Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, the Raja Muda of Perak, has been making quite a few ‘strong’ statements of late. His latest was mentioned at the First Student Leaders Summit 2007 when he said ‘the Constitution clearly provided for adequate checks and balances against the excesses through the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches, with each protected from encroachment from each other. It is often been said that many a misunderstanding may be avoided if the principles embodied in the Constitution are adhered to strictly (emphasis is mine). Read Star’s report here.
It was Shad Saleem Faruqi, a Law Professor, who has written numerous articles on constitutional laws who wrote ‘the legislative process is basically an executive process, not a parliamentary process’ with reference to our (much maligned) parliamentary democracy announced by AAB recently.
There will be some of you who will accuse TDM for bringing about this predicament particularly with regard to the Judicial branch. I offer no excuses if you wish to continue ‘believing’ it because as soon as TDM stepped down as the Prime Minister, the baton has been passed to his successor, AAB. Giving TDM the ‘stick’ ain’t gonna change things one bit.
To me, the Federal Constitution is a ‘living document’ that represent the aspirations of all Malaysians and although the underlying principles as thought of by our forefathers should be preserved, it is equally important and perhaps, necessary to reflect on the current reality within our civil society. Political power without real wealth (and vice-versa) to be shared by all is not progress. Good governance and social justice will not materialise magically from the pages of our Constitution without noble leaders possesing strong integrity, astute knowledge and impeccable upbringing.
The ‘social contract’ which is an integral part of the Constitution acknowledged the jus soli (right of birth) of immigrants prior to Independence as much as it also acknowledged the special position of the Sultanates, malay rights and Islam as the dominant religion professed in this nation. Sabah and Sarawak’s agreement to join Malaya on 16th September 1963 denotes their acknowledgment that Merdeka Day is 31st August. Whether we are neither secular nor theocratic, it is more important to live with freedom from want, hunger, poverty and deception. National sovereignty and patriotism should be emanating from within us, not cajoled by the lips of politicians. But as much as we wish to blame politicians for the inequalities and wanton wastage, part of the responsibility belong to us, the voters. (146,000 newly registered voters out of the eligible 4.8 million i.e. 3%. Nice number, ain’t it).
Someone said to me recently that there are only two developing countries in the world which will be looked upon as role-models by others i.e. Malaysia and Singapore. RDC may have surged forward since 1965 but I’ve always believed that Malaysia will remain multi-racially/religiously relevant for a lot longer.
If TDM was too strong to oppose during his tenure as the Premier, then I say, he has left us with the inept and incompetent AAB to contend with. Which should, by right, be an easier PM to topple in the next GE. (Sorry, folks. No special jampi available. Just vote him out. And don’t even think about giving KJ a leg up).
I will not cry for Malaysia. There’s still too much to do. Though it would be nice if there’s company.
Meanwhile, go read E.Woon’s Fifty Merdeka Wishes and make one too.
(Poster courtesy of Mob1900).