Mahathir should have called it a day on 15th September 2016 when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong showed him the door. But then, after failing with the Agong, Mahathir tried his luck again with the Conference of Rulers. And the score is now 8:1 against Mahathir. Tough luck!
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Around 30 years or so ago, when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad made his move on the Monarchy, the score was 5:4. Basically that means four Rulers were with Mahathir while five were against.
I am not going to mention which states were five and which were four. Those who know do not need me to mention the states while the ignoramus will ask for evidence and will ask me to prove it and so on anyway. So let us just conclude by saying if you do not know then you are not as well informed or as politically savvy as you imagine yourself to be.
Just to digress a bit, for those less informed, Malaysia has nine Rulers: seven Sultans, one Raja (of Perlis) and one Yang di-Pertuan Besar (of Negeri Sembilan). Then we have one Yang di-Pertuan Agong and one Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong. The nine state Rulers take turns on a rotation basis to become the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Anyway, back to the issue: today, 30 years on, when Mahathir makes his move on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, the score has changed to 8:1. Eight Rulers are with Najib while only one supports Mahathir.
Of course, then we have the tenth, which will be His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. But we normally count just the nine states, not including the Agong (unless the Agong and the Acting-Ruler of His Majesty’s state ‘break ranks’, which does sometimes happen — I personally know of one occasion when that happened).
The thing is, it is not so much that the Rulers who supported Mahathir in the 1980s have since turned and are now against him. It is that in the 1980s it was a different set of Rulers (except for maybe two states) and today we have the new or next generation Rulers sitting on the thrones. And the current Rulers were next-inline or waiting in the wings (or still in school) in the 1980s and they saw what Mahathir did. So, today, it is payback time, karma catching up on Mahathir.
Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, the Permaisuri of Johor, said a very interesting thing on her Facebook (something we did not have in the 1980s, by the way):
“Ramai, secara kurang tepat, memikirkan bahawa Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong mempunyai kuasa mutlak. Namun, ini adalah tidak benar. Seri Paduka, sepertimana raja berperlembagaan yang lain, seperti Ratu Elizabeth II, menunaikan tanggungjawab rasmi sebagai ketua negara namun tidak mempunyai hak menentukan bagaimana negara ini ditadbir.”
Incidentally, Raja Zarith Sofiah’s husband, His Highness the Sultan of Johor, has declined the offer to become the next Agong. So His Highness the Sultan of Kelantan will be the next Agong with His Highness the Sultan Perak as the Deputy Agong.
So, the question you may ask, are the eight Rulers who I said support Najib actually support Najib or are against what Mahathir is doing? Of course, you can argue that supporting Najib and being against what Mahathir is doing are two different things. Just because they are against what Mahathir is doing this does not mean they support Najib (like those who oppose the death sentence are not supporting rape or murder).
True, if eight Rulers do not support the ouster of Najib that does not mean they support Najib. That only means they want to be above politics and want to follow the law and the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. And Raja Zarith Sofiah has explained it well on her Facebook.
Nevertheless, whatever the reason the eight Rulers may have for their stand, the end result will still be the same, which is the Rulers will not support Mahathir to oust Najib. And it is the end result that counts.
Furthermore, putting aside the legal and constitutional aspects of the move to oust Najib, what must also be taken into consideration is the reason for wanting to oust Najib. In Islam, the niat (intention or motive) is as important or even more important than the act itself. The niat is paramount and the Rulers, being the head of Islam in their respective states, must take this very crucial Islamic principle into consideration.
In short, the Rulers consider Mahathir’s motive for wanting to oust Najib as mala fide and not bona fide. And this is where the real blow to Mahathir is. To say that the law or the Constitution does not allow them to support Mahathir to oust Najib is one thing. That is a blow in itself. But to say that they refuse to support Mahathir to oust Najib because Mahathir has ulterior motives is not just a slap in the face but, in fact, is a killer punch.
Anyway, Mahathir does not need Raja Zarith Sofiah or Raja Petra Kamarudin to teach him about the duties, responsibilities and limitations of a Constitutional Monarch. Mahathir knows precisely how the system works. So, if Mahathir knew that the Rulers cannot legally remove Najib, why did he bother to take that route?
The answer is simple. It is just like his so-called Citizens’ Declaration of 1.3 million to 1.4 million signatures, almost one million of them fake signatures. It is all just for show and to give an impression he is making progress. If he did not launch his Citizens’ Declaration and get more than one million signatures and send it to His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, then what has Mahathir achieved? What gains has he made?
People will say that Mahathir has gained nothing and has won no ground. Since he started his move to oust Najib, Muhyiddin Yassin has lost his job (and his Umno membership), Mukhriz Mahathir has lost his job (and his Umno membership), Shafie Apdal has lost his job (and his Umno membership), the Attorney General has lost his job, the MACC chief has lost his job — basically, every single member of the conspiracy to oust Najib has been axed.
So it looks like Mahathir has lost every move. The 29th July 2015 coup failed. The October 2015 vote of no confidence in Parliament failed. The December 2015 vote of no confidence in the Umno general assembly failed. Then there was the failed press conference in July 2016. Nothing seems to have worked. Everything fell flat.
So Mahathir needed this Citizens’ Declaration and that audience with His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. That needs to be Mahathir’s ‘victory’ or ‘success’. Without that Mahathir has nothing. Zero! Zilch! Habok!
No doubt, as en ex-Prime Minister, Mahathir did not really think that His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would call for an emergency meeting of the Conference of Rulers and propose that Najib be removed as Prime Minister. Mahathir did not really think that the next morning Najib would receive a letter from the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal telling him, “Bro, you are sacked as Prime Minister. You have 24 hours to clear your desk and leave Seri Perdana.”
Yes, Mahathir may be dumb but he is not stupid (or is it the other way around?). He knew it was not going to turn out that way. All Mahathir wanted was to put on a show. It was a look-good move. It was meant to give an impression he was advancing instead of stuck in a rut like he actually was. It was all bells and whistles and a song and dance show.
Mahathir’s intention was to embarrass Najib. Instead, Mahathir was embarrassed when His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong gave him a lecture on the role of a Constitutional Monarchy (and now Raja Zarith Sofiah has as well). And now we all know that eight out of the nine Rulers are not with Mahathir. And if Mahathir wants to dispute this and call me a liar then give me the names of the Rulers who support him.
In fact, two days ago, Datuk Salehuddin Saidin, a lawyer aligned to a certain Ruler (who I shall not name), said, “Majlis Raja-Raja tiada kuasa pecat PM” (READ HERE). That was actually a hint on what was going to happen today. If it was some other lawyer who said that then we can just brush it aside as his personal opinion. But when this particular lawyer says it then you can be assured it came from ‘higher up’ (and I do not mean Umno).
The message that His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong gave Mahathir on September 15th should have been strong enough for Mahathir. But he refused to listen and persisted. Not enough he wanted the Agong to intervene, when the Agong would not, he wanted all the Rulers to also intervene. And Mahathir got slapped with an 8:1 verdict against him. That is worse than what happened on 15th September 2016.
Mahathir has made so many wrong and silly moves I am beginning to wonder whether he is playing with a full deck of cards. Then he surrounds himself with clowns and jokers to really turn the whole thing into a circus. And because of all these silly moves many people around him plus his family are suffering.
This reminds me of this ‘Quote of the Year’.
Mahathir is making so many wrong moves that he seems to be living in denial and has lost touch with reality. He has brought stupidity to a new level by doing things that make people around him cringe. The problem is all this stupidity hurts others more than it hurts Mahathir. And this is what Mahathir does not realise. Even his family is embarrassed and can no longer hold their heads high and walk tall.
For example, Mahathir used Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report to attack Najib. Does Mahathir not realise that the Malays, especially Umno Malays, do not trust Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report? They view Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report as enemies of Umno, the Malays and Islam. Anything that comes from Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report is immediately brushed off as fitnah.
No doubt the Pakatuns and the DAP Chinese trust and believe Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report. But then Mahathir is trying to oust Najib from inside Umno. He wants Umno to get rid of Najib to ‘save Umno and Barisan Nasional’. So Mahathir has to convince the Umno Malays, not the Pakatuns and the DAP Chinese. And Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report are the wrong vehicles to use to convince the Umno Malays.
Clare Rewcastle Brown’s reputation amongst the Umno Malays is zero. You should read what the Umno Malays say about her and the names they call her. Even I do not dare repeat what they say about Clare. And this is the person Mahathir uses to attack Najib in the hope the Umno Malays would kick Najib out.
Take that move to go to court to meet Anwar Ibrahim on 5th September 2016. Did Mahathir say Anwar is a victim of fabricated charges? Did Mahathir say Anwar was unjustly jailed? Did Mahathir say Anwar should be pardoned and freed? Did Mahathir say Anwar should be the opposition’s choice for Prime Minister if Pakatan Harapan happens to win the next general election?
No, Mahathir said Muhyiddin is his choice for Prime Minister if Pakatan Harapan wins the next general election (and then changed his story to say it is too early to name the next Prime Minister — meaning he does not support Anwar as the next Prime Minister). And then Mahathir says he forgives Anwar and has buried the hatchet. Hello! You whacked Anwar and you forgive him and bury the hatchet? That is like Bill Clinton forgiving Monica Lewinsky for what he did to her. (Clinton should say this and America, for sure, is going to have Trump as the next President).
Sometimes I am not sure whether Mahathir knows whether he is coming or going. Just when you thought he is heading one way you see him heading the other way. Confusing lah!