Sultan is bound by the rakyat, say PAS leaders

 Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad: “Rakyat’s interest supersedes Sultan’s.”

SHAH ALAM, Dec 3 — PAS leaders today accused Datuk Seri Nazri Mohamed Aziz of “humiliating” the Malay rulers by dragging the monarchy into the row on “ketuanan Melayu” and “ketuanan rakyat”.

They also said a Sultan was obligated to submit to the rakyat’s demands and place their interests above his own. 

“Just as the rakyat is bound by him (the Sultan), so is he bound by the rakyat,” PAS central committee member Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad told The Malaysian Insider yesterday. 

“The constitutional monarch . . . is well aware that the interest of his rakyat predominates and supersedes even his interest.” 

PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar lambasted Nazri and accused the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department of attempting to instigate the Malay rulers into dismissing the electoral decisions of Malaysians.

“To me, Nazri’s statement is akin to trying to incite the rulers to disrespect the decisions of the people in our country,” said the Pokok Sena MP. 

“This reduces the sovereignty and knowledge of our rulers who live in a democracy about ‘ketuanan rakyat’ (people’s supremacy). Nazri is humiliating the rulers.” 

Dzulkefly also called Nazri “malicious” for interpreting “ketuanan Melayu” (Malay supremacy) as the sovereignty of the Malay rulers. 

“When you talk about ‘ketuanan Melayu’, never equate it to ‘ketuanan Sultan’,” said Dzulkefly, who is Kuala Selangor MP. “That is abominable and malicious. 

“Never drag the Sultan into this acrimonious debate of ‘ketuanan Melayu’ versus ‘ketuanan rakyat’.” 

Nazri had 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.

Dzulkefly said the Sultan’s decisions must reflect the sentiment of the people as the Sultan was not an absolute monarch. 

“Should the rakyat be overwhelmingly for something or against something, the constitutional monarch must, in the best interest of the nation and his position as a monarch, take this into account,” he said. “This means that he is not absolute.”

He said the Sultan was obligated to endorse proposed amendments to the Constitution by a two-thirds majority in Parliament. 

“There is the fact that the rakyat can in fact amend the Constitution, given the two-thirds majority, whether it is Barisan Nasional (BN) or Pakatan Rakyat (PR), and the monarch has got to condone and endorse it,” said Dzulkefly.

The current row over the “ketuanan Melayu” concept started over the weekend when several PKR leaders, including president Datuk 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.

Wan Azizah’s husband, PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, joined the fray and propagated the “ketuanan rakyat” concept.

Mahfuz said yesterday that in the case of Perak, it was incumbent on the Sultan to uphold the political party that enjoyed a majority in the state assembly. 

“The Sultan still chooses the party that is chosen by the majority,” he said. “He cannot choose others. This shows that the Sultan has to obey the choices made by the rakyat.”

He echoed Dzulkefly’s views and pointed out that the Malay rulers had always upheld the decisions of the electorate. 

“It is the people who make their choices during elections,” said Mahfuz. “There is nothing in the Federal Constitution that denies the choices made by the people during elections.

“I see that even the Malay rulers respect the choices of voters.” 

He said Umno was inciting the Malay rulers to fight the people over their democratic rights to elect the government. 

“They are instigating the rulers to war with the rakyat, who are given the rights in a democracy to determine their government,” said Mahfuz.

Dzulkefly said “ketuanan rakyat” would always be safeguarded by “ketuanan sultan”. 

“Ketuanan rakyat will also always uphold ketuanan sultan,” he said.

He said the Sultan was mandated to protect not just the special position of the Malays, but also the legitimate rights of other races, as stated in Article 153 of the Constitution.

“You must read (Article) 153 in one breath,” said Dzulkefly.

PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali agreed with his colleagues on the limited powers of the Sultan, noting that the Sultan could only appoint a prime minister who enjoyed support from the majority in Parliament.

“He (the Sultan) can appoint whoever he wants to be the prime minister. But he cannot appoint someone who doesn’t have a majority,” said Mustafa.

He, however, disagreed with the “ketuanan rakyat” concept and put forth “ketuanan Islam” instead. 

“I agree with ‘ketuanan Islam’. It is not based on race,” said Mustafa. 

“As long as you have the qualities prescribed by Islam, then you can be the prime minister.”


21 thoughts on “Sultan is bound by the rakyat, say PAS leaders

  1. All UMNO/BN Ministers are plain and real stupid. Take them way in the next election. They are no more fit to serve and govern the rakyaat. They are worst than the most filthiest dustbin we ca ever found in the street.

    Come GE13, dumb them inside the dustbin. We had enough of these stupid and bastard moron.

  2. Brilliant, open and enlightened thinking, Dr. Dzul. Good job. I’m proud of you.

    Some important points, economically speaking:

    – The Kings must live within the bounds of what the rakyat can afford to them.

    – They should not expect expensive, multi-million dollar Palace upgrades, or expect to drive around in Rolls Royces and Maybachs when we the rakyat suffer a low standard of living. This is obscene economic inequality. In Islam or other major religions, is this adil? Is this the way of God, when all men and women are equal under God’s eyes?

    – Isn’t it up to the rakyat through its elected representatives to determine how much to allocate for the Kings’ budget? Let the rakyat judge the Kings’ expenditure budget. This is only accountable. We want accountable national institutions, whether Government or Royals.

    – The ethics of work in economics. You get returns based on your value or productivity. We, the rakyat work, to eat. It’s only fair for the Raja-Raja to work to get what they get. Otherwise, they should get some rational, reasonable level of expenditure so they can just carry out their Constitutional value and role. Anything excessive beyond that (like building a new, 400-million ringgit Palace) is unnecessary and anti-Constitutional.

    – PAS, can you please investigate and publish for the rakyat’s sake how much is the expenditures allocated for the Raja-Raja in the 2011 Budget? And all other previous Budgets? This is very important for the rakyat to know. This is transparency. No one is above the law. We pay taxes from our own pockets. We need to know how it is spent.

    – Political economics: How sure are we that “Ketuanan Rakyat” will be always upheld by “Ketuanan Sultan”? How sure are we that the Sultans will act in the best interest of the rakyat, above their own interests? We need to judge by real evidence. And we’ve seen the opposite happening (logging concessions granted lavishly in Pahang to the Royals; do you think its done for free? I’m sure the politicians expect some quiet support from the Kings). It has been published in academic books (please ask and I will provide the references). It’s just a question of whether we want to close our eyes to it or not.

    Finally, a non-economic point, something on the politics of democracy:

    We need to be clear about the order of things, that is, the hierarchy of priorities/

    For any democracy, whether a parliamentary monarchy or not, the hierarchy is clear: the rakyat is right at the top. Not anyone else. The country is run out of the will and interests of the rakyat only. This is democracy. This is “Ketuanan Rakyat”.

    After all, without the people, how could this country exist or function? But without Kings, will this country really crumble? Let’s be realistic. Let’s think about it: a huge and complex country like India didn’t collapse or vanish from the map when their Royal institutions were abolished, did it? The Indian culture and religions didn’t vanish, did it? In fact, Islam also thrives in India without requiring a Royal guardian. Religiousness is all up to the people, it is in their hearts. For the state to force it, or to fund it with so many religious institutions is pointless. Spiritual living comes from the home. Religion and its practice is private.

    Lastly, I COMPLETELY disagree with Mustafa Ali’s “Ketuanan Islam”. This is religious bigotry in fancy terms. From racial supremacy, Mustafa Ali dangerously suggests moving to religious supremacy. We Malaysians shall not make this mistake. Moreover, “Ketuanan Rakyat” is inclusive of religious values. It’s a higher hierarchical order. Because the rakyat can believe in Islamic values, in Christian values, in Hindu values. To look after the “Rakyat’s ketuanan” you must be principled, adil, amanah, anti-corruption, kind, loving. This is automatically Islamic, automatically Christian or Hindu ethics. So we do not need “Ketuanan Islam” or “Ketuanan Hindu” or “Ketuanan Kristian”.

  3. Why can’t we just say, any person who is morally upright, can be PM, instead of dragging religion into politics.Other than that, lets vote for ketuanan rakyat, who presently, are deep in debt and worries for the future of their siblings.

    1. Agreed. You can be Chinese Buddhist, but if you are upright and correct in your morals and actions, you too can be Prime Minister of Malaysia.

      Apa salahnya?

      On this point alone, I totally disagree with Nik Aziz, who says ‘Non-Malays can be PM’ but then quickly qualifies this with ‘only if he is Muslim’.

      So what’s with this “Ketuanan Islam”, PAS?

  4. I really hope many rulers will come forth to talk down those politicians/civil servants who are hell bent to divide the people according to race,religion,wealth,,,, and create tensions in the country. HerRH Johore is a good example to unify the people and she shows great leadership

  5. Oh my…

    Base on your comment I don’t think Dr Razif Syauki is Malay.
    At want point you disagree with Ketuanan Melayu and even dare to criticise the monarchy system.

    Then you promote Ketuanan Rakyat and support it with fact that even Buddish monk can be make as PM if he/she is morally right.

    Lastly you blame PAS for his Ketuanan Islam proposal because its lead racial supremacy to religious supremacy.

    This is totally wrong. How can you expect people to believe your ‘geuine’ agenda because at the very first place you blame the Sultan. People don’t normally do this in open unless he have his own agenda.

    I just want to ask all readers here to thing of one question, how can PR lead the country when this fundamental issue also not yet resolve???

    1. Whether Dr. Razif Shauki is Malay or African or an alien from outer space is not the matter.

      What is the heart of the matter is this –>

      What have you got to say about the points he raised?

      Can you address those specific points, one by one?

      So back to you, let’s hear it from you then.

    2. Kepada pengulas yang bernama Myohmy, saya nak tanya skit:

      What’s wrong kalau warganegara Malaysia sah yang beragama Buddhist yg berintegriti dan bermoral, tak pernah rasuah, jujur dan bijak dalam mentadbir negara dijadikan Perdana Menteri Malaysia?

      Kau takut ker yg iman kau akan tergadai sebab orang bukan Muslim pun boleh tadbir org Muslim secara adil dan betul?

      Saudara, ingat-ingatlah skit. Untuk mentadbir negara kita dan untuk menjaga hal ehwal rakyat tak kisahlah pemimpin tu Islam ke tidak. Yang penting dia menjaga hal ehwal kebajikan dan kehendak semua warga Malaysia termasuk yang Melayu Muslim. Orang Hindu yang jujur dan bidak mentadbir dengan adil dan saksama buat semua dikira pentadbirannya berladaskan Islam la tu.

      Jangan sempit sangat pemikiran you sampai tergamak nak cakap kalau orang itu bukan Muslim maka tak bertauliah nak memimpin negara atau tergamak nak cakap dia akan memburukkan mana-mana agama termasuk Islam.

      Toksah gi jauhlah. Kita ambik contoh Lim Guan Eng kat Pulau Pinang tu jer la. Dia ada buat benda jahat ke kat orang Melayu atau yang Muslim? Orang Muslim di Pulau Pinang tu tak dibenarkan masuk masjid tunaikan solat ke? DAP di sana ada hadkan ke tempat beribadat untuk umat Islam? Lim Guan Eng ada dakwah kat orang Muslim agar masuk Buddha ke? Takde jugak kan? Orang Melayu Muslim di Pulau Pinang okay jugak kan?

      Jadi aku nak tanya kau la, apa masalah kau sebenarnya nih?

  6. Dear Dr. Dzulkefly,

    If there are more honest, learned and courageous leaders like you who are not afraid to say what is true to those who are in power, Malaysia would have been a very respected country long ago. Thank you for putting on record what you said. There is no way anybody can argue against your statement. The sultans are bound by the rakyat. They should not try to trick and fool the rakyat and milk the country’s money. PAS is becoming a truly great and people centred party because of leaders like you (but not Mustafa Ali, I think he is bad for PAS, sorry to say that).

    Now I regret voting for BN all of my 58 years of life.

    My vote now on will go to PAS.

    Thank you Sir.

  7. Dr razif,

    It depends on how you view islam. If you agree that Islam is THE way of life, the you have no other option but to agree with TGNA. But if you think Islam is just another religion, in the same breadth of buddhism, hinduism and christianity, then you’re absolutely right that abuddhist monk can also be a PM. It’s your choice, but if you’re muslim, as your brother, may I request you to be careful so as not to deviate from the true aqidah.

    1. Whether you consider Islam a religion or your way of life, tidak boleh dinafikan bahawa:

      Seorang Buddhist or Hindu or Christian citizen yang berprinsip, has high morals, adil kepada semua, truthful, hardworking, bijaksana and sensitive to the needs of different communities boleh dikatakan Islamic in his character. Orang yang baik macam ni sudah tentu ada kelayakan menjadi Perdana Menteri. Apa kekurangannya sampai dituduh tidak boleh tadbir pulak?

      Kerana Islam is about upholding justice, being honest and speaking the truth, conducting
      yourself properly in public affairs, and constantly seeking knowledge and dispelling ignorance.

      Orang bukan Muslim yang macam ini dikira memenuhi nilai-nilai yang baik yang dianjurkan Islam. Dia juga memenuhi kehendak nilai-nilai yang baik di dalam agama-agama yang lain.

      Untuk sekian lama kita diperintah UMNO yang rasuah. Malah, PAS dulu bersepakat dengan UMNO ini pada 70an. Perdana menteri dan menteri-menteri UMNO yang Muslim tak pernah cedok wang rakyat satu sen pun ke? Ikhlas dan adil sangat ke mereka dalam menjaga kebajikan tiap-tiap komuniti di Malaysia ni?

      Kenapa dulu kau tak bising? Kenapa dibiarkan orang yang bersekongkol dalam rasuah atau seorang yang racist menjadi Perdana Menteri?

      Berbanding Mahathir, Badawi atau Najib, kalau ada seorang lelaki bukan Muslim yang jauh lebih amanah, jujur dan berlaku adil tak kira kepada yang Muslim atau tidak, takkan dia tidak layak menjadi Perdana Menteri?

      Kalau ada dua calon untuk Perdana Menteri, (a) Cina yang Muslim, tapi dia tidak sejujur dan seadil dan berprinsip seperti (b) calon India yang beragama Hindu, sudah tentu India Hindu tu lebih layak untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri dari Cina yang Muslim.

      Guna akal, tolong fikir.

      Walaupun kita sayang pada agama kita sendiri, janganlah sampai fikiran kita menjadi terlalu sempit. Dikira jahil tu.

      Kamu takutkan apa sebenarnya kalau bukan Muslim jadi Perdana Menteri?

      UMNO tu ketuanan Melayu, kalau kaum tu bukan Melayu dia tak kasi jadi Perdana Menteri. Tolong jangan jadikan PAS itu sebagai parti yang sama macam UMNO, di mana ada ketuanan Islam, iaitu kalau seseorang itu tidak menganuti agama Islam, terus dikatakan tidak boleh jadi Perdana Menteri.

      Ketuanan Melayu ke atau Ketuanan Islam ke, dua-dua tu pun dikira tidak Islamik.

      Islam adalah jauh lebih universal dari itu.

      Jangan jadi sampai anda hina agama sendiri kerana anda terlalu fanatik tanpa sebab.

      Sekian.

  8. Tonite more bad news for the suffering rakyat – more price increases! How many times do we need to tighten our belts in a year?Can we the suffering rakyat (I mean the poor and the struggling working class, not those taukehs,tycoons,orang kenamaan) humbly ask those rich and powerful in government and royalty to spare a thought for us – can you guys pls resist buying more expensive cars to play with, scale down all those high class gatherins/golf outings,overseas holidays using the depleting rakyat tax payments? You can have your fun back once the economy improves,when the rakyat have enough to feed the family again without a second or third part-time job.. we are in serious bad condition, Yang Berhormats.

  9. Everyday the rakyat is being made to suffer through price increases of basic necessities and foodstuffs especially canned food and instant noodles. We are being strangled. The poor people are suffering and the Sultan must listen to the voice of the people because the Sultan is the people’s ruler.

    On another matter, Lim Guan Eng although not a Muslim has been very fair towards all the races in Penang. He has given RM24million to the Islamic religious schools compared to BN who has given only RM12million. Lim Guan Eng is guided by the administrative values and principles of Umar Khalifah although Guan Eng is not a Muslim.

    Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad has brilliantly outlined the difference between ‘ketuanan Melayu’ and ‘ketuanan Sultan’. BN play on the two terminologies to get the Malay votes by making the Malays hate Pakatan Rakyat. BN Govt is a very dangerous and evil govt.

    1. Black Arrow, although we may have disagreed strongly before, I agree with your comments here. Namely,

      1) A non-Muslim can be a top leader for even the Muslim population in Malaysia

      2) In spite of Dr. Dzul’s inability or reluctance to address some seriously thorny issues regarding PAS’s controversial religious ideology and drive, on this issue of Sultans and the people Dr. Dzul has spoken well. His well-thought out statement regarding the relationship between the people and the King should become food for thought by all Malaysians.

  10. White Arrow,

    I did not say that a non-Muslim can be a top leader for the Muslim population in Malaysia. I merely said that a non-Muslim can be a fair and just leader to all races. The two is a big difference. In Malaysia, the Prime Minister must always be a Malay-Muslim. It is the best formula.

    1. The best formula for whom, and why?

      Any clear and specific set of reasons?

      If you cannot provide these explicitly, then your argument falls flat on its face.

  11. Best formula for everyone, for the nation and for the rakyat. I am sure you are smart enough to understand without the need for further explanation, White Arrow.

    1. No, we don’t understand. Even in a public forum as important as the Parliament you don’t put a proposal through and not explain why. Dr. Dzul here would attest to that.

      So we kindly await your response. Please give us some really good reasons. Why “In Malaysia, the Prime Minister must always be a Malay-Muslim… is the best formula”?

    2. To help Black Arrow give his reasons, here is an article by the Centre For Policy Initiatives that argues why a non Muslim non Malay can be Malaysian DPM or PM.

      Click here to read it.

      Dr. Dzul, you might be interested in reading it also because it has got to do with Tok Guru’s statement that only Muslims can be DPM.

      So Black Arrow, let’s hear it from you. Why is it compulsory for a Malay Muslim to be PM?

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