It is comforting that DAP has about turned and embraced the institution of Malay Rulers

umar mukhtar

Umar Mukhtar

If we were to listen to DAP in the aftermath of the 2009 Perak takeover by Barisan Nasional, and as recently as during the Selangor menteri besar crisis of 2014, DAP’s belittling of the role of the Malay Rulers in our nation’s affairs was more than obvious. According to DAP, it was as if the rulers were supposed to just sit pretty and limit themselves to what the law allows them.

And the law certainly does not allow them subjective interference into the way the government chooses to conduct itself. That is for the people to decide whether acceptable in the general elections. It is the essence of constitutional monarchy.

In the aforementioned two cases, the Rulers were, in fact, allowed by law to exercise limited royal discretion in the appointment of the menteri besar. DAP did not like the Rulers’ stance in the matter and hence the Rulers’ existence and their role in the Constitution were trivialised by DAP. A very dangerous attitude to take in a nation steeped in indigenous traditions that may be alien to the immigrant races.

But let’s not jump to conclusions. We should have a positive attitude that despite such transgressions by DAP, every Malaysian, even the DAP, deeply wishes the best for this country. Such confidence is now repaid. The way the DAP secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, jumped in such positive response and menjunjung kasih at the latest statement by the Rulers was most heartening and augurs well for the future of Constitutional Monarchy in this country.

The latest Rulers’ statement urges the government to hasten the investigations into the affairs of 1MDB in order to avoid a crisis of confidence by all, and which may negatively impact things Malaysian. A commendable reminder indeed especially now that we note the deep intellectual substance of our individual Rulers.

However the statement was released as a Malay Rulers institutional opinion. Hence the unanimous tone of it. The jury is still out as to whether the subject is a matter that that Institution should comment on officially. But let us not dwell on that and take it in the spirit it was released, and not be unduly suspicious about allegedly vested interests trying to add more weight to their arguments.

Let’s look on the bright side and not behave like DAP did previously. Now that a silver lining has appeared in the form of DAP’s about-turn on the relevance of the Rulers’ role in our lives, the monkey is off our back, for us to march on as peace-loving subjects of a constitutional monarchy.