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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Did all ten Rulers really scold Najib regarding 1MDB?

The 1980s Constitutional Crisis has proven that when the politicians attack the Monarchy the Rakyat will stand behind the politicians and not behind the Monarchy. The Monarchy had to fight its lone battle against Dr Mahathir. Not only did the Rakyat not help, the Rakyat, in fact, joined in the attacks.

Back in November 1999, three days before the 29th November general election, I tried to request an audience with His Majesty the Agong, the late Sultan of Selangor. I remember that it was around noon on Friday the 26th.

I went to Istana Negara to hand-deliver a letter to His Majesty requesting this audience. I did not mention the reason for the audience in that letter, though.

The reason I wanted an audience with the Agong was so that I could explain to His Majesty that the opposition coalition, Barisan Alternatif, was worried that even if it won more than 50% of the seats in Parliament they would not be allowed to form the government.

In other words, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad might do a coup and steal the election, which is what they tried to do once in Sabah. Hence history has proven that it can be done and that they are capable of doing it if push comes to shove. And we heard from ‘inside sources’ that this was what was going to happen on 29th November if Barisan Alternatif won more than 50% of the Parliament seats.

Of course, Barisan Alternatif did not win more than 50% of the seats. It won only 22% of the seats. But then Barisan Nasional won 147 seats while Barisan Alternatif did not win 42 seats although combined it did. What happened was PAS won 27 seats, DAP won 10 seats and PKN won 5 seats — and not Barisan Alternatif won 42 seats.

If combined Barisan Alternatif may have won 42 seats but then Barisan Alternatif was not a registered party while Barisan Nasional was. Therefore its 42 seats would not be regarded as Barisan Alternatif seats but individual seats. So that means even if Barisan Alternatif collectively won 55% of the seats, Barisan Nasional would still form the government with just 45% of the seats.

This was what we were told was going to happen so I needed to explain to His Majesty that PAS, PKN and DAP have all signed letters agreeing to combine their seats and form a coalition government. Hence it is Barisan Nasional versus Barisan Alternatif and not Barisan Nasional versus PAS versus PKN versus DAP.

But I was not allowed into Istana Negara even when I explained to the police outside the palace that the Agong was my uncle and that this was a family matter. The police officer told me that no one is to be allowed into the palace to meet the Agong and that if I want a letter delivered then I have to hand it to the guardhouse.

So I did just that and then went off to Masjid Negara for my Friday prayers. When I reached Parti Keadilan Nasional’s office around 2.00pm, the place where I worked, there was a fax waiting for me.

This was probably the fastest response in history. Never before had any government agency responded to a letter within just two hours. But I got my response in just two hours denying me my request for an audience with the Agong and in that letter they told me to came back after the general election because the Agong will not be meeting anyone before the election.

But then my letter was to the Agong and I had hand-delivered it to Istana Negara. The reply, however, came from the Prime Minister’s Department. And when I asked why I was told that Istana Negara comes under the Prime Minister’s Department and no meetings or announcements can be made by Istana Negara unless it is first vetted and approved by the Prime Minister’s Department.

That was also what happened in 2007 as well when we organised the Bersih rally and we requested an audience with His Majesty the Agong, the Sultan of Terengganu. We wanted to hand over to His Majesty our petition for electoral reforms. But we were denied an audience by the then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s office.

Eventually we managed to get that audience but only after using the ‘backdoor’ to get in. Basically we bypassed the Prime Minister’s Department and by using our palace connections we got that audience. And that was how Bersih succeeded back in 2007 — before the politicians hijacked the movement.

Anyway, back to the 1999 story, after failing to get permission for that audience, I contacted a few of my cousins and was told that even they, the sons, were being denied access to the Agong.

One of my cousins told me, “Dr Mahathir has kidnapped the Agong and is keeping him in Langkawi. No one can get access to His Majesty until after the general election, not even us, his own sons. Dr Mahathir wants to make sure that he is sworn in as Prime Minister first before he will allow the Agong to leave Langkawi.”

Wow! This is not what I am saying. This was what one of the sons of the Agong said. I knew then that even if Barisan Alternatif collectively won more than 50% of the seats it would still not be allowed to form the government. Dr Mahathir had already made sure of that.

As Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah explained many times, the key to the whole thing lies in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. His Majesty the Agong shall take advice from the Prime Minister. And the First Agong confirmed this. It is the Prime Minister who can remove the Agong and not the other way around, said the First Agong.

The impression being created since yesterday, however, is that the Conference of Rulers has scolded Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak regarding 1MDB. This is a very dangerous game that the anti-Najib forces are playing. We discussed this back in the 1980s during the Constitution Crisis and in that meeting in Penang we had already advised the Rulers to be very careful and not allow themselves to be dragged into any power struggle between the politicians.

One of the reasons for the Constitutional Crisis, which resulted in the amendment to the Constitution whereby the Agong’s signature is no longer required for Parliament Bills to become law, is because the Royal Households were seen to be pro-Tengku Razaleigh.

His Highness the Sultan of Kelantan openly supported Tengku Razaleigh (which was why Kelantan fell to the opposition in 1990) while the brothers of the Terengganu and Pahang Sultans were heads of Semangat 46 in their respective states.

Hence dragging the palace into politics is very dangerous. Politicians come and go but the Monarchy remains. But then the Monarchy remains only because the politicians allow it to remain. If the politicians decide to abolish the Monarchy there is nothing we can do about it.

The 1980s Constitutional Crisis has proven that when the politicians attack the Monarchy the Rakyat will stand behind the politicians and not behind the Monarchy. The Monarchy had to fight its lone battle against Dr Mahathir. Not only did the Rakyat not help, the Rakyat, in fact, joined in the attacks.

I do not know why the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal issued that press statement. That was not even a statement from the Conference of Rulers. It was a statement regarding a pre-council meeting. This is something that has never been done before and it exposes the Monarchy to great risk.

Whatever explanation you may want to offer, you cannot deny the fact that 1MDB is a political issue and any statement regarding this matter would be treated as a political statement.

We are now seeing the 239th Conference of Rulers. That is right, the 239th. And the Rulers would discuss many things in these Conferences. But of the many things that were discussed over 239 Conferences, they pick just one issue to focus on — 1MDB.

Is this not politics and is not the Conference of Rulers being dragged into politics? And if they decide to attack the Monarchy are all those people who are now clapping and cheering going to take to the streets and march in defence of the Monarchy or are they going to agree that the Monarchy is a waste of time and money and better Malaysia abolish the Monarchy and be turned into a Republic just like Indonesia?

I would advise my cousin and his Brother-Rulers to tread very carefully on this one. Today, many will clap and cheer. But these same people who are clapping and cheering — Dr Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim included (not forgetting DAP) — are Republicans and not Monarchists. Let the politicians sort out their own problems and settle their power-struggles themselves. History has proven that politicians are no friends of the Monarchy.

Is it not Dr Mahathir and Anwar who say that the Monarchy betrayed the people and sold out the country back in 1946? – Raja Petra Kamarudin




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