NO HOLDS BARRED-Play it again, Sam

Don’t twist historical facts, says Najib

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak reminded all quarters not to twist the facts of history in recounting Umno’s action to amend the law with regard to the Malay rulers.

“It was never done in bad faith, but rather with the noble intention of preserving the royal institution and upholding the doctrine of the separation of powers which is the basis of any democratic government.

“I wish to take this opportunity to remind all Malays (Malaysians) not to do things which we may regret later. To those who speak with a forked tongue, do not pledge allegiance in the morning only to betray by mid-afternoon,” he said in his speech when simultaneously opening the Wanita Umno, Youth and Puteri Delegates’ Conference 2008 at the Putra World Trade Centre, here, tonight.

The deputy prime minister said Umno held sacred the position of the Federal Constitution as the supreme law of the land, while the position of the Malay rulers was an essential part of the Constitution.

“Although in our system, the monarchy reigns but does not rule, the state governments and the federal government rule in the name of the Malay rulers as the head above the executive arm of government.

“Therefore, if the Malays (Malaysians) themselves fail to show utmost respect to the Malay rulers who have all this time served as the symbol of unity and stability, then who else will?” – Bernama, 24 March 2009

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That was an extract of Najib’s speech at the Pemuda and Wanita Umno general assemblies yesterday. Now it is very clear. Umno insulted the Rulers, dragged them through the mud, defiled them, stripped them naked, and left them with absolutely no dignity back in the 1980s, not to destroy the institution of the Monarchy, but to save it.

I suppose Umno will now say they detain Malaysians without trial under the Internal Security Act not to silence them from speaking but for their protection. Hmm…… come to think of it, they did say that.

What a load of bull. Does Najib think that Malaysians are so gullible and naïve or what? Hmm……. come to think of it, Malaysians are gullible and naïve.

If Najib wants to talk about history then let me take Najib down memory lane and teach him a bit about Malaysian history. The Constitutional Crisis of the 1980s — there were two, actually — was a Battle Royal between Umno and the Rulers. Prior to that, Malaysia was in a unique situation of having four branches of government — the Executive (the Prime Minister), the Legislature (Parliament), the Judiciary, and the Monarchy. Each of the four was independent of one another but worked in tandem.

This means Malaysia has four parallel power bases. And this makes Malaysia unique because most countries have three. Malaysia, however, has four, the fourth being the Monarchy.

Not long after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad became Prime Minister, Umno decided it would eliminate the four branches of government and replace it with only one — the Executive. This means Malaysia will retain the trappings of a democracy but in actual fact would become a dictatorship.

First to go was Parliament. That is why Barisan Nasional is so paranoid about losing its two-thirds majority in Parliament. Without the two-thirds majority, Barisan Nasional can’t control Parliament. With the two-thirds majority in Parliament they can scream and shout at the opposition and tell the Chinese and Indians to go back to China and India.

Next to suffer was the Judiciary. When the judges demonstrated independence, they were sacked or placed in cold storage or demoted (by transferring them to the Makhamah Dagang at Wisma Denmark where they spend the rest of their career listening to unpaid credit card cases). We saw that happen also in the 1980s.

That left only one institution that needed to be clipped. And that institution was the Monarchy. So the Constitutional Crisis was triggered in the 1980s, twice, and the last independent branch of government hit the dirt.

With Parliament, the Judiciary and the Monarchy neutralised, the Executive became the absolute power in Malaysia. No longer did Malaysia have four branches of government. It was left with only one. And this gave the Executive, the Prime Minister of course, the powers of a dictator.

That was what the Constitutional Crisis was all about and Najib knows this pretty well. Umno wanted to not only neutralise the Rulers but Parliament and the Judiciary as well. And it did, back in the 1980s.

So what crap is Najib talking about? Umno was treasonous. Going by the ‘old laws’, heads would have rolled. Umno and its leaders declared war on the Rulers. When it lost the first time around in the early 1980s, Umno retreated, and after a new strategy was implemented, came back for a second round in the late 1980s and finished what it started a few years earlier.

And this new strategy that Umno adopted was to disgrace and smear the Rulers to the point that the rakyat rose up in anger and demanded that the Monarchy be abolished and Malaysia get turned into a republic. That was how successful Umno’s campaign of hate was. They succeeded in getting the rakyat disgusted enough to want to sack the Rulers and declare the Prime Minister Malaysia’s first President.

Let’s call a spade a spade, as Tun Ghazali Shafie was fond of saying. Umno declared war on the Rulers. And they brought the Rulers down through a smear campaign and by using the mainstream media to spin lies. No doubt, some of what they published was true. But much of what they spun was downright lies.

For example, they showed photographs of the Sultan of Selangor’s so-called lavish palace on a hill in Penang that was actually the home of a Chinese towkay. They showed photographs of the Sultan of Kedah’s so-called lavish mansion by the sea in Northam Road overlooking the sea in Penang that was actually Rumah Kedah — which was for the use of any Kedah civil servant who visited Penang. They accused the Sultan of Kelantan of evading tax on the car he imported whereas the Sultan did not evade tax since he was exempted from tax anyway, according to the Kelantan State Constitution. And so on and so forth.

And there was much more lies that Umno spun — which the rakyat believed to be true and which resulted in the rakyat becoming disgusted with the Rulers to the point they wanted the Monarchy abolished and Malaysia transformed into a republic. The Monarchy never recovered from this 1980s attack that it suffered. Until today, the Rulers still remember how dangerous it is to cross Umno. And if Umno says it wants the opposition government sacked and the Pakatan Rakyat Menteri Besar replaced with a Barisan Nasional Menteri Besar the Rulers would never dare say no.

Sure, today, Umno says it is the defender of the crown. But if the Sultan of Perak had held his ground and had refused to sack Nizar and replace him with Zambry, would Umno still sing this tune or would Umno, again, take the Rulers through a third Constitutional Crisis like it did in the 1980s?

In the beginning, the Sultan of Perak was actually not in favour of sacking Nizar. When Nizar had his audience with the Sultan, His Highness was actually quite receptive to the idea of dissolving the State Assembly so that new state elections could be held. But His Highness got cold feet after Najib visited him and reminded Tuanku that he would be jeopardising his throne if he took Pakatan Rakyat’s side in the Perak Constitutional Crisis.

Yes, that’s right. Najib threatened the Sultan and reminded His Highness that his future lies in the hands of Umno. And Najib has the gall to say that Umno is the defender of the crown. Bullshit! I know what happened. And that is why I spoke in defence of the Sultan of Perak — and many Malaysia Today readers whacked me because of that. But I also asked Nizar to hold his ground and not back down even if it results in a Constitutional Crisis.

Let’s call a spade a spade. In the 1980s, when Umno attacked the Rulers, the opposition rallied to the Rulers’ side. It was the opposition that defended the Monarchy in the 1980s when Umno attacked it. That is a fact that has gone down into history. And history can’t be changed. You can rewrite history. But you can never change it. And I challenge Najib to prove wrong what I said.

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Malaysia Today

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