Malaysiakini News

'Malay leaders used to defend powers of monarchy, not any more'

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Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has lamented that Malay political parties are now the ones which have imposed limitations on the powers of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in considering legislation presented to them.

This is despite the fact that the Malays were the ones who were united in opposing the Malayan Union as the powers of the rulers were diminished and they were forced to accept a British adviser, he reminded in his posting on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page.

The Facebook page is often used by the Johor crown prince and regent Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim to express his views.

Sultan Ibrahim cited the amendments made by Parliament to Articles 40(1A) and 66(4A) of the Federal Constitution, adding that Act 885 which took effect on June 26, 1994 had successfully stripped the Agong of his powers.

In 1983, then prime minister Dr Mohamad Mahathir had spearheaded a campaign against the monarchy, which saw the ruling government successfully removing the Agong's absolute veto power on legislation passed by Parliament.

Johor will never allow the role of the sovereign to be diminished to a mere "rubber stamp", Sultan Ibrahim said today, adding that Johor has a mission to restore the "order".

Below is the full text of his posting:

"Johor Will Always Be Johor. With everything that is happening in this country today, it seems that it's time to show the powers instilled in the state of Johor. Do you think it's all a coincidence? The answer is no.

The plan to install the 'order' had started since 1893 when Sultan Abu Bakar introduced this brainchild of his at the World Fair, held in Chicago. The history of the creation of the state legislative assembly in Johor was a modernisation phenomenon for the state of Johor and was triggered by my ancestor, Sultan Abu Bakar in 1868.

Johor's state constitution 1895 marked the beginning of the constitutional monarchy system. This constitution has been amended several times, but the legislative powers still fall under the state assembly and is subjected to the consent of the sovereign.

History has also shown that the Johor's constitution was a model and was also used as a reference in drafting the Federal Constitution of Malaya and it was also adopted by other states. One of the states that adopted this was Terengganu; 20 years after Johor.

In the Federal Constitution and each state's constitution, the legislative assembly is made up of two main components. They are the Agong and the house of Parliament for the federal and the sovereign and state assembly for the state.

With this, it would be unwise should the powers of the Agong or sovereign be limited or eliminated entirely when it comes to analysing and permitting any legislation.

With the implementation of these limits and elimination of powers, the role of the Agong and sovereign will be diminished to a mere "rubber stamp" when granting the royal seal on the legislations that has been passed by the Parliament or the state assembly.

I know that this is already occurring in the federal level as well as in a handful of other states, but this will not occur in Johor. Back then, the Malays were united in opposing the Malayan Union when the powers of the rulers were diminished and were forced to accept a British adviser.

Now, however, the Malay political parties are the ones who have imposed these limitations on the powers of the Agong in considering any legislation presented to them and even worse, forcing the Agong to accept and act according to any advice given by the cabinet.

The amendments made to Articles 40(1A) and 66(4A) of the Federal Constitution was amended by the Malaysian Parliament. With this, Act 885 which took effect on June 26, 1994, successfully stripped the Agong of his powers.

All of this for their political and personal gains. Johor has a mission. The mission is to restore the 'order'."

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