Monday, April 08, 2019

In Constitutional Monarchy Constitution is Supreme

A Kadir Jasin

PREAMBLE: Views expressed herein are entirely mine. I am writing in my personal capacity as a blogger. It has nothing to do with whatever position I may hold.

If the Rulers want examption Parliament can amend the Constitution
IN ENGLISH, a male monarch is called King, in Arabic Malik, in German Konig, in Japanese Tenno and in Danish Konge.

Whether one is a King, Konig, Malik, Tenno or Konge, almost all surviving 21st century officially recognised Kings and Queens are constitution monarchs.

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There are also hundreds or maybe thousands unofficial monarchs around the world. These are people who lost their thrones and kingdoms when the people decided to do away with the monarchy. The latest being the King of Nepal in 2008.

I am prompted to discuss this issue once again in the light of the controversy surrounding the decision of the PAS government of Kelantan to disallow the picture of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong from being hung in state government offices and premises. It was later reversed after widespread condemnation.

I am also alarmed by the tendency of a handful of princes to stray into the realm of the ordinary people by making politically-charged statements against the elected government. I think this is a dangerous game to play.

It must always be remembered that constitutional monarchs are governed by the law of the land in which the constitution is supreme.

Nobody, not even the monarchs, are above the law. The King and state rulers are immune to legal action only in the performance of their prescribed official duties.

The Constitution is supreme
Unlike their subjects, the monarchs are apolitical and above politics. They do not get involve in the rough and tumble of politics.

The monarchs are immune to prosecution only in the performance of their official duties. Members of their family are not.

That is why in Europe princes and princesses are often tried in court for criminal offenses and have to apologize publicly if they strayed into the realm of the common people.

Only the Malik of Saudi Arabia and the Sultan of Brunei are absolute monarchs where everything in their kingdoms, including the dignity of their people and the wealth of their lands, belongs to them.

The rest of the monarchs are not. Even the sacred King of Thailand is not an absolute ruler. He is still nominally a constitutional monarch but he is protected and insulated by the very tough Le Majeste law of his kingdom.

Our Unique Monarchy

We too are a constitutional monarchy. But unlike other constitutional monarchies, we are also a federation of many states.

As such we have not one but many monarchs. We have nine state rulers. Seven are referred to as Sultan, one as Yam Tuan Besar (Negeri Sembilan) and the other Raja (Perlis).

Among them they choose in five-yearly rotation a Supreme King that we call the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. So in all we have 10 monarchs in a country of 32 million.

We have no problem with that. We hold our monarchs in high esteem. We enjoy the royal pomp and pageantry, and are willing to put up with their traffic-stopping motorcades.

According to modern lore, it seems that some cheapskates of all races and creeds even lobbied and paid good money to get honorific tittles from the monarchs.

And don’t forget the taxpayers. They spend hundreds of millions ringgit annually to keep our monarchs warm and safe on the “takhta” (throne) in glittering palaces. One royal palace is reputed to cost RM1 billion.

And in our national anthem, “Negaraku” we even throw in a prayer for our King:

“Rahmat bahagia
Tuhan kurniakan
Raja Kita
Selamat bertakhta.”

The English: God given blessings of happiness May our King Reign in peace.

Thus, as I have been saying repeatedly, God’s blessing of happiness to our King is conditional upon His Majesty confining himself to the “takhta” (throne).

In one of the articles on the subject of constitutional monarchy published in this blog, I went on to say that in praying for God’s blessing, we do not say that our King may reign in peace in the boardroom or in the forest looking for timber to harvest and minerals to mine.

What I meant was our King and Rulers should concern themselves only with their prescribed official duties and not be involved in business and compete with the rakyat.

That article and an earlier one on the royal expenditure had resulted in great many police reports being made against me for alleged sedition. I had since gone to the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters twice to have my statements recorded.

The Walls Hear

We are now living in the age of the Internet when walls can hear, the ceiling can see and the floor can talk. Nothing is a secret or sacred anymore - not even what transpires in the bedrooms or in a far far away land.

So it is very precarious for any Ruler and his “royal” Menteri Besar to assume that what transpires in the weekly audience and Exco meeting is a secret.

The weaker or the more detested a Menteri Besar, the more that the “rahsia” of the Exco meeting would pour out.

That is why it is important to have a credible, intelligent and trustworthy person as Menteri Besar.

A Menteri Besar is answerable to the people of his state and the Prime Minister who recommended his appointment. Sadly that is not the case with all Menteris Besar.

As for the princes who feel that the people are not respecting them enough or think that they can freely take to the social media to lambast the elected government, my message is simple: come down from your royal perch and do Mohammed Ali’s rope-a-dope in the political arena.

Why not? The late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra of Kedah took to the political arena and went on to become the country’s first and much loved Prime Minister. So was the late Tunku Abdullah Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman of Negeri Sembilan.

We also have Tengku Azlan ibni Sultan Abu Bakar of Pahang and still very much a politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah of Kelantan.

The French people did not get rid of King Louis XIV due to the eloquence of Robespierre but because when they had no bread to eat, their queen, Marie Antoinette, told them to eat cake – a case of a monarchy out of touch.

More recently – in 2008 – the Nepalese people gave King Gyanendra two weeks to vacate the throne and declared themselves a republic after members of the royal family murdered each other and the country sank into anarchy.

And if our monarchs are unwilling to be responsible for any extreme action of the government in an extraordinary circumstance like war, we can always amend the Constitution so that they can be exampted from being part of such an action.

Otherwise we must recognise the legislative and executive powers of the elected government.

Hopefully, as the evergreen rocker Ramli Sarip says, “sejarah mengajar kita menjadi lebih dewasa” – history teaches us to be more mature.


FOOTNOTE: I am responsible only for this column as is published in this blog. I bear no responsibility for reproduction or re-reporting by other parties. Thank you.


XeronineMsia said...

I logged in just to convey my appreciation for your brave and true analysis of our rakyat-raja conundrums. Thank you Datuk. May Allah SWT keep you guided and safe.

akulapenaka said...

"I say thank you to the Malaysian government for hearing the voice of the people to cancel the Rome Statute signed in March," the ruler said on his Facebook page.

Why does this statement felt like the certain Sultan is saying commoners as equals to them? Is the Royalty and The people equal in the eyes of our Federal Constitution or what I learned in school is different suddenly nowadays. Lol

abah ko said...

adalah baiknya kira dibina hospital atau sekolah 100 bilik. mmg sultan2 kita berjiwa rakyat!
minta pengarang panjangkan ke MP utk bertanya soalan kepada kementrian kewangan berapa juta kerajaan belanjakan utk menanggung raja2 di malaysia xkiralah sejak merdeka or per year.

Zed-85 said...

Sallam Dato’

Perkara ini ada bersangkut paut dengan Rome Statute.

Secara ringkasnya, Rome Statute adalah untuk penubuhan ICC (International Criminal Court) atau mahkamah antarabangsa.

Satu contoh popular mahkamah antarbangsa adalah perbicaraan Slobodan Praljak. Beliau seorang General di bekas negara Yugoslavia.

Orang ini bukan saja bunuh orang Islam berapa puluh orang seperti di New Zealand tetapi sampai beribu orang Islam di Bosnia.

Dalam perbicaraan ini, Slobodan meminum racun semasa dalam perbicaraan dan mati tidak lama selepas itu.

Persoalannya, adakah salah kita menyokong penubuhan mahkamah antarabangsa ICC untuk adili pembunuh kejam dan penjenayah yang begitu zalim dan tidak berperi kemanusian?

Kita adalah manusia yang diberikan akal dan hati nurani. Sepatutnya kita gunakan akal dan hati kita.

Dalam mahkamah tinggi antarabangsa, orang kapir yang bicarakan jenayah zalim kepada orang Islam sedangkan orang Islam tidak mahu campur tangan.

Sebab banyak negara Islam mundur dan tidak maju seperti negara barat kerana orang Islam tidak mahu gunakan akal dan hati nurani.

Dr Azman said...

I have preaching the above years ago...

Charge them said...

the four academics warned the Malay rulers that the YDPA may be prosecuted by the ICC as the supreme commander of the country’s armed forces.

The paper was purportedly prepared by Universiti Teknologi Mara’s deputy vice-chancellor and dean of Faculty of Law Prof Datuk Rahmat Mohamad, International Islamic University of Malaysia’s law lecturer Assoc Prof Shamrahayu Ab Aziz, and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia’s law lecturers Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.

If this is true, then these 4 persons should be prosecuted for instigating hatred against the PH govt and attempting to overthrow the govt.
They should feel the full weight of the law for such reckless reporting.

Mohd Idris Hassan said...

Well said Datuk Kadir , truly said without fear of favour. The country needs more writers of your class Sir . May Allah bless you .

Aku said...

السلام عليكم al-salāamu/ 'alaikum; (salam ataih kalian,)
Pojok hang kali ni “in constitutional monarchy, constitution is supreme”, memang padat dgn magna, tepat dgn
pekembangan semasa, sungguh pon coretan hang kali ni kandong bahan2 yg dah di’ulang tayang’ bekali kali.
Malaya telah lalui satu sejarah getiag dimana sebagian besag kelaih ataihsan telibat...
Malaya tekapai kapai untok mencekau satu ‘equilibrium’ yg lebih insani tapi teruih2 dihalang halang bebagai kelompok, yg munkin
sememangnya pada asainya telah bagi sumbangan besag untuk mencetuihkan selingkohan amat dahsyat
atau ‘grotesques’ ni....
Kelaih ataihsan ini sebagiannya adalah dari kelompok sisa feudal, yg kenunnya ‘payong’ rakyat dan kepala2 agama...

Hanyasanya Kadiag, aku nak habagnya, munkin tak pelek la depa teruih dgn perangai ni.
Munkin, gejala ni bulih tengok jugak pd sebagian pimpinan parti agama, yg teruih meneruih sokong parti MOI.
Sebelum ni depa femos pakai sedongdong.

Aku tetanya tanya macam mana bulih jadi macam ni, pada hai depa dah di bagi segala kemewahan ‘material’ dan peluang
mencari ilmu. Dlm serba kedhoifan aku temu ayat 48 dlm suroh anNajmu :
وَأَنَّهُ هُوَ أَغْنَىٰ وَأَقْنَىٰ
yg maksodnya lebih korang
“dan sesunggohnya Dia yang memberikan kekayaan dan memberikan kecukupan,”( sikit suntingan).
Kalimah yg penting aku rasa adalah “ وَأَقْنَى “ kalimah terakiag yg bulih diertikan sifat ‘dan kecukupan’, munkin lawan dia tamaq haloba.
Sungguh pon depa di bagi Istana rega bebilion, bilik beratuih, ropanya yg bagi kita rasa cukop dan ridho’ jugak Allah s.w.t. Semuga aku tak lupa benda ni... Allahu akbar.
Dan bagi yg jatuh ke dlm gaung kelalaian dan kemunkaran, rohmat Allah mengatasi murka Dia, maksod (lebih korang) satu hadith yg masyhog :
Dari Abu Hurairah, dari Nabi shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, ia berkata, “Tatkala Allah menciptakan makhluk-Nya, Dia menulis dalam kitab-Nya, yang kitab itu terletak di sisi-Nya di atas ‘Arsy, “Sesungguhnya rahmat-Ku lebih mengalahkan kemurkaan-Ku.” (HR. Bukhari no. 7404 dan Muslim no 2751. ( dari
Munkin magnanya, jangan putuih asa, masih ada jalan balik.

Maghap Kadiag no... dan terima kasih no.

Zamk said...

Syabas Datuk. Teruskan menulis. Ikhlas dari pendokong setia mu!!

Hang Jebat II said...

"Raja adil raja disembah, raja zalim raja disanggah"

dreality said...

Thank you for saying it out as what we would otherwise do so. The royal house remains so only it remains royal by acting above politics. Once it transgress into daily political binges, it ceases to be one. It then must open itself to be just like any of us.

CJ said...

The article leaves no doubt as to the intended audience. I hope these guys can actually read between the lines and accept the 'advice' in good faith. I would like for their descendants to be around when the nation reaches its centenary of independence.

Frank Labi said...

Salam Dato

Jika kunun 'street fighter MB' bubarkan DUN Johor, kita minta tengkulok bertanding dalam pilihanraya negeri.

malaysia dilanggar todak said...

Orang Indonesia bertanya saya,"bagaimana pemilihan seseorang itu menjadi Agung dibuat,...siapa yg. pilih?".Jawab saya,"raja2 yg. pilih".Bernada terkejut,dia menjawab,..."Mana bisaaaaa!".

Is this a flip flop again? said...


The proposed amendment is absolutely ridiculous, you yourself have expounded so extensively that Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, with the Constitution as supreme. This is going backwards. ANOTHER FLIP FLOP AGAIN?

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government today introduced a new Bill that will empower the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to declare which areas in the country are security hot spots.

Tabled for the first reading in the Dewan Rakyat this morning, the draft to amend Clause 3 of the National Security Council Act (NSC) 2016, also known as Act 776, will transfer the power of declaration currently vested in the prime minister, to the King.

“Clause 3 seeks to amend Section 18 of Act 776 to provide that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may declare any area in Malaysia as a ‘security area’ on the advice of the Council,” read an explanatory statement on the Bill.

Already spoilt said...

only cowards find courage in numbers.
They cannot defend individually?

The four academics - Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) law professor Datuk Dr Rahmat Mohamad, International Islamic University Malaysia’s (IIUM) Dr Shamrahayu Abdul Aziz, and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia law lecturers Dr Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi - have kept mum after a group of student activists leaked their 10-page executive summary that was presented to the Conference of Rulers on April 2.

However, the four academics are expected to break their silence at the “Forum Wacana Ilmu Statute Rom” moderated by Datuk Dr Zainal Kling at UITM at 2.30pm on April 30.


The damage is done, the milk is split, can they lick up the spoilt milk?

Another lame excuse said...

another silly attempt to delay justice for Malaysia.

The defence team in former prime minister Najib Razak’s case over SRC International Sdn Bhd funds has filed a notice of motion seeking to revoke the seven charges on grounds that they are defective.

Deputy public prosecutor Budiman Lutfi Mohamed said the prosecution received the notice of motion and affidavit on the matter this morning.

“The prosecution will file the affidavit-in-reply on April 15 and the defence will reply to it on April 19.

“Both parties have to file their submissions by April 22,” he told reporters after proceedings before High Court deputy registrar Mahyudin Mohmad Som here.

Close the door for Shafee and his client. Let there be no more delays!
Put them behind bars and throw away the keys.

Jojo said...


The British working royals don't have social media accounts and they can't make any public declarations of political affiliations. All because of image.

Here in Malaysia ? Need I say more about image ?

wansee c said...

Bravo, spot on! Yet another well-written and a truly bold-world-class article that only Tok Kadir dares to deliver. Love the facts that were transmitted from your brain-power to enable us to revel in your tactful words and intuition. That compelling gist has certainly aroused everyone to comprehend somewhat the reason behind the backtracking of Rome Statute and, at the same time, hit the nail right on the head of some particular royals. In all conscience, they should be able to read between the lines, the possibility of untoward consequences await in the horizon if they ever cross the line. No one is above the law, as Tun always puts it. Nobody is looking forward to the straw that breaks the camel's back. In fact, it was brainless idea to put Tun through the mill to challenge his capability. Nonetheless, Tun never fails us. In unison, the people extol at the top of our voice: Hidup Tun!

"We will withdraw not because the Rome Statute is harmful to us, but because of the political confusion raised by some people including some people who have POLITICAL AMBITIONS." That was being told by Tun last Friday. It was heartbreaking to see our irked Tun standing unaccompanied but tall and stoic in the PC, uttering words of frustration, especially towards the very end part that someone in particular had blackened him and plotted to oust him in order to attain personal political ambitions. So, it really happened. I wonder, who was the mastermind behind the scene of this 'deep state'? As far as everyone knows, one infamous two-faced impatient chameleon was quick to jump in to refute that no politician was involved, which was a total contrast to what Tun had divulged. That skeptical statement had raised eyebrows of many. Lest there is another episode of inside-true-story belies the surface structure which perhaps includes some PH people? Haven't they hurled all sorts of unfounded accusations at Tun all this while, be it openly or otherwise? God's willing, sooner or later, the truth will prevail.

To date, one thing for sure, Tun remains as the wisest maha-leader, to always be there for the people, to grapple with any issues which makes his rivals green with envy. To the devious mastermind, come to the light instead of being a wolf in sheep's clothing, worming furtively your way into Putrajaya in order to be crowned the much-desired 'throne'. That is coward and undemocratic. Shame and damn.

raj raman said...

Semua bisa Pak.Malaysia BOLIH PAK.Apa saja Malaysia Bisa buat Pak.Kereta terbang hujung tahun ini Malaysia sudah siap untuk terbang Pak.

rajraman666.Kali pertama saya percaya sama Pak Mahathir.Harap Pak Mahathir bisa kurangkan ketuanan Baju Kuning.

Pablo said...

Aku tetap akan bercakap!

Dulu, waktu rakyat menderita dengan kekejaman kerajaan Najib:
1. Apa orang UMNO dan BN buat?
2. Apa tindakan Majlis Raja-raja?

Di mana mereka? Tiada sebarang bakti kepada rakyat! TERBUKTI!

3. Sehinggalah seorang LELAKI yang tua bangkit membela rakyat!

Hari ini, orang-orang UMNO berusaha untuk kembali berkuasa, sebab mereka tamakkan kekayaan yang sudah hilang ketika berkuasa dulu!

Jelas! Golongan ini adalah golongan yang BERBAHAYA jika diberi kepercayaan dan kuasa!

Adakah rakyat Malaysia ingin kembali menderita?

About Me

My photo
I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).