A Ruler has been warned for HRH’s blunt scathing remark meant for the Prime Minister, when the latter heeded the advice of the Police for last minute cancellation of a disquiet event to engage several NGOs last week.
The Star story:
Published: Saturday June 13, 2015 MYT 3:02:00 PM
Updated: Saturday June 13, 2015 MYT 3:16:40 PM
Stay out of politics or get whacked, Nazri tells TMJ
PETALING JAYA: The Crown Prince of Johor has been told to stay out of politics if he wishes to remain above the law.
“He should keep out of politics because otherwise, he will be subject to the same rule and we will whack him,” said Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
The Tourism and Culture minister was referring to a scathing remark by Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim last week against Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for not attending a tell-all public forum.
“Rulers and royal families are above the law. If you want to be a politician then say so, so we can hit you back for what you say.
“But if you hold an important post, as a royalty in a state and start saying things, if we hit you back, don’t get angry,” he told reporters after officiating an event in Universiti Malaya, Saturday.
Nazri added that the royalty should keep out of politics because “we are the ones protecting the royalty”.
On June 5, Tunku Ismail posted on Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page, saying:
“How can you have a dialogue called Nothing2Hide featuring a person who has everything to hide? obviously he won’t show up”.
The remarks were aimed at Najib for not showing up at the Nothing2Hide dialogue at Putra World Trade Centre last week.
The event was called off by Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar citing “security and safety reasons.”
The Prime Minister is answerable to the people. There are proper forums for the Prime Minister, who is appointed as the Head of Government by His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong in fulfilling the Westminister-styled Constitutional Monarchy democracy, to address the concerns of the people.
One of it is the Parliament.
Engaging the people via events such as live debates whether in an auditorium or televised, or dialogue sessions with NGOs and invited personalities, like last week’s Sukaguam event in PWTC is a privilege rather than a right.
The Prime Minister is compelled to heed advice from Chiefs of agencies responsible for security and defense even if it would immediately cause unpopularity, dissatisfaction or even wrong connotation.
This include HRH Tunku Mahkota Johor’s message, which was made available on social media for only a few hours before it was taken off-line.
It is wrong for a Ruler to express his personal opinion in a snide quip openly through public domain, especially it would compound to the public dissatisfaction towards the Prime Minister and government of the day.
The Ruler must know that he ought to properly choose where and how to address this thoughts, even with the intention to tell off the government.
That is only proper because HRH is bound by the system where he has a role to play and he cannot conveniently wear different hats to fit his whims and fancies, especially when the spirit, nature and manner the messages that he is uttering would have profound political and confidence effect.
A Ruler is expected to uphold the confidence for the government which was elected by and for the people. This include leading or setting examples for the people to emulate, in assistance when a calamity or tragedy has fallen.
It is imperative for the confidence remain intact as the policy and machinery which ensure their entire administrative and commercial system is managed and driven by the democratically elected political masters.
This right to inequivocably uphold public confidence is part of the raison d’être of the immunity provision accorded to HRH Rulers as Constitutional Heads.
The Minister is right if any of HRHs prefer to relinquish this honour and role and instead ‘toil with the soil’ on political matters, then they must be prepared for the repercussion of being an ordinary politician.
As the cliche’ goes, ‘Politics is dirty’.
Probably members of the ruling houses may not want to be reminded of the skeletons in their closet and how politics could manifest facts in the manipulated and amplified fashion that it stays on in the peoples’ mind, for a long time.
The true test is to face the people when the people have the ‘immunity’ to exercise their right, such as in an election. Then one would truly know the actual feeling of the people towards oneself.
Is the game afoot?