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PKR wants royal veto power restored

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail delivers her speech at
the party’s fifth national congress

SHAH ALAM, 29 Nov 2008: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) wants to restore the royal veto power and the dignity of the constitutional monarchy.

That restoring of veto power means the Agong will have the discretion to reject certain types of legislation passed in Parliament before they are gazetted and enforced as laws.

Party president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the present system gives absolute power to the prime minister, but the party believes in the constitutional monarchy.

“PKR is prepared to restore the immunity of the royalty in the spirit of constitutional monarchy,” she said in her speech at the opening of the party’s fifth national congress here today.

Later in a press conference, Wan Azizah clarified that the party does not support the restoration of absolute immunity of the royalty as called for by the Regent of Negeri Sembilan, Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Jaafar, recently.

To a question in the press conference, deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali further explained that the party wants only the restoration of veto legislation power to royalty, and will not touch on restoring royal immunity from prosecution.

He said after Article 181 of the Federal Constitution was amended in 1984, bills passed in Parliament can automatically become laws after 30 days, regardless of whether the Agong assents to them or not.

“We’re talking about the dignity of the royalty,” Syed Husin said.

Earlier, de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said in his speech that the Pakatan Rakyat would start mobilising its members and elected representatives to campaign in Sarawak for the state election that is expected to take place next year.

He said it is important for the Pakatan Rakyat — made up of PKR, DAP and PAS — to work extremely hard to gain the trust of the people in Sarawak.

“Let’s witness a big change in Sarawak,” he said.

A total of 1,921 eligible delegates and 118 observers attended the congress, which ends tomorrow.

Former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and former Barisan Nasional component party Sabah Progressive Party leader Datuk Yong Teik Lee were also present.

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3 Responses to “PKR wants royal veto power restored”

  1. Anak Tani says:

    Malaysians have short memories. Those who are apprehensive of change tend to yearn for the “good old days”. I would beseech Malaysians to scrutinise the role and behaviour of members of the ever-expanding and costly royal families.
    Have we forgotten that talking about the status of the royalty was taboo not so long ago, but thanks to the internet we can now discuss it openly. Sejarah Melayu will certainly enlighten those who have a romantic view of the royalty. I will not put to pen the very long list of, let’s just call them misdeeds, by the various royal households in the country least The Nut Graph is hauled up by the authorities for sedition and what have you. Instead, try a Google search and read the reliable websites on the issue.

    Those of us who have ever had to interact with the Tuankus would have experienced the feudalistic rituals and subservience that is expected of us commoners. Just ask the civil servants who have to appear before royalty. Some of them even tremble before the “blue-blood”. There is always the sembah and endless hand-kissing, which by the way is also expected by royal pretenders such as our political leaders. Watch RTM or TV3, you won’t miss feudalism in action.

    As a Muslim, I find it repugnant that I have to sembah or kiss the hand of another human, with the exception of my parents. There is no one superior to Allah (swt). However, I am not like my parents, who think that to sembah is OK because it is our adat. This is the year 2008, and not the 1900s. I do not agree with Dr Mahathir on a million and one issues. But his forward-looking change to the federal constitution by making the royalties accountable for their misdeeds was a wise move and will help shape the country’s future direction in which we can be justly proud to call ourselves Malaysian – not Indian, Malay, Dayak, Iban, Kadazan or Chinese Malaysians – which the current political rulers and royalty are trying to perpetuate.

    I would suggest non-Malays re-read the statement issued by the conference of rulers hectoring Malaysians not to rock the boat but raising questions about the injustices, inequalities and racism in the country. These are issues that ought to be discussed, debated and resolved in any modern society. Instead, the rulers reiterated their unassailable position at the apex of the Malaysian polity, and the special rights of the Malays. The protection of the Malays, and by inference the rulers themselves, is paramount to them. In other words, there is no Malay without the Malay rulers. The interests of non-Malays come last in the statement, like a footnote.

    One or two royalties may appear to speak the language of the masses, but do not be charmed by sweet talk. Appearances can be deceiving. Again, do a little bit of research into their respective households. How many and how much do non-Malays know about the intrigues in the royal families? Very few, I would think, and it’s about time they take the trouble to find out more about the place they call home.

    So, please do not give the royalty immunity for any crime. It is backward-looking and I dread the day when the royalties have the power to call the shots and reign supreme.

    Anak Tani

  2. Daniel says:

    Anak Tani,

    I agree with you a 100% :D

    “As a Muslim, I find it repugnant that I have to sembah or kiss the hand of another human, with the exception of my parents.”

    I am not Muslim but I find it difficult if I have to explain to a child why he or she can work on becoming anything except for “that”.

    Pakatan sounds like it’s taking a desperate short term strategy by timidly courting the royals but in the long term, a truly democratic and meritocratic society will require us to go separate ways.

    I really did not feel comfortable with how recent activism kept seeking out petitions directed at the Agong or the way the media always highlights that one reasonable-sounding royal from up north.

    Pakatan “Rakyat” should get their priorities right. Speak first for the dignity of the common people. Speak louder for the rights of the working class poor, Hindraf, migrant workers, foreign spouses, indigenous people, ISA detainees, single mothers, people with HIV/AIDS, seniors, disabled, and the lain-lain. And How about our environment?

    Besides the people, where is our Green Party? Which party has the vision to keep our country pumping when the petroleum runs out?

    So not only do we have short-term memory as Anak Tani says, we have a limited sense of vision too.

    There are many groups and policies for Pakatan to throw their support behind and yet instead…

    Adoi. Politicians indeed.

  3. JK says:

    Shah of Iran;
    Emperor of China;
    King of France;
    Tzar of Russia;
    Sultan of Melaka;
    and many other kings and emperors who were beheaded, killed, ousted …

    All this happened for some reasons…

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