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LETTER | To pardon or not to pardon

LETTER | A few days ago, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decreed that the prerogative power to pardon by the ruler cannot be meted out arbitrarily. I am glad to read that the Sultan of Selangor has lent his support to the Agong’s decree.

Allow me to state from the onset that I support the rulers’ view above not because it may be in relation to former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s case.

This is not about pro or anti-Najib’s present incarceration. I was thinking of the constitutional roles of our rulers which can be far-reaching and impactful in our system of government.

The rulers’ positions are hereditary and their functions, roles, and power are enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Their secured positions, entrenched power, and influence make them a good “referee” and a fair “dispenser” of justice.

In normal times, probably the roles of rulers are quite mundane and predictable. However, in times of controversy, political uncertainty, and dispute, their roles will be very significant and far-reaching.

A good referee is one who can make a decision fairly and firmly. In the course of making the decision, they will be able to restore justice to the aggrieved and punish the perpetrator.

I believe a constitutional monarch is like a good referee and a good dispenser of justice.

When political uncertainty prevails, a ruler must be able to step in to restore the balance based on justice, national interests, and the overarching will of the people.

The rulers are the last bastion when everything else fails. I strongly believe our rulers are wise enough to know when a pardon is due and deservingly so.

I also believe our rulers will be wise enough to resolve disputes among political parties when no clear majority is in sight or when exercising subjective judgement whether a state of emergency is needed.


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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