Royal Rumble Packs a Punch in Terengganu

Posted on March 24, 2008


The still talked-about general election has created political fault lines not just between the Opposition-led West Coast and the BN-led East, but also between the separation of executive power between the government and the monarchy. Undoubtedly due to the unprecedented outcome of the elections, we have seen the Sultans of Selangor and Perak and the Raja of Perlis being dragged into politics and now the Sultan of Terengganu looks set to continue this worrying trend.

The appointment of a Menteri Besar should remain the prerogative of the government elected by the people. The Umno administration has been returned to power by the people of Terengganu and it should be allowed to elect its state leader, just as the Opposition coalition should be given the freedom to appoint its Menteris Besar, having been given the mandate to do so. The people of Terengganu have been impoverished for decades under both Pas and Umno, without any protest from the monarchy. Therefore we find the claim that the Sultan’s decision to appoint Ahmad Said was in the interest of the people a bit hard to stomach.

We at kampunghouse are not anti-monarchy, but we have been disappointed by the royal families and their lackluster reputation in championing the rights and privileges of the people. The monarchy prefers to assert its influence by dishing out hundreds of Datuk- and Tan Sri-ships like worthless bags of keropok, while the rest of us are subjected to the obnoxious demands of many an undeserving Datuk and his Datin. It would be better for the monarchy, and for the rest of us, if it continues in its role as national symbols, or as exemplified by the royal families of Negri Sembilan and Pahang, to simply grace the social pages of Malaysia Tatler and Le Prestige.