Nazri says ‘ketuanan rakyat’ does not empower people
By Clara Chooi December 02, 2010(MI)
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz told PKR leaders that “ketuanan rakyat” did not grant the people full power to decide their government leaders, reminding them that the Malay Rulers still reigned supreme in Malaysia’s constitutional monarchy system.
“A lot of people think that when there are elections, it means that it is all about ‘ketuanan rakyat’ (people supremacy) and the Rulers have no say at all.
“I want to tell them that they are wrong. In this country, it is a kind of hybrid system. Even though it is a constitutional monarchy, the Rulers also have their own say and power,” the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department told The Malaysian Insider.
There are nine royal houses in the country and each Ruler is elected as Yang di-Pertuan Agong in a five-year rotation system thought up by the country’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, who is a scion of the Kedah royalty.
The current row over the “ketuanan Melayu” or “Malay supremacy” concept started over the weekend when several PKR leaders, including president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and deputy president Azmin Ali, rejected the concept, pointing out that the Malay race was no more supreme than the others.
Dr Wan Azizah’s husband, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, joined the fray later and propagated the “ketuanan rakyat” concept to the people.
But Umno leaders have linked PKR’s arguments as hurting the constitutional monarchy system.
Nazri cited the example of the year-long constitutional impasse in Perak last year, pointing out that the Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah had proven several times that the Malay Rulers were still the top decision-makers in the formation of the government.
During the crisis in the northern state last year, Sultan Azlan Shah had refused several attempts by the fallen former Pakatan Rakyat state government to dissolve the state assembly to pave the way for snap polls following several defections.
The Ruler had also gone on to allow Barisan Nasional to take over leadership in the state after 31 assemblymen, including three independents, pledged their allegiance to the ruling coalition.
Prior to that, following the results of Election 2008, Sultan Azlan Shah had also played a pivotal role in deciding on the PR candidate for the post of mentri besar.
Although of the three PR component parties, the DAP had won the most number of seats compared to PAS and PKR, the Islamist party’s candidate Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was appointed to the mentri besar’s post.
During the March 2008 general election, the pact between DAP, PAS and PKR had surprisingly trounced BN in Perak, with the DAP taking the lead with 17 state seats, followed by PKR’s seven and PAS’s six.
“In Perak, DAP had 17 state assemblymen so why is it that they could not put up one of their own to be the mentri besar? Why did they have to use Nizar from PAS?
“It means that the Sultan has the right to say ‘no’, which means that to say that the Sultan has no power is wrong because it is still within the Ruler’s power to decide who is the mentri besar.
“The only thing he cannot do is to appoint someone who is not an assemblyman to be the mentri besar, that is all,” he said.
Nazri acknowledged that the selection of Nizar was likely due to the fact that the state Constitution stipulated that only a Malay could hold the post of mentri besar but pointed out that the Sultan still had the right to reject any Malay candidate if he deemed fit.
As examples, Nazri cited the cases of Terengganu and Perlis post-Election 2008 in the appointment of the states’ respective mentris besar.
“Just as it was shown in Terengganu and Perlis. Even though the ruling party had received the people’s mandate and they already had their own choice to lead the states as the mentri besar but if the Sultan said no, then there is nothing that can be done,” he said.
In both cases, the respective Rulers of Terengganu and Perlis had rejected Umno’s candidate for the post of mentri besar and despite the dispute, party leaders eventually had to relent to the Rulers’ choice of candidate.
Nazri said the prime minister or mentri besar would not be allowed to dissolve Parliament or the state assembly without the consent of the King or Sultan.
“The word ‘on the advice’ in our Constitution is not the same as in Britain. In Britain, the Queen dissolves the Parliament on the advice of the prime minister but here, ‘advice’ is more a directive.
“In Malaysia, we are different. If the Agong says it is unnecessary to dissolve Parliament, then there will be no dissolution,” he said.
As such, Nazri said that the term “ketuanan rakyat” that was now being promoted by PKR did not translate to mean that the people were all-powerful in any election process.
“Those who say that ‘ketuanan rakyat’ means the people have all the power, they have a cow dung factory in their brains.
“I know what I am talking about — I am not only a lawyer, I am also in politics,” he said.
He added that there was no English equivalent to the term “ketuanan Melayu” and claimed that the often-used translation “Malay supremacy” was inappropriate.
“It is an incorrect translation because it has nothing to do with supremacy. In order for a person to understand what ‘ketuanan Melayu’ means, you have to know Bahasa Malaysia,” he said.
Nazri continued to assert that the concept was meant to protect the sovereignty of the Malay Rulers.
I agree with Nazri, he is right and he talks with facts.
Friends, don't listen to these people from PKR..Parti Ketuanan AnwaR, they are all devoted cult followers of Anwar Ibrahim who is just trying to save his skin from being sent to jail for the crime of sodomy against his former assistant. All these Pakatan campaign to disparage the Constitution and relegating the role of the Monarchy and the Raja Raja Melayu under the guise of the very deceiving slogan of Ketuanan Rakyat leads to a campaign to only save Anwar from going to jail a second time which is what Ketuanan Anwar is all about, its not about democracy in Malaysia , God knows how much overdose of democracy this country has already been blessed with, its just about saving Anwar from going to jail. This is God's honest truth.
read Ketuanan Anwar gobbledygook on ketuanan rakyat here and the statement of the MB who should have stuck to business and stay out of politics, whose party is a democracy in name only when its ketua umum refuse to undergo a democratic election process in his own party here. And the standard kaki goreng support from the DAP here, come off it lah Chen Man Hin, Anwar a born leader? He was convicted for six years for abuse of power when he was Deputy prime Minister of Malaysia, born leader my foot.
Listen to my favourite khalsa warrior here:
He said Anwar has created enough trouble for the country, Anwar mesti bertaubat, Anwar is not fit to be a leader, a leader who believes in immorality.
Don't play around with Karpal Singh Ok Mr Chen and Uncle Lim.