Friday, February 06, 2009

Perak - A Failed Democracy

From a legal point of view I was made to understand that the power of the Sultan to disallow the dissolution of the state assembly is a grey matter. What is obvious is the Sultan does not have the power in to dismiss the serving Menteri Besar other than through a vote of no-confidence.

Another grey area is whether the Sultan should accede to the request by the Menteri Besar to dissolve the assembly or can act on his own prerogative whether to allow it or not.

I am not a legal specialist. For more, read Malik's article here. However, as a legal expert the Royal Highness should understand that what is legal may not necessarily be moral or democratic. Taking a full legal consideration to allow the installation of the BN government in Perak has confirmed the Sultan's oversight on important elements such as democracy, morality and stability of the state government.

There are 3 grounds which I found the Sultan to have erred in his decision.

First, it is obvious that he did not weigh the sustainability and stability of the new government through the backdoor. On this ground, the popularly elected state PR government was brought down not through a democratic mean but through defections of its members to the opposition.

Legally, the constitution provided for a freedom for association but this freedom is not absolute. We need to study this freedom of association in the context of a state or federal government. Malaysia practices party politics and most of its elected members are linked to political parties. The ruling coalitions are made up of political parties.

Hence, it is not democratic to allow for any defections which may easily threaten the stability of an elected government. Moreover, the three assemblymen who defected did not give any public explanation to justify their decision to defect. They even lured the public to believe that they were busy with their respective commitments.

Next, the Sultan has failed to conduct a test of character on the 3 defectors who are key to the change of government. If a test of character is conducted, the 3 assemblymen would have a problem to justify their defections. Firstly, two of the three are facing corruption charges and are due to face the court on Feb 10. If found guilty, they will have to vacate their seats.

Hence, it is obvious that even the new BN government supported mainly by the 3 assemblymen is not stable. Then, it is the interest of the Sultan to ensure that such probability of an unstable government should not be allowed to exist. The Royal Highness should have appointed a caretaker government, at the very least, before their cases are called and argued in court. The assembly speaker has filed a case against the 3 defectors claiming that they have resigned. This case should be allowed to go to the court too.

It is obvious that the claim that they were made to sign the resignation letters under duress is hard to prove. It is part of an employment terms since the 3 held important positions in the Perak state government.

On this point, the Sultan has failed conduct a morality test on the 3. There are reasons to believe that their defections may worsen the negative conduct and practice in politics. This conduct is detrimental to the people if they are allowed to be part of the new government.

Third, the Sultan has initially indicated his choice of a unity government. This term is greatly misunderstood by the Royal Highness. There is no unity if the largest faction of the assembly is not included in the new government. A unity government formed between the BN and 3 so-called "independents" is not sensible and defeat the real meaning of unity.

All points considered, I believe the new government will be even more unstable than the previous one. Moreover, the manner in which the state secretary and the police who acted in unconstitutional and irresponsible manner against the incumbent elected Menteri Besar has worsen public outrage. Politicians, especially those from the BN, should learn to respect the democratic process and the rule of law.

Perceptions are a powerful force. The perceptions formed on the BN and the new Perak are government detrimental to its rule.

The decision to unconstitutionally dismiss the elected MB and his administration is a bad decision of the Sultan part. It is obvious that the decision has failed the democratic and morality test.

The manner in which the incumbent government was toppled is illegal. Malaysians must learn an important lesson. It is them who can protect and defend their beloved democracy and constitution, not the politicians and not even the royalty.

61 comments:

Julian Chin said...

Malaysians must learn an important lesson. It is them who can protect and defend their beloved democracy and constitution, not the politicians and not even the royalty.

We have learned, well. And it's a lesson we'd never, never(!!!) forget.

Anonymous said...

Sultan has failed his test..

Bangsa Cina Malaysia said...

Asalamualaikum,

Rakyat Perak dan seluruh Malaysia marilah berkabung atas kematian demokrasi
dan berdoalah kuasa kepada rakyat untuk memilih di kembalikan serta merta.

InsyaAllah MB Nizar akan kembali berkuasa.

Ameen.

Anonymous said...

ok. where is the state legal adviser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Even if the 3 "independents" support BN, the technicalities of formal party membership is clearly a stalemate, i.e PR-BN at 28-28. Therefore, until the 3 "independents" formally join BN, BN does not technically have a majority government. In such a stalemate, a by-election is necessary.

elizabeth said...

Unwittingly, our DPM has helped to bring the PR government closer to the people's heart... Over the past few days, the MB handled the situation admirably, and kept his cool even in extreme pressure... He has won my respect.

What BN meant for evil, I am sure, God will turn it for the good of the people. BN thinks they can do anything with their money and power, but they can nver fight teh will of God.

We shall see the demise of a truly evil leader.

Anonymous said...

Instead of being above politics, the sultan has shown himself to be an UMNO politician. He is impatiently to dismiss the MB, and it is indeed a surprise that as a former Lord President, the sultan does not use his judgement on proper legal grounds. He has lowered the dignity of the royalty and shown that what he wrote in his 2004 book about guarding the people's rights is nothing but a lot of humbug. Instead of looking after the interests of his subjects, the sultan is more concerned about the interests of UMNO.The sultan has become a laughing stock in the eyes of the world by agreeing to a govt which came to power by the back door - through the defections of 4 assemblymen who are scumbags of the earth. I used to have high regard for Sultan Azlan Shah before, but now all this has evaporated into thin air.

Anonymous said...

Sultan is failed... Sultan should
dissolve the assembly!

The world is looking what is the democracy happening in Malaysia, and what we show the world is

"A Failed Democracy".

MYblog said...

Lets get two thirds majority in the next election and then we can change things for the better.

Thanks to Mahathir, you can change the constitution without the kings consent, then we will see how the rakyat can be neglected.

Anonymous said...

Perakians,

Tomorrow Najis will be in Ipoh to attend CNY open house organise by MCA(I'm not sure on the exact location. Pls find out).
Everyone are invited! Pls bring along the telur busuk or kasut or whatsoever. Sure you know what's the purpose for!

Anonymous said...

Is it time to review the need of Sultans, especially in Perak? If in Nepal they can boot out the king, is it possible in Perak? Well, I think the Perakian will be more humane to their Sultan than the Nepalese.

Richguy said...

My guess is that the sultan could not be that ignorant or lacking the wisdom to understand the points you and I and the rest of Malaysians have realized and understood.

The fact I believe from the deep of my heart (though it may sound as being prejudice to Sultan)is that the sultan has certain prejudice in this case which he had deliberately ignored the obvious points in order to bring the BN into power. Well, people may say it's my perception. For those who say that you and other reputable Malaysians are proof that I’m not alone and have my ground to say that.
In short I would say the sultan has failed and to some extent betrayed the confidence his subjects had on him. Blame goes to him and history will remember for wrong reason..

Ahmad Hilmi said...

This situation helps open a lot of eyes. We cannot rely on other people to change things especially people who could not be challenged - the monarchy. It's up to us, the people, to change Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

The Sultan is too old and cannot think properly already.
Tomorrow He will change his mind.
Don't worry

Anonymous said...

The Sultan have failed to walk his talk. He took the easy way out and have let down his subjects.

Diveman69 said...

Whatever the case may be they are the government of the day, FOR NOW!!!! The fact remains that although BN/UMNO has gained a state but they fail to realise that in the long term they have in fact lost the country. Only Die Hard UMNO Loyalist would term this new state government as legitimate. However in the eyes of the people of Perak specifically and Malaysia generally BN/UMNO have shown their true nature. No need for me to elaborate on that fact. Only time will tell how long this so called 'legitimate' state government will last. True Democracy will prevail and win the day, it is up to us The Rakyat to ensure this. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Condoning corruption is a sure sign of a collapsing civilisation or culture ...
The beginning of the end of the Malaysian Royalty has begun ...

Anonymous said...

The best analysis I read so far.

Hee hee hee all the way to the bank. After that, hee hee back to DAP. Get ready for another Swearing in Ceremony. How stable is this?

5th Feb 09, the darkest day in Perak history, where our pride in our learned man vanish into thin air in Kinta Valley.

Anonymous said...

Perak Sultan should not be respected anymore since he does not respect the people.

Anonymous said...

I FEEL MY COMMENT CAN BE THE FAIRETS OF ALL.READ ON.......

FIRSTLY, THE PREVIOUS PAKATAN GOVT IS ALSO NOT STABLE WITH ONLY 3 MORE MAJORITY, NEITHER IS THE PRESENT BARISAN GOVT WITH 3 MAJORITY, THE TWO UNDER CORRUPTION CHARGES SHOULD BE SUSPENDED. THE SULTAN SHOULD HAVE CONSIDER THAT.
TO HAVE A STABLE GOVT,THE RULING PARTY SHOULD HAVE 5 MORE THAN OPPOSITION. SO THE RIGHT DECISION IS TO HAVE A RE ELECTION.LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE.

Anonymous said...

A well learned lesson for us Rakyat,the Royalty has failed to safeguard the people's interest and sentiments.BN came through the back door open by the Royalty..its a shame!!Wait for the 13th election ,BN will be history,all corrupted leaders ...Najib is the worst of the lot..!Malaysia should reject such ruthless,cheating leader..! Democracy is dead in Perak!..May God give us the strength to carry on till the 13th election...May God Bless All!!!

yenyen said...

We will remember Perak 5/2/2009. We will not give up. We do our best now and we know what we should do in the future.

Richguy said...

So you see Kay Peng, most of the opinions recorded here reflects my thoughts. The Sultan cannot have overlooked these factors. His subjects, the ordinary and very ordinary can think so logically. So how could it be, being a former Chief Judge, one of the most envied and respected judge in the commonwealth countries and (caring?)sultan to possibly forget these points? And how about a PHD prince who sits next to him, a well respected critic and advocate for human rights? Wouldn’t that be strange for mistakes to occur when two geniuses are there to decide?

Anonymous said...

You guys must understand that the sultan is being paid a hefty RM50+K monthly plus a few millions RM for palace maintenance n renovation annually by the BN govt
(using our taxpayers' money. So guess where the priority lies

Anonymous said...

The Sultan and monarchy will pay a heavy price for this. This is not something that you can "senang lupa". A Republic is in the making...

Anonymous said...

The sultan is a mere figure head which is irrelevant in this modern society. History has taught us they are warriors that conquer and the strongest persist to rule. Now, the rakyat determine the right to rule by democratic system through votes. If, the BN still use their corrupt means to even influence the sultan, I don't think the new Menteri Besar and his team will be able to rule or administer the State effectively or peacefully. The rakyat will not concede defeat easily as they had elected the PKR to represent them, but now their rights are taken away by three tainted politicians who had earned their positions through PKR tickets. I don't think they will win if they were to stand as independent candidates. Please listen to the rakyat, not just a few power crazy politicians.

Mr. Smith said...

It seems that the events unfolded on a prearranged script. Even before step one, it was already determined that BN would form the government. The subsequent events and interviews with the ‘frogs’ were to arrive at the preset decision.

Then why the total refusal to give an audience to the Pakatan leaders, namely Anwar, Kit and Hadi Awang to say their piece?
Why the refusal to convene the assembly when the speaker requested for it?
Why the refusal to consider the position of the three defectors which is pending the the courts?
Why the refusal to consider the corruption charges facing the two frogs?
Why the refusal to consider the total absence of any Indian reps and a mere two Chinese reps who are unfit for public office?
Why the haste in swearing in the phoney MB when he first one is still in office?
Why cordon off the state secretariat?
Who gave the authority to the State secretary and Police to order out the MB.
Why the haste in asking for the return of the official car keys and the MB to vacate his residence?

The sultan was NOT neutral at all.

Mr. Smith said...

What a pity? Once a highly respected sultan is now being vilified and demonized at this stage of his life? His reputation is irrevocably damaged?
Neither can his son speak from the pulpit about justice and fairness when what he speaks is not reflected in his own palace.

Anonymous said...

"Action speaks louder than words"
It takes a wise man to 'talk the talk' but a man of courage to 'walk the talk'.
God bless Malaysia.

Evofirst said...

May the Sultan have a change of heart so as to dissolve the state government and return to the people for their mandate!

May Najib come to his senses that defectors are worthless and boot them out of his camp!

May Anwar realised his advocate for froggies has resulted in the situation in Perak!

May the people of Perak vote with their head and not their heart!

Whichever party wins in the snap election (I am convinced there will be one cos the Sultan will change his mind), may the other party and their supporters refrain from pointing their fingers and cry foul!

May everyone accept what is good for the goose is good for the gander and not cry foul just because the sauce did not end up on their court.

May Najib wakes up from his daydream and be a leader rather than following the bad example set by Anwar & his imaginary froggies and accept hand me down with these defectors.

May Anwar also refrain from asking the Agung to step in and allow him to set up a new government with his imaginary froggies BN defectors!

May we the people have good sense and vote for the right people to lead us out of the economic rut and stop supporting defective leaders!

Anonymous said...

The sultan and his family could not longer hold their head high. They no longer have the right to speak about justice, laws, rights, ethics and any legal issues because they no longer practice what they preached. They are blinded with wealth and corruption. They no longer know what is right nor wrong.

REVOLUTION!!!!! Malaysia a republic nation soon.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

WHAT TO PICK TO STICK ON

When a donkey is offered a carrot or a stick
We all know which one it will definitely pick
There's no longer the question of loyalty stick
When there's really no conscience at all to prick

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 050209
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Thur. 5th Feb. 2009.

Anonymous said...

Fellow Malaysians, a huge injustice has been thrust upon us. We will live to fight another day. Let us all NOT forget in 2012 that the people who buried democracy today, must be buried for good at the next general elections.

Alice

The Malaysian Explorer said...

And all the while the Sultan of Perak was my favorite and most respected. This certainly is not a good omen.

Visit Malaysia Facts for quick facts and interesting information about Malaysia.

Visit About ME Page for quick facts and interesting information about The Malaysian Explorer.

red1 said...

There is an old Islamic tradition that i think its good to relate here from Imam Al-Ghazali:

"Good people must not go to the sultan's palace." :-)

Anonymous said...

NO NEED TO BE TOO DISTURB; PAKATAN IS ONLY SUFFERING TEMPORARILY; COME NEXT GENERAL ELECTION; BN WILL BE LIKE WHAT TENGKU RAZALEIGH SAID, "PAY A HEAVY PRICE"

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

SOME THOUGHTS FOR THE COURTS

Let's go around to court the courts
As they become the places of last resort
Where else can you deliver your retort
To have the chance of getting your rational thinking some thoughts

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 070209
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Sat. 7th Feb. 2009.

Anonymous said...

This is a better article so far that i found regarding detail explanation on the constitution of Perak including a case study

http://art-harun.blogspot.com/2009/02/perak-crisis-unsolicited-legal-opinion.html

I totally agree with what you write. I would just like to add that, as the royalty is one of the four pillar in holding a check and balance of democratic process. The royalty should not look at the case fully/totally from a legal angle. The legal angle is being taken care by the judicary. I think he is too immense himself as a judge in the legal authority. As the legal is being taken care by the judicary, the royalty should instead consider more about ethics, morality and principle to give a more balance and humane outlook in a decision making...such as a jury in the court co-existing with the judge. The principle is same. to give a more balance decision with the incorporation of humane principle at the same time not contravene the law. I think the current situation is a bad decision done in haste

Anonymous said...

Maybe the sultan needs some instant $$$ to clear some debts? Otherwise, why the rush in swearing a bunch of crooks within 24 hours, although it is morally wrong and unconstitutional?

The best part is...everyone is talking about a coming REPUBLIC OF MALAYSIA now

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with what Harman Amri has to say over here:
http://anilnetto.com/democracy/96-say-bn-will-suffer-in-next-ge/#more-7993


Harman Amri on February 5th, 2009 at 1.11am

If Anwar didn’t threaten 916, the Perak (and Selangor and Kedah as well) PR government would not have lasted two weeks let alone eleven months. Read the SD by the PKR Ipoh Barat division. Najib (must have) already (been) planning (this) 3 days after March 8. Only Anwar’s maneuverings kept the Federal government constantly off balance and on the defensive; his moves bought time for PR to build a track record of democratic and transparent governance in the 4 states it newly won, which would have under constant attack from Putrajaya if it was not so occupied with Anwar’s threats. Whether Anwar actually had the numbers or was just bluffing is irrelevant. Did he actually commit an illegal or undemocratic act in the process? He has been pilloried by some for something people said he was going to commit..but did he actually commit the act?? Don’t compare the astute and responsible manner in which Anwar “plays” politics, within the rules of the democratic system, with the crude questionable and despicable manner of Najib’s current takeover attempt.

Anonymous said...

simpple. no different from rais. one, wrote a thesis and turn back and say its just a thesis.
now, one writes about royal role and when comes to execution, he forgot what he wrote.
never mind, I am still loyal to the royalty coz I am a malaysian. i wont march against him. but, respect is earned, not by words or writing alone.

Anonymous said...

mr smith,

it took years to build the reputation. it took just a day to shatter everything.
sad sad as a perakian.
but it only makes me more determine to kick out the PM to be.
win or lose, I have lost all respect for the institution that I have hope to be above the fray.
i cry as I said this as a perakian.

thomas said...

Oh yes, it is us perakians who will need to work harder to chase out the dirty politicians and keep this beloved state free from scoundrels! Miracles can happen when we believe it, when we work for it!!!

Anonymous said...

ahmad hilmi,

cant agree with you more.

as a perakian, sad sad day.

bye, sultan you just lost one fine believer. its alrite. for everyone lost, you will find many replacement.

Anonymous said...

This is the reason why Monarchy must be abolished, in a progressive century of achieving true and secular democracy. The self-elected monarchy in Malaysia, with 9 Kings who are mainly millionaires, are a travesty of true justice, equality and democracy in a progressive modern world, and to the poor in Malaysia! And to fair and just-minded Islam.

Katharina Sri (former Noor Aza Othman)
Germany.

[Reply]

Anonymous said...

what legality, constitution etc are you talking about?
of course the former Lord President knows his law, but that was then - he could call a spade a spade.
but it's a different real world now.
i'm disappointed... i'd thought the Perak Sultan, in all circumstances having examined all legal and constitutional provisions, would decide in favour of his subjects, ie give them back the vote, instead of pandering to the misguided and immoral lust of one PM-in-waiting and his largely discredited coalition.

Anonymous said...

What better decision to make other than dissolving the assembly. I think the Sultan terribly misjudged the situation. If the 3 reps have come out openly and declare their independence from PKR then the Sultan decision may be acceptable. I think this episode in Perak, regardless of outcome, has tainted the Sultan and the people will not be looking towards the Sultan as a dignified person anymore. There will be a price to be paid by BN and, in the longer term, the monarchy.

Pro-Democracy said...

Sad day for democracy indeed! The Sultan of Perak made remarks a few weeks back that, "THE RAJA2 HAVE TO EARN THE RESPECT OF THE PEOPLE; OTHERWISE THEY WILL BE IRRELEVANT!"... well, what do we know? His decision might make himself irrelevant in the eyes of the people who love democracy in the country! Irrespective of the fact that he WAS a legal eagle before, he's now seen as "BN/UMNO-licker" by many... maybe its about time Malaysians rethink about the role of monarchy in the country & whether the country could afford 9 of them or just maybe 1, especially during tough economic times like right now?!

Anonymous said...

Now I know why Koreans kick out their King, that's one of the reason why they have no Kings today. so why can't it happened in Malaysia?

Anonymous said...

The hope to form a Republic looks stronger. Frankly, we did not see any contribution fr. our monarchy, it doesn't neither like UK the Queen pick up the responsibility to promote their country nor like Thailand king to solve their country constitutional crisis but ironically generated turmoil in Perak.

Though Muslim take Sultan as a ruler send by God, but in fact in some of high Muslim population like Turky and Indonesia they are doing well without Monarchy, esp Turky highly open and developed country, a member of NATO.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Sultan got some loophole somewhere (which is why the Daughter is so KAYA), therefore kena "blackmail" by UMNO/BN. As such there is no choice but to make such decision under "DURESS".......the common word we hear nowadays.

Anonymous said...

There is another way for PR to resolve this issue of "People Power"..

Ask all 28 PR ADUN to resign at the same time...forcing by-elections in 28 seats...

Let the RAKYAT decide ONE MORE TIME.

I bet hands down PR will win with bigger majority!

Anonymous said...

SAYA SEBAGAI RAKYAT MALAYSIA DAN BERBANGSA MELAYU MERASA SANGAT KECEWA DENGAN KDYMM SULTAN PERAK DAN RAJA MUDA PERAK.........JIKA BEGINILAH KEPUTUSAN DAN TINDAKAN YANG TELAH DIAMBIL BAGINDA DAN UMNO ...SAYA TIDAK MERASA KECEWA JIKA KESULTANAN DAN KETUANAN MELAYU HANYA TINGGAL DALAM LIPATAN SEJARAH...100 ATAU 200 TAHUN DARI SEKARANG...BAGINDA HARUS INGAT BAHAWA KESULTANAN PERAK ADALAH BERASAL DARI EMPAYAR KESULTANAN MELAKA HANYA KINI HANYA ADA DALAM BUKU SEJARAH...TIDAK MUSTAHIL SEJARAH LAMA AKAN BERULANG.....INGATLAH NASIB KESULTANAN PATANI, KESULTANAN DI INDONESIA SEBELUM SUKARNO, KESULTANAN MINDANAO, KERAJAAN MANCHURIA CHINA, DAN TERBARU INSTUTUSI RAJA DI NEPAL......SEJARAH TIDAK MUSTAHIL BERULANG ...DAN IANYA AKAN BERMULA DARI KESILAPAN MEMBUAT KEPUTUSAN DAN TINDAKAN TERBURU-BURU

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable! Those people still think that we are living in the 80's. Now the RAKYAT is very edcuated and political savvy. Cant just shove any stupid policies and decisions down to the RAKYAT's throat anymore.

Not even the King

Anonymous said...

I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT IF EVERY PEOPLE PRAY AND THINK AND VOICE OUT FOR THIS DEAD DEMOCRACY., PEOPLE WILL WIN ULTIMATELY. THIS IS DEMOCARACY AND FREEDOM OF CHOOSING A GOVERNMENT. i HAVE BEEN THINKING THAT BN IS A EXPERIENCED GOVERNMENT BUT NOW IT HAS BEEN BREAKING THE FUNDAMENTALS AS OPENLLY AND CONFIDENTLY. THEY TOO DISAPPONTING ME

dominik said...

I AM VERY SURE THE COURT CASE AGAINST THE 2 PKR STATE ASSEMBLY MEN WILL BE DISMISSED ON THE GROUNDS OF NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE.

AFTER THAT, THE 2 EX-PKR CAN COME FORWARD AND DECLARE THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE PR TO FORM THE PERAK GOVT AGAIN.

HOW IS THAT FOR MY IMAGINATION????

Anonymous said...

I cannot trust snake, worse still if it is a double-headed snake!

However, BN welcomes any double-headed snake!

My advise to Pakatan Rakyat: no way to accept Bota MP if he were to re-join the party!

Anonymous said...

pegi mati dgn ko punya idea tak sekolah tu.. sedar diri kamu siapa dalam negeri kami. kamu tak layak untuk bersuara apa lagi nk mencampuri urusan kesultanan melayu perak amaran aku jgn main api dgn ketuanan melayu. awas kamu dalam perhatian kami..

Pedang Pejuang

Anonymous said...

Woi, Pedang Pejuang, Siapa yang tak besekolah? You and your ketuanan melayu can go **** off. Sudah basi la. Lain tak ada ke?

A Malay guy who comes from middle income family and works abroad so that he has better chance to succeed said...

Pedang Pejuang,

From your comments, I can almost tell that you are not so well educated, and most probably, not so smart.

Like you, I’m also Malay, but seriously, "ketuanan Melayu" idea, what century do you live in? The tax payer money that was used to fund their lavish lifestyle probably could have been used to upgrade the education system, so that we produce quality people who think and act not based on emotions. And seriously “awas kamu dalam perhatian kami”, what is that? You cant counter his arguments so is that the only thing that you can come up with? Remember, God is watching you too.
to

Anonymous said...

RazakRao

Well my dear Ladies & Gentlemen

Do remember that we still have a 'social contract' agreement with Paduka Tuanku to be looked after . For true Malays it is not that simple to dissolved this knot .
Good luck to all