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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sultan’s power



by Rights2Write

  • I am half way through reading the book written by Stanley Lane-Poole under the heading “Saladin: All-Powerful Sultan and the Uniter of Islam“. The historical depictions of Saladin the Sultan as a man who is feared and admired and respected by friends and enemies. He united the Islamic factions and brought peace by accommodating the needs of the non Muslims rather than imposing the Islamic religion upon his territories. Many of his adversaries end up being a Muslim or his advisors. That is the history of a great man that lives in the 12th century. Fast forward 9th century later, in Malaysia Sultan has become a tool of convenience to politician and they place their own interest above the people.

  • The days of Feudalistic power of Sultans and Emperors are long gone. Today, the Sultan’s written power is limited and well defined by the law. The problem that we have in this nation today is that we no longer respect what is written but play along the sentiments of the unwritten powers of the Sultan. The people are constantly reminded that the Sultan in Malaysia is a symbol and protector of Islam and the Malays. Personally I feel this is a questionable point because there is plenty of evidence around the world where Islam flourishes with the presence of Sultans.

  • It worries me when, the government constantly reminded the people about the open ended powers and importance of the Monarchy. With due respect, we have to accept what is ingrained in our constitution since 1957. We, as Malaysian must accept without question on the position of a Sultan and its powers. However we as citizen of this country must learn and find out what the true powers of a Sultan. We must learn and find out what they can or cannot legally do.

  • The legal powers of a Sultan are well defined and yet no one goes about educating the general public about his powers. The way it is today, Sultans are being treated as if they are slightly lower the GOD and has unlimited powers and rights. I don’t know whether they pay income tax or not but I was told many of them can afford to drive fancy cars but pay a RM1 road tax. That is even lower than the road tax owners of “kapchai” motorcycle have to pay.

  • In light of what happened in Perak and the issues surrounding the happening in Selangor, I think it is imperative that NGO’s and political parties educated the masses on the power of the Sultans. This is to ensure that the people will not be fooled by the Politicians who use the palace for their own personal gain. In a way this would be a proactive step in ensuring that peoples understand the roles of the palaces and the elected representatives. This will ensure that the people will not be gullible to threat of “disrespecting” the Sultans. Only by understanding the laws the people can appreciate and respect the Sultans in its proper form and role. This is the 21st century and not 12thcentury.
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