Custom Search
This div will be replaced

part 1

part 2

part 3

Standing up for family and friends caught in the eye of a storm is easier said than done. The first instinct is usually to take cover until the storm clouds disperse. But playing it safe is not part of Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah's DNA. He left his comfort zone yesterday to defend the actions of the Sultan of Perak and take on those who challenged the validity of the latter's decision asking Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and the Pakatan Rakyat government to stand down. He was willing to stand up for his brethren, and chastise those who displayed rudeness to Sultan Azlan Shah.

Bravo. Really that was the only high point of his statement released to Bernama. With due respect, the rest of it may not add much clarity to the political crisis in Perak and its fallout. The underlying principle in the statement appeared to be that the actions of the Sultan of Perak (and by extension of all the Rulers) were beyond reproach and the royal household was almost infallible.

But Malaysia is not an absolute monarchy but a constitutional monarchy. If it were an absolute monarchy, then Sultan Azlan Shah or any Malay Ruler would have complete power over all aspects of life in the state. In an absolute monarchy there is no constitution or legal restriction on the monarch's power. But in a constitutional monarchy like Malaysia, the power of the Sultan is restrained by a parliament, by law, or by custom. In short, his decisions can be questioned and challenged. More so after 1993 when the constitution was amended by the Mahathir administration to remove the immunity Malay Rulers enjoyed from legal action. The Sultan of Perak stirred the pot last week when he refused to call fresh polls after three defectors left the Pakatan Rakyat government. He instead installed a new Barisan Nasional government that claimed to have a new majority in the state assembly.


Template by - guahensem - 2008