The Real Question on Perak

Historically, before the existence of Malaysia, the Malay States fell into the hands of the imperialists due to greed and power. It was about the power struggle amongst the royalty which eventually led to the colonisation of the States.

Pre-Merdeka, with the emergence of the insurgencies by the left, a “deal” was struck among the capitalists, the royalty, the royalists and the imperialists with the sole purpose of maintaining and guarding “their” positions and influence in Malaya. The collateral outcome of the “deal” was the independence of Malaya. It was a decision motivated by the need to protect and safeguard the vested interests of these actors. It was not about the rakyat. It has never been!

Fast forward 52 years after independence, we see how the same actors have again colluded to stage a modern day “coup” in the State of Perak. Again this was not done in the interests of the rakyat. Those who have heard about the true colours and the personality/ies of the various decision-maker(s) will not be surprised by the recent decision(s).

Ultimately, one important question that needs to be answered is “what’s in it for me?”. That was the question that Pakatan Rakyat could not answer.

No doubt there are several legal and moral issues that have arisen from the Perak fiasco. But the real issue that irks the rakyat is the fact that the capitalists and the royalty have robbed the State government from the rakyat.

Regarding the legality of the Sultan’s decision to call for the resignation of the Menteri Besar (MB), I am prepared to say that the decision is wrong in law. Based on the Perak Constitution, the MB does not hold office at the pleasure of the Sultan.

The only way the MB goes is by way of a no-confidence motion in the State Legislative Assembly. The Sultan cannot just ask MB to vacate his office.

Article 16(6) of the Perak Constitution states that:

If the Menteri Besar ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly, then, unless at his request His Royal Highness dissolves the Legislative Assembly, he shall tender the resignation of the Executive Council.

The question then is: who decides whether the MB ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the State Legislative Assembly? Should it be the Sultan or the State Legislative Assembly? How and where should such issues be decided?

The answers to these questions are obvious. Matters of grave importance that affect the interests of the State should be decided in the hall of the State Legislative Assembly, NOT along the corridors or halls of the palace.

The next question then is: who holds the majority at the State Legislative Assembly?

To answer this question, one must first ascertain the status of the three so-called “independent” members who have tendered their resignations. There is a dispute in relation to their status as members of the State Legislative Assembly. Their views therefore should not be taken into account until their status have been definitely resolved.

Against this background, how can anyone say that the Barisan Nasional commands the majority?

Some have replied saying that since the Election Commission (EC) did not recognise the resignation letters of the three “independent” members, therefore they are still members of the State Legislative Assembly.

This throws up the further question whether the EC has the power and jurisdiction to adjudicate on the status of the resignations.

From the legal perspective, the EC has exceeded its jurisdiction. There is nothing under the Election Commission Act 1957 and the Elections Act 1958 that confers power to the EC to adjudicate on such matters. Consequently, the EC’s decision on this matter is ultra vires and is of no effect. Unless the decision by the Speaker to declare the seats vacant is set aside or overturned by a court of law, the EC must accept the decision of the Speaker. However, we have witnessed how the EC has facilitated the “coup” by disregarding the Speaker’s decision.

Levaing aside the legal questions – on desirability – in view that the current political scenario in Perak is fragile and uncertain, coupled with the fact that there is no guarantee there will not be any further and sudden defections that may affect the composition of the State Legislative Assembly, the best decision to make is to have dissolved the State Legislative Assembly.

Unfortunately, wisdom may not be the virtue of some.

Who will benefit from this episode? The “decision-makers”? Those who “orchestrated” the situation?

Unless the question of “what’s in it for me?” is fully answered, then no one will receive the truth.

The State of Perak was robbed by the capitalists and the monarchy.

The fate of the State should not lie in the hands of allegedly corrupted politicians and a Sultan. It should be in the hands of the rakyat! Let the people of Perak decide the fate of their State through fresh elections.

For the record, I am not a monarchist or a royalist. I have little admiration for slogans such as “Daulat Tuanku” and the related “mumbo-jumbo”. Some may say that this article and the fact that I am doubting the wisdom of the Sultan of Perak may be construed as an act of “derhaka” (disloyalty). As far as I am concerned the issue of “menderhaka” does not arise.

And my reply is “derhaka terhadap siapa?”. Can I “derhaka” towards an institution that I don’t believe in? Can I “derhaka” towards an institution that ignores the will of the rakyat?

It is apt for us to be reminded of what Hang Jebat once said:

Jangan! Jangan sembah aku. Aku bukan gila disembah. Aku bukan sebagai Sultan Melaka yang mengagung-agungkan pangkat dan kebesarannya. Aku Jebat, rakyat biasa. Pangkat aku untuk kepentingan rakyat. Bergerak aku untuk membuat jasa kepada rakyat, dan aku rela mati untuk rakyat.. kerana aku mahu keadilan, keadilan. Keadilan!

The time is ripe for a revolution.

So are you game?

Salam revolusi!

This article is dedicated to those who protested in defiance of the Sultan of Perak on 6 February 2009.

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The writer was supposed to be a reincarnation of Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Hang Jebat, Bruce Lee and Nocurnto Beasto (a black metal dude from Bergen, Norway) rolled into one. Due to the highly complicated "1Reincarnation process" (which was impossible anyway in the "1st" place because of discriminatory scientific-politico policies) and Lord Bobo's intervention, he ended up as Amer Hamzah Arshad in the present life. And for the sins of others he has been condemned to practise law in Malaysia where nothing makes sense. Amer believes that Slayer's "Reign in Blood" is still one of the best metal albums ever made.

Posted on 7 February 2009. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.

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