Of Raja Nazrin, real stories and regal rhetoric

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During the Perak crisis, key democratic institutions were manipulated by the powers-that-be to contain and crush legitimate dissent. Martin Jalleh wonders if Raja Nazrin will tell the people the real story about what happened behind the scenes.

Raja Nazrin

Your Royal Highness (YRH),

Recently, during a talk themed: “The role of Malay rulers in nurturing unity” held in Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Shah Alam, YRH declared that “rulers should not be shielded from the truth and must be told the real story”.

May I, with due respect to YRH, tell you the truth – that many of us (especially those who are sons and daughters of Perak) find it very hard to believe that you meant every word that you said during the talk. Some, in responding to the article highlighting your talk, have asked you to “walk the talk”!

Much as we would really like to consider what you had proclaimed as “rare wisdom” from a ruler and intellectual, very unfortunately, the tragic manner in which the Perak royal family handled the Perak constitutional crisis reduces your speeches to mere “regal rhetoric”.

You were so very right when you said that “rulers should never be surrounded by people with personal interests who are willing to use them as tools”. If only the Perak royalty had displayed and determinedly demonstrated such astuteness during the crisis!

It was the public’s perception that His Royal Highness (HRH) Sultan Azlan Shah had allowed himself to be surrounded by the PM and his cohorts and to be used as a political tool. HRH also denied the ousted Perak MB Nizar Jamaluddin an audience at a very crucial point.

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By writing this open letter to you I run the risk of Umno or Perkasa members making police reports against me, but I am confident enough that YRH will not allow these elements to make use of you, as they have so often and unashamedly done so, out of political expediency.

To confirm the hypocrisy of the Umno elite, you should consult your royal colleague and veteran Umno leader, Tengku Razaleigh, who during the height of the crisis strongly suggested that it is Umno that has harmed the Malay rulers more than anyone else!

In sharp contrast to your professed openness, Umno, through the Attorney-General’s Chambers has gone to extremes to do the opposite. Take for example the AG’s appeal against a High Court’s decision to acquit Karpal Singh of a charge of sedition against the Perak Sultan.

Unbelievably, the DPP told the Court of Appeal: “People have the legal right to take Sultans to court but to speak openly of it is seditious…as this would inflame the sentiments of laymen who did not have a good grasp of the law”!

Understandably, the AG and his Chambers are suspected of suffering from an inflammation of the brain, which in many respects is as bad as “yellow fever”.

Bitter and brutal truth

YRH, you stressed that “rulers should be willing to accept the fact, no matter how bitter, as justice could not be upheld without the truth.” Logically, you would need to be willing to accept the fact, no matter how bitter, that hardly anyone takes you seriously these days.

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Public sentiments for HRH Sultan Azlan Shah are the same. Perakians had placed their hopes high on HRH – whom they had held in high regard. But he seemed to be swayed by Umno’s political subterfuge and scheming. Public perception of his impartiality plummeted after that.

YRH so rightly pointed out that: “In all conflicts, no one party is right all the time and no one party is wrong all the time.” HRH Sultan Azlan Shah (a former Lord President though he was) was wrong in his personal discretion and his straying beyond his parameters of power during the crisis.

No one presented the brutal and bitter truth so honestly, clearly and professionally than respected retired judge N H Chan, who bravely declared that HRH had “sidestepped” provisions of the Perak Constitution and made a “fatal error”.

YRH also very accurately pointed out in your talk that “the credibility of some national instruments require recovery of perception and need improvement in line with current world dynamics to restore confidence in the people.”

During and after the Perak crisis, key democratic institutions were manipulated by the powers-that-be to contain, cripple and crush legitimate dissent. They degenerated to the point that the public no longer trusted them. This was especially true of the judiciary.

The judiciary sank so low during the crisis – to allow itself to be intimidated, its independence and impartiality interfered with, and its integrity reduced to ignominy. Today the reputation of the judiciary or whatever is left of it, has been sullied irreparably.

Ironically, on 31 Octorber 2007, I had in an open letter thanked HRH Sultan Azlan “for portraying the truth about the state of the country’s judiciary and your accompanying clarion call for major reforms in the judiciary…”

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I wrote: “Today, we have become a laughing stock. We are second to none when it comes to kangaroo courts and court jesters like the de facto Law Minister. The judgments of our courts are often quoted in political satire and online comic scripts.” Nothing has changed!

Just as the “credibility of some national instruments require recovery of perception and need improvement”, I am sure you will agree that the credibility of the royalty also requires recovering of perception and regaining public confidence!

Perhaps, YRH, this can only happen if the people are told the “real story”. Just as the rulers need to be given the true picture, the public also needs to hear the “real story” to make a wise and good decision in the next General Elections.

YRH, please tell us the “real story” on why there was such undue and indecent haste by HRH to dismiss the leader of a popularly elected coalition? Why was there such an unholy haste to recognise and instal and swear in a government against the expressed wishes of the people?

Raja Petra has told us his “real story” to the above questions. It allegedly has something to do with your succession to the Perak throne and also to save the financial empire of one of the members of your royal family. Is RPK’s story accurate?

Will you tell us the “real story”?

Martin Jalleh, a well known political commentator, is a regular contributor to Aliran.

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AgreeToDisagreesharin BolehlandGopal Raj Kumardkathies Recent comment authors
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AgreeToDisagree

A ruler, needs no financial empire, and thus need not compete with anyone. A ruler and his immediate family’s place is guaranteed in the country he is sovereign of, the state will maintain and support him. He may be impartial and speak with neutrality yet suffer no rebukes or condemnation from any politician. If all Sultans would be secure enough, it would be a boon to the people and a statement of commitment to country, if all business interests be henceforth controlled by, and directly profit the state. The humility and unmaterialistic expression in this divine manner would be noted around the world. A monarch need not be a plutocrat, his people are his wealth, he need not sully his hands with wealth or handling lowly economic matter, a ruler is the soul of the nation, must set an example for his courtiers and citizens who will justify and match their actions to their ruler and the ruler’s immediate family, or grow disillusioned and distant from ruler and family till one day they look upon him as a competitor for economic opportunities a ruler does not… Read more »

sharin Bolehland
sharin Bolehland

You are being factual.We cannot be blinded by what happened in Perak.The Rakyat is looking forward to see that the Royal play their role justly…Can tell raja Nazrin no need for rhetoric.

We are not fools to be conned ……Words sound intellectual,in essence it’s hollow.Please stop making speeches which make the mockery of the whole things.

Gopal Raj Kumar
Gopal Raj Kumar

What is the “truth” Mr. Jalleh you so ‘vividly’ speak of here? What is the “truth” that you express in esoteric language that those of us mere mortals do not read or understand?

What has his royal highness done to so offend you apart from exercising a royal prerogative in his state? nothing unprecedented in the so called “Perak crisis” is there?

Gopal

dk
dk

Talk is cheap. Anyone can pontificate and be a fountain of wisdom, yet not practise what they preach. …. Like they say, walk the talk.

athies
athies

Becoming Sultan

By a strange twist of fate, Raja Azlan Shah was installed Raja Muda (Crown Prince) of Perak by his uncle, Sultan Idris Almutawakkil Alallahi Shah II on 1 July 1983. The long reign of that Sultan had taken its toll on Raja Azlan Shah’s elder brothers. In that year, his only surviving elder brother, Raja Baharom Shah, refused the office of Crown Prince and Raja Azlan Shah was suddenly heir to the throne.

Within six months, Sultan Idris died and Azlan Shah succeeded to the throne of Perak on 3 February 1984. In April 1989, Sultan Azlan Shah became the ninth Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. He served the full five year term and returned as Sultan of Perak in 1994.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azlan_Shah_of_Perak

What strange twist of fate could make a man beome a sultan??

athies
athies

The Bar council praised his father for his wisdom… .read this article in the link(http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/malaysian_law_conference_organising_committee/malaysian_bar_lauds_raja_azlan_shah.html), then recall what his father did to the rightfully elected representatives…after GE12

George
George

Martin you spoke on behalf of so many perakians, i personally used to look up to the perak royalty but now question do i still look up to them? now im wondering if police reports are being filed against you.

HRH please tell us the truth…

DR AMIR
DR AMIR

DEAR SHARIN MALAYLAND,

IT IS BETTER TO LEAVE IT TO THE KNOWLEDGEABLES IN THIS REGARDS. NO OBSERVATION MUST BE LOOK DOWN UPON. AS A WISE MAN SAYS ‘ LET’S NOT CLOSE THE BOOK UNTIL WE HAVE READ THE LAST PAGE’. MAY WISDOM BE WITH YOU. TQ

Jong
Jong

sharin malayland,

Why are you, all so geared up when no one is forcing you to read Martin Jalleh?

Thank you Martin for speaking up for the tens of thousands of us Perakians. You have put it so eloquently well the feelings of most Peakians on both sides of the political divide towards the Perak Constitutional Crisis, and of course other than those with vested interests who are out to use the rulers.

We await HRH Nazrin Shah’s reply. I am sure he will not evade answering Martin (now that it’s all over the internet) if Nazrin wants to see a return of public confidence and to be taken seriously and not mere rhetoric.

sharin malayland
sharin malayland

martin … u talking nonsene..all pakatan suporter always thik their side is the truth..

oo lala
oo lala

oh come on sharin malayland BN avid fans are always living in denial of the truth~ lalala