Can he go behind the clear provision of the constitution to appoint an MB of his own choice.

Anonymous,  19 September 2014 at 20:45  

Dr M has spoken again to confirm only 1 name was submitted during his time. He is not afraid to say so. Was the latest statement by the Selangor palace rebuking Anwar released to the public prior to Dr M's confirmation? Who advised the ruler?

bruno 21 September 2014 at 22:19  

For those with very poor memories,Badawi,when he was PM and Umno's,the most powerful political party in Malaysia's predident then also had his MB candidate in Trengganu rejected by the Sultan.So if PKR's Wan Azizah's candidacy is rejected,it will not be the first.But history always kept repeating itself,or students of history will be bored to death.

If Wan Azizah is destine to be the MB,she will be the MB.If not so be it.I do not think that she wants the post anyway,except maybe only her hubby.

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