Are We Really A Nation Of Unthinkers?

Posted on March 26, 2008

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Terengganu Menteri Besar Idris Jusoh has declared his willingness to accept any decision of the Umno leadership that is deemed best for the rakyat, including forgoing the Menteri Besar’s post. He was also prepared to apologise to the Sultan of Terengganu if he “had done anything wrong”. Not that we are especially fond of Idris Jusoh, but we are extremely disappointed that he has chosen to play the role of the stereotypical subservient Malay subject and not uphold his position, simply on the basis that it is “in the interests of the rakyat”. The Sultan’s displeasure is his own. It does not necessarily reflect the general feeling of the people of Terengganu. If the electorate was unsatisfied with the Umno government, they would have easily voted the administration out of office, a concept not at all unfamiliar in this state once ruled by Pas.

Why is Idris Jusoh apologizing for an offense he’s not even sure of? We seem to be living in a world where people are increasingly saying sorry not because they are actually sorry, but just in case they have offended some people. We should not be sorry “if”, we should be sorry “because”. In a foolishly opportunistic move that betrays its rebellious roots, PKR, led by party national youth deputy head Faris Musa, lodged a police report against PM Abdullah Badawi, DPM Najib Razak and the 23 Terengganu assemblymen for showing disrespect to the Terengganu Palace. “The palace institution must be respected and all subjects must show loyalty,” declared Faris. “The actions of those involved were blatant disregard of loyalty to the Rulers”.

Have we really become a nation of such slavish unthinkers that loyalty to the monarchy now precedes intelligent debate and common sense? Why is it that we are expected to prostrate with unquestioning subservience to mortals when even God Himself demands our scrutiny? We are blessed by a system where the monarchy no longer presides over executive rule, where we are “subjects” only by name and empowered to determine the direction of this country as we see fit, not according to the whims and fancies of the palace. We Malaysians, rightly or wrongly, ask for no accountability from the royal families in return for their role as merely ceremonial figureheads. It is in view of this, that such blatant display of unthinking subservience by both Idris Jusoh and PKR deserve even more condemnation.