Friday, March 14, 2008

Sultan, please listen to rakyat's voice

Edward Beruang Mar 13, 08 5:28pm

The Selangor sultan's reasons for wanting a Malay deputy mentri besar are, with due respect to His Highness, very disappointing. His private secretary said, on TV3's news, that it was because, "Sometimes when the MB is away, we need the deputy MB to officiate at functions like opening a mosque. If the deputy MB is a non-Malay, things could be difficult."

What is disappointing is that the sultan has built an image (in the media) of a progressive, enlightened, open-minded and fair man. He told the media that he wanted to limit the issuance of datukships to ensure ‘better quality’ datuks. He summoned the (late) Datuk Zakaria Deros to the istana (the real istana in Shah Alam and not the one built by Zakaria in Klang) to account for his misdeeds in Klang.

But now the sultan's private secretary has cited this perplexing reason. I mean, when the mentri besar is away, can't they find a single Muslim state exco member to officiate at mosque openings? What about the state mufti?

We already have a Malay mentri besar. Will it jeopardise the position of Malays if Chinese and Indian deputy MBs are appointed? Even PAS has appointed a non-Malay state exco member in Kedah despite that there are very few non-Malay state assemblymen there.
All this seems totally at odds with the image of the sultan himself. He is seen at high society events like the great Louis Vuitton bash, and cuts the figure of an urbane, educated man. Surely, His Highness has more substance and depth as a fair-minded man beyond the issue of datukships?

We earnestly hope that such reasons are not coming from him. Perhaps the sultan's private secretary was speaking in his personal capacity? We hope that His Highness can clarify this matter speedily, especially in these times of political uncertainty.

The people of Selangor have spoken loud and clear. We have voted in a multi-racial coalition for change. Penang has already appointed a deputy MB to include even an Indian, to indicate a sense of inclusiveness for all races. That, surely, is the progressive, forward-thinking thing to do?
We pray that the sultan can listen to the rakyat's voice in this respect. That he can really be a modern monarch that reflects the aspirations of the Selangor people. The alternative - being a feudal-type ruler who does not respect democratic decisions - is something that was supposed to wither away when we declared Merdeka in 1957.

We hope that he can be a ruler that is truly respected by all ethnic groups, a sultan for all the people of Selangor.


1 comment:

Seal in Astral said...

I never heard any sultans rejecting or interview the EXCO in BN's time. Why now and then why not now in other states? Will the Sultans and the KING play more active role in appointments and step in when the MB and PM goes out of track?

Kesetaian Kepada Raja & Negara