Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Malaysia's Constitutional Crisis: Remembering History The Way It Is...

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.
Read the rest of the article here..
A true history lesson that need to be recorded here so that more people can be aware of the real reason/s behind the constitutional crisis other than what have been potrayed by those in power

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