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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Treason Works Both Ways: Even The Agong Can Be Charged

 

So be very careful about playing up this derhaka issue because the amendments to the law that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pushed through Parliament during the Constitutional Crisis exposes even the Raja-Raja Melayu or the Agong to being charged for the crime of treason.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Anwar Ibrahim and his Pakatan Harapan chorus boys and girls need to be very careful about shouting and screaming “treason”. They need to understand what treason means and what tantamount to treason.

Treason means the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill or overthrow the sovereign or government.

The Meriam-Webster dictionary describes treason as the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance, or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family.

Dictionary.com says treason is the offense of acting to overthrow one’s government, to harm or kill its sovereign, or a violation of allegiance to one’s sovereign or to one’s state.

The Cambridge Dictionary says treason is the crime of showing no loyalty to your country, especially by helping its enemies, or trying to defeat its government.

In 1649, King Charles I was accused of treason against England by using his power to pursue his personal interest rather than the good of the country.

When Charles was asked to plead, he refused, stating his objection with the words: “I would know by what power I am called hither, by what lawful authority…?” He claimed that no court had jurisdiction over a monarch, that his own authority to rule had been given to him by God and by the traditional laws of England, and that the power wielded by those trying him was only that of force of arms. Charles insisted that the trial was illegal.

Malaysia, more or less, has the same British system. However, since Merdeka, Malaysia has passed a law whereby the Raja-Raja Melayu are no longer kebal (immune) from prosecution. This means if one of the Raja-Raja Melayu commits a crime, a special court can be convened to try the said Raja.

Charles I was accused of going against Parliament and of subverting the government. And for that he was found guilty and was executed. After that, Britain was turned into a republic.

Hence all this talk about treason or derhaka can backfire. Not only can the prime minister be accused of derhaka, but so can the Agong, as events in 1649 have shown. And this includes the crime of betraying one’s country or attempting to overthrow the government.

So be very careful about playing up this derhaka issue because the amendments to the law that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad pushed through Parliament during the Constitutional Crisis exposes even the Raja-Raja Melayu or the Agong to being charged for the crime of treason.

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