19 April, 2009

Rulers are above politics

Rulers are above politics and as such they cannot participate in open debate to answer allegations hurled against them by political groups, the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, said.

He said that the action of certain political groups in provoking the people and sowing seeds of hatred against the rulers, was akin to fanning "embers in the chaff" which, he said, was a dangerous act and could destroy the peace enjoyed by the people and the country.

"These groups are allowing the end to justify the means by condoning such acts."

"These groups and individuals feel that they are faultless and immune from any action, to the extend of disregarding the law for the sake of attaining power," he said at the loyalty pledge and Perak awards ceremony in conjunction with his 81st birthday at the Istana Iskandariah here today.

Sultan Azlan also said that he felt that there was too much politicking in the country at the moment and that this would affect economic productivity and the country's image in the eyes of the international community.

"In facing the global economic crisis, too much politicking is not helpful to the people who are struggling to make ends meet," he said.

He added that leaders of various political parties should find a meeting point from which they could work out ways to cooperate for the sake of the country and people.

Sultan Azlan Shah also spoke on the need to correct what he described as the misconception that the constitutional monarchy was just a symbol devoid of any power.

He said the rulers were neither blind, deaf nor mute. In fact, he added, they were fully aware of what was going on in the country.

"It should be stressed that the constitutional monarchy has three rights -- the right to give views and counsel, the right to encourage and motivate, and the right to remind and reprimand," he said.

Sultan Azlan Shah said that although the constitutional monarchy acted based on the power vested in it under the constitution, it would be erroneous to think that the role of a ruler was similar to that of a president whose functions had been pre-defined in the constitution.

"The role of the constitutional monarchy goes beyond what is stipulated in the constitution.

"The rulers have a far wider responsibility in ensuring that the spirit of the constitution, the philosophy behind the written law, and the interest of the country and the people are safeguarded at all times," he said.

He said that based on the spirit behind the formation of the Federation of the Malay States, the rulers were responsible in protecting the privileges and position of the Rulers Institution, Islam, the Malay language and the legitimate interest of other races.

"These are the basis of understanding and the ingredients which resulted in the formation of an independent and sovereign nation, enabling its people to live in peace and harmony," he said.

Meanwhile, The Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah today said he would implement all efforts to ensure the institution of royalty, which was core to the system of governance and nationhood in the country, would continue to be protected.

“An offspring will not allow the dignity and sovereignty of a ruler to be ridiculed.

As such the people must be conscious not to be hasty to throw the lamp away, as daylight too will end.

“Let it not be that as night falls, people grope about directionless, blanketed in darkness without a lamp,” he said at the pledging of loyalty and awards ceremony in conjunction with the 81st birthday of the Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah at Istana Iskandariah here today.

He said the Malay Sultanate was not just a symbol in the country but had an important role as the centre of strength for the people.

Raja Nazrin said the administrative system with the Malay Sultanate as its core had been in place for over 600 years and had succeeded in developing a great culture and civilisation.

He said the wisdom of royalty aided the developmental process of intellectuality and from the palace emanated great works of art in writings.

“The Malay Rulers are the symbols of sovereignty, the symbols of citizens’ strength and the umbrella for the country’s crown. The Malay Rulers give identity to the nation.

“People who understand the culture of monarchy will understand the philosophy of royal administration, the role of rulers, especially the role and responsibility of holding up national identity,” he said.

He said the continuity of a race and the face of a nation depended on factors that gave it identity from the aspects of institutions, religion, culture and language.

“Actions of insulting institutions, ridiculing institutions, fermenting hatred towards institutions are early steps in the movement towards abolishing the institutions therefore abolishing the original identity of the country’s race.

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