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Sakmongkol ak 47

Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Emerging Constitutional History of Our Country.

When the MP for Alor Star proposed that MB Azmin Ali streamline the constitutional procedures of appointing the MB, he was viciously criticised by a Malay group. He was accused among other things, trying to challenge the institution of the monarchy.
The defence of the institution is one of the 4 Malay institutions which must be defended to the last drop of Malay blood. This was declared by the minister in charge of the Police and security of the country. We all know who he is. His name is not Himmler.
Call me unpatriotic, but nobody wants a return to absolute monarchy. I support constitutional monarch. It is part of my cultural heritage. I think all Malays, even those with some republican inclinations, support the existence of the Malay monarchy in its current form. The Monarchy itself may adapt to emerging trends later. If it does that, it is due to its enlightened self-interest.
But let them remain as constitutional monarchs. We have no problems with that.
We have a good system already. The primary right is with the people. We have chosen to accommodate constitutional monarchy which means a limited monarchy. It is limited by the applicable rules of law (we already accorded special rules and courts when dealing with members of Malay royalty). More important the conduct of rulers is censored by public opinion. A ruler, who does not heed the voice of the people, cannot endure.
An example of such public opinion is the very public expression of disapproval of a development in Johor. The development is said to involve the Sultan of Johor. The developer has claimed his proposals are above board. If so, he has nothing to fear from a public disapproval of a peasant or a fisherman.
But we all know the usual story. He is not hiding behind the above board argument but actually riding on that vague concept of royal prerogative. What is that again? It is that indefinable privilege of shielding the actions of the monarchs and those representing him of accountability. Obviously the developer is representing the Sultan of Johor and because he carries the stamp of the Sultan, he has royal prerogative.
The group that assailed the Alor Star MP and like the others with the same mission, appear like instant noodles and claimed as its principal cause, the protection of the Malay monarchy against assault and attack and whatever. What is the real issue here?
The bigger issue here is about crown prerogative. Crown prerogative shields the king and his representatives from constraints that affect us mortals. Those hiding behind crown prerogative do no need to explain their action. In Malaysia, it’s even more novel- one could always hide behind the never can be questioned Malay monarchy. The cushioning, conveniencing, excluding powers of the prerogative crop up throughout our system of government, often excusing conduct that is most arbitrary, most secretive, and least accountable.
Crown prerogative is simply what's left of a once much larger edifice and as defined by Lord Dicey "the residue of the discretionary or arbitrary authority which at any given time is left in the hands of the crown." Except that, strictly speaking, it's no longer in the hands of the crown, but the hands of our political masters.
Yes the political masters. No one for a minute believes the speech given by HRH the Sultan of Selangor during the endorsement on excos appointed for Selangor, was written by him. The extraordinary length and narrative of the Selangor problem, mentioning the Kajang move and expression of anger at DAP and PKR, even citing the cessation of hostilities during the month of Ramadhan, can only be the handiwork of some political masters.
Crown prerogative of course means the monarch. Today the King retains the ancient prerogatives of choosing or dismissing the prime minister and deciding whether or not parliament should be dissolved. Today, when a party leader resigns or gets sacked, the party will choose a replacement, and only in the most exceptional circumstances would the palace look for a successor anywhere else. As to dismissing a premier, for a monarch to try to do this in the early 21st century seems inconceivable.
The Malay Monarchy to UMNO is a carte blanche. It allows the government, which UMNO controls of course, do a lot of things under near immunity. It can be used to fill a huge range of senior appointments in the armed forces, the security services, the civil service and the judiciary, without reference to the people's representatives, though also, in most cases, without anything more than a token reference to the monarch whom they are said to be serving. It is still the Royal commission, the Royal pardon when prisoners are released, the King’s pleasure when they are jailed sine die, and royal commissions to inquire into weighty issues. But the will which drives the institution is that of Putrajaya, not the palace.
But here is the good news. Crown prerogative can be, and is being, rolled back. It helps if there is an outcry against the way it frustrates a clear public interest, as in the case of the Mega development project in Johor. The immunity from accountability is challenged, because we must realise that crown prerogative is a residuum. Where statutes exist, it retreats. We have laws protecting the Malay monarchy. As such we do not require the raucous defence of the Malay monarchy against challenge. No need to invoke immunity.
The emerging constitutional history of this country is going to be the history of the prerogative powers of the crown being made subject to the overriding powers of the democratically elected legislature as the sovereign body. The prerogative powers of the crown remain in existence to the extent to which parliament has not expressly or by implication extinguished them.
Politicians come and go, monarchs in so many countries come and go, but the people, they remain. 


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Delving into the Malay Psyche

Some people must be really stupid. They are more interested in defending that which does not exist. Such as the institution of absolute monarchy. The majority of Malays do not want a return to the old days.  We Malays have made that choice a long time ago. Zaaba wrote about that in 1927. He was from UMNO.
Some defend imagined enemies and assaults.
Only sycophants of the ancient regime clamour for a return of the good old days. The peasants toil the land, so that the feudal club can live off them, having balls, masquerade parties, and musical and dance soirees, have beautiful daughters and wives presented to the lords, and so on so forth.
That kind of world flies in the face of the free man. The free man just like what Milton Friedman and Hayek say- never accepts the imposition of extraneous tyranny in the form of government regulations, regimentation. To the free man, government is just an instrument to achieve collective aims which could not otherwise be achieved individually. It’s not the lord, deity to be worshiped and followed blindly. It’s certainly not an entity to present our wives and daughters to wet their beaks. But if some want it that way, I say good luck to them.
Saying that for instance is a challenge to the King and the Malays?
But no Malay groups want to make noise when the Malay can only afford perhaps to buy only the door of the bungalow, the condominium in Iskandar region. When the whole place is turned into a great wall composed of towering condominiums and super high buildings, Johoreans will be prevented from looking out into the Johor straits. The Johor straits will become one gigantic sewage drain where the effluent will drift into the ocean. Then Singapore will charge Malaysia and Johor for having to clean the mess.
Instead some Malays are caught in the martial spirit- ready to come to blows with people who just proposed that the constitutional rules regarding the appointment and removal of MBs be reviewed. That is taken as a challenge to Malay supremacy.
What supremacy? Malays are lagging behind in almost everything and this is the direct result of the governance, the leadership, the policies of the current government.
The lot of the Malays now is not something that happened per chance. We must never believe that is something fortuitous. It’s not the result of the natural order of things. We must never accept the explanations given by the UMNO politicians.
The Malay is poorer, he in behind in education, training and skills, he has less capital, he stays in cheaper houses, are all the result of some defective policies carried out by the politicians in power. Their lot is the result of human intervention.
We have to debunk all those theoretical explanations as to why Malays are lagging behind. Malays are less productive because their Marginal Productivity is lower. Their production frontier can only be pushed outwards if there are variations to the factors- labour, capital and ideas.
The implication is therefore, the Malays are like that because, they are of poor quality, they don’t have capital and they lack ideas. Of course they like being where they are, they thanked God for their lot and pray for the prosperity, health and success of their esteemed leaders.  They are over protective and oversensitive if others try to persuade them otherwise- they go wild if others accuse their protectors as being less conscientious. Their leaders have divine rights for being who they are and doing what they are doing.
They have less capital, they have lesser skills, they have lesser ideas. The lack or absence of these partly explains why the Malay is what he is. But for the most part, his lot is explained by politics. It’s the people who control Malay politics who direct returns to who they want. Invariably, the elite control politics; they control the distribution of the economic pie.


Friday, 26 September 2014

Just who is running the government?

We came, we saw, we bribe.
BN has won the Pangkalan Kubor state seat in Kelantan. We know the slogan- we came, we bribed, and we cheated. It retained its seat. The BN got a larger majority because it paid voters. BN spent millions. It also prevented almost 2000 Malaysians from crossing over into Rantau Panjang. Also, Kelantanese outside did not return.
Just as they did in Teluk Intan, the BN bribed its way to victory. That is also the Najib method of winning elections.  It’s no big deal then. The victory was achieved partly because there is currently some bad blood within the Pakatan camp.I hope PAS understands the loss.

Let us take on some of the issues raised.
UMNO’s information chief, MP Ahmad Maslan says Putrajaya may actually be supporting 3 months of any rakyat’s livelihood. This is achieved through all the subsidies given out, all forms of welfare assistance and BR1M. These, says Ahmad Maslan are the hallmarks of a good, benign and responsible government.
To that, we say only the smallish mind would want to gloat about it.  Sadly, the smirking comes from ignorance. What the government programs do is affirm the existence of severe income inequalities in the country and the economic hardships experienced by the poor. More and more people require assistance because they do. Incomes have fallen behind- the cost of living has gone up and the standard of living for these people has gone down because life is costly.
I hope no rational thinking Malay buys the idea that economic hardships experienced by them are the result of natural turn of events. The truth is, they are the result of mismanagement of the economy, incompetence, corruption, bad governance, wrong policies and even stupidity. Don’t ever trivialise the hardships as being caused by the natural turn of events. All were man made and caused by the incompetence of the government of the day.
The Malays must break the mental bondage. I have experienced this first hand and shall use an example to illustrate the readily-excusing mentality of the Malays which UMNO takes advantage of.
Raub is a small town with probably around 100, 000 inhabitants. Water shortage is the norm rather than exception. Every other day, there will be water interruptions and stoppage.  Some people in certain areas go without water for a week.
The response by Malays and Chinese is revealing.
Malays endure being without water for a few days attributing the shortage to that’s how it is. Chinese will go up in arms, calling the ADUns and MP to do something. We do of course short of actually carrying buckets of water.
I see two different thinking operating here. The Malays are ready to endure and accept  water shortage as part of the natural order of things. So they are ready to excuse the shortage and endure. The Chinese don’t. The Malays are not likely to consider that the water shortages may be caused by wrong investments taken in the past, the supply of defective and substandard pipes, bad water distribution management, lack of investments in facilities etc.
While water is indeed a product of nature, its delivery to homes is not. It’s a function of human management and involvement in many forms.
The Malays need to question everything and never take things as they are. Things are never as they are. 
its not government's money. 
Secondly, the government is spending what it takes from the people. Government itself has no money other than what it takes in the form of taxes. Next year, the government wants to be leech-efficient. It wants to suck whatever can be extracted from people.  That is why GST will be carried out- it’s a more efficient method of collecting taxes. 

Now, let us get back to the issue of the Malay problem. This issue is played over and over again. The contest in Pengakan Kubor is between 2 Malay parties. Something must be wrong when 2 Malays contest, the party that gets whacked is the non-Malay. Is the Malay problem caused by non-Malay or by the government that is in power? Who is responsible for the policies, who controls governance, who controls the treasury?
The UMNO Malays must have outsourced everything to their Chinese partners,  so now it’s justifiable to lay blame on the Chinese.
The cat is out of the bag- UMNO has been subcontracting the management of this country to the Chinese. But UMNO is the Malay party fighting for the 4 institutions that are sacrosanct to the Malays no?


Thursday, 25 September 2014

Melayu sudah sedar, UMNO yang Lupa.

Kita sudah dengar kenyataan Dr Mahathir mengenai Melayu. Kita juga dengar kenyataan TPM Muhyidin. Mengenai merit dan lejitimasi kenyataan mereka, elok lah orang lain perdebatkan.  Ramai cerdik pandai diluar sana.
Dr Mahathir kesal dengan karakter orang Melayu- tidak boleh dipercayai, suka merempit. Kalau berhutang tidak mahu bayar. Tapi Dr Mahathir tidak beritahu kita yang banyak berhutang ialah golongan atasan yang mendapat 1001 kemudahan kerajaan, tidak mahu bayar.
Bank pula asyik membengkrapkan pemiutang kecil. Yang pemiutang besar, bank layan seperti menatang minyak penuh. Kalau sakit, pergi lawat dan hantar bunga ke hospital. Pemiutang kerdil diburu dan disegerakan bengkrap.
Muhyidin pula menggambarkan Melayu tidak kenang budi. Walaupun banyak sudah UMNO berbudi, dia khuatir datang PRU14, UMNO tidak mendapat sokongan majority orang melayu.
Bila itu terjadi, tamatlah riwayat UMNO.
Kadang2 saya tertanya juga mengapa pemimpin UMNO mudah sangat menyalahkan rakyat Melayu yang biasa itu?
Sudah kita selidik mengapa Melayu ramai yang berada dalam kumpulan bawahan? Mereka jadi demikian sebab dasar kerajaan membuatkan mereka negitu. Anak Melayu sukar dapat kerja sebab kita tidak beri latihan teknikal kepada mereka. Orang Melayu sukar membeli rumah sebab kita pro spekulator dan pemaju perumahan. Kita benarkan pembiayaan oleh bank dengan faedah yang tinggi.
Parti yang memimpin barisan yang mendapat hanya 48% sokongan popular masih bongkak dan sombong. prejudis dan bongkak UMNO ini tidak diperbetulkan oleh pemimpin pelapis mereka. UMNO sangka bahawa Melayu ini berhutang budi kerana UMNO sebagai kerajaan menyediakan pembangunan dan kemajuan untuk rakyat.
Ketua penerangan UMNO, Ahmad Maslan pula mengstiharkan bahawa Putrajaya membiayai hidup raykat selama 3 bulan setahun melalui sabsidi, melalui pemberian2 kewanagn lain, melalui BR1M dan sebagai nya.
Orang Melayu hanya perlu bertanya: duit itu dari mana datang nya? Kerajaan tidak ada wang dan tidak ada pendapatan. Kerajaan tidak ada wang apa2 selain dari hasil kutipan cukai. Semua orang bayar cukai. Yang tak bayar cukai pendapatan, bayar cukai dalam bentuk lain- cukai pintu, cukai assessment, cukai belian, cukai jualan, perkhdmatan dan sebagainya. Pendapatan kerajaan inilah yang kerajaan guna untuk mendanai dan membiayai pembangunan dan program kebajikan. Ini bukan duit bapak UMNO. Ini duit rakyat.
Prinsip pengkerajaan kalau orang UUMNO hendak tahu ialah sesiapa yang menguasai pemerintahan dan perbendaharaan maka merekalah yang bertanggung jawab menggayakan dan mengaplikasi wang tersebut.
Pembangkang yang tidak memerintah dan tidak menguasai perbendaharaan tidak bertanggung jawab melakukan kemajuan dan pembangunan. Tanggung jawab asas mereka ialah memastikan wang yang keluar dari treasury dibelanjakan secara bertanggungjawab. Tugas dan peranaan mereka ialah memastikan pemerintahan dilakukan secara undang undang dan tidak zalim dan tidak berlaku salah guna kuasa.  Itu peranan pembangkang.
Janganlah suruh budak comot berceramah menyebut kerajaan bawak pembangunan, pembangkang boleh buat apa?
Pembangunan dan kemajuan ialah tanggungjawab kerajaan yang memerintah dan yang menguasai perbendaharaan. Tanggung jawab pembangkang ialah membina kenagaraan. Pastikan pemerintahan dilaksanakan atas prinsip undang2 dengan dasar yang adil dan saksama dan pastikan wang rakyat jangan disongglap dan dirompak oleh UMNO .
Kerajaan di Kelantan- mengaplikasikan apa wang yang mereka ada. Itu pun UMNO sekat pemberian royalty minyak yang menunjukkan sikap busuk hati UMNO kepada rakyat Kelantan. Dan rakyat Kelantan itu majority nya siapa? Melayu bukan? Dan bukankah UMNO mengistiharkan mereka berjuang untuk kepentingan bangsa Melayu?
Jadi kita orang Melayu tidak perlu cemas dengan cetusan serta luahan pandangan dari Dr Mahathir dan Muhyidin. Apalah yang hendak di pelikkan sangat? Orang Melayu sudah sedar bahawa UMNO dan kerajaan tidak boleh berjasa apapun kecuali apa yang dibenarkan melalui pegangan kuasa pemerintahan dan kuasa keatas perbendaharaan.  Kerajaan bukan ada pendapatan kecuali hasil dari cukai dari rakyat. Jadi apa yang UMNO berikan pada rakyat melainkan apa yang UMNO ambil dari rakyat terlebih dahulu?
Pembangunan memang tanggung jawab mereka yang memerintah.
Sebab mereka ada kuasa memerintah. Sebab mereka control perbendaharaan. Seiapa pun yang memerintah dan control perbendaharaan dia bertanggung jawab. Di Pulau Pinang- kerajaan negeri DAP. Di Kelantan- kerajaan PAS. Di Selangor- PKR. Di negeri2 yang dikuasai oleh BN- BN bertangung jawab.
Di peringat negara- kerajaan BN yang bertanggung jawab. Apa misterinya mengenai siapa boleh melakukan pembangunan? Soalan apa pembangkang boleh buat ialah soalan orang bodoh yang mahu membodohkan orang Mlayu.
Orang sudah sedar bahawa kemajuan dan pembangunan ialah tanggung jawab mereka yang menguasai pentadbiran dan menguasai perbendaharaan. Mana2 kerajaan yang berkuasa ketika ini, maka mereka lah yang bertanggung jawab kepada kemajuan dan pembangunan. Hari ini UMNO menguasai negeri dan negara- memanglah kerja mereka mengurus penggunaan wang rakyat dengan baik.
Tanggung jawab pembangkang ialah memantau supaya wang rakyat itu digunakan secara berhemah, tidak ada salah guna, tidak ada curang, pencurian tidak ada rasuah. Tugas pembangkang ialah menegur kerajaan supaya menngunakan wang tersebut diantara permintaan2 yang bersaingan. Yang lebih penting didahulukan, yang kurang penting dikemudiankan.
Barangkali, Muhyidin  dan UMNO yang mungkin tidak faham kerangka minda orang Melayu.


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