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Raja Petra Kamarudin
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Malaysians probably do not comprehend why I decided to exile myself from Selangor because of my conflict with the Sultan. Maybe they think I am overreacting or exaggerating things a bit. Well, many do not understand how the ‘system’ works. It is not carved in stone. It is not even written on paper. But it is the law, nevertheless, and a law that I comply with.
If you can remember, this all started with what happened in Perak. I wrote an article asking Nizar Jamaluddin to defy the Sultan of Perak and not bow down to his demands. I also told him to hold his ground and take the Sultan head on.
The Selangor Sultan was very angry and he called my family for a meeting to express his displeasure. The instruction given to my family was that I was to issue a public apology for this treasonous act.
My Aunt, Raja Fuziah Tun Uda, sent me an e-mail, which I published in Malaysia Today. The e-mail made it very clear that I had committed an act of treason and that I was to issue a public apology to the Sultan of Perak. I was also told that I have disgraced the family name and if my grandfather were still alive he would have been very upset about what I had done.
I was given an ultimatum. If I did not issue that public apology then the family was going to insert advertisements in the mainstream newspapers condemning my act. In short, the family would distance itself from what I had done and in a way disown me.
I refused to issue that public apology. Instead, I wrote another article and condemned my family. I also, at the request of my Aunt, published the exchanges of e-mail messages. Maybe she wanted the Sultan to know that they had spoken to me as instructed.
That sealed my fate. My family declared me a treasonous person and someone who had brought shame to the family name. I was also told that the police had been instructed to launch an investigation and charge me for treason, an offence that carries the death sentence.
I wrote another article relating how the palace had boycotted my father’s funeral, although the palace did allow him to be buried in the Royal Mausoleum in Kelang. This, again, made the Sultan very angry and this time he really went berserk.
I received word from the palace that I would not be given a grave in the Royal Mausoleum when I die. I responded by saying that when I die just cremate my body and scatter the ashes wherever my children wish for it to be scattered, which of course sent shivers up the spine of Muslims because Islam does not allow cremation.
My feud with the palace is still ongoing and there were many other incidences since then. In fact, my feud with the palace goes as far back as when the last Agong was still alive and when Tun Dr Mahathir was the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
This earlier feud was with regards to Putrajaya. The federal government had annexed Putrajaya against the wishes of the Royal Council. The current Sultan was then only the Acting Sultan while his father was the Agong.
The Royal Council was summoned for a meeting and the Agong told them that the federal government is annexing Putrajaya and that they are not to oppose the move. The Council was to have no say in the matter.
I wrote an article asking the entire Royal Council to resign and for the Sultan to abdicate the throne. I also declared that the Sultan and the Royal Council are traitors to Selangor.
This caused a huge uproar in the palace. The Agong told my uncle, Raja Datuk Redzwa, that he is going to summon me to the palace so that I could be given a dressing down. My Uncle told the Agong to just try that and see who whacks whom. “Remember his father, Abang Din?” asked my Uncle. “Well, Peter is exactly like his father so you may want to reconsider whether you want to face him.”
The Acting Sultan eventually summoned me to the palace for a meeting so that I could be informed of the actual situation. The Agong, however, abandoned his plan to talk to me.
The actual situation, according to the Sultan, was that Dr Mahathir had made a secret deal with the Agong behind the backs of the Acting Sultan and the Royal Council. When the Acting Sultan requested to meet Dr Mahathir, His Highness was told that there is nothing to talk about as the matter had already been settled.
Actually, the Agong did not have the authority to give Putrajaya to the federal government. It is a state matter and the Agong is the head of the federation and not the head of Selangor. Furthermore, the federal government had already annexed Kuala Lumpur as the federal capital. Therefore, if they insist on annexing Putrajaya as the new federal capital, then they have to give back Kuala Lumpur to Selangor.
When the federal government realised that annexing Putrajaya means they would have to give back Kuala Lumpur to Selangor, they decided to call Putrajaya the ‘administrative centre’ while Kuala Lumpur remains the federal capital. In reality, Malaysia has two federal capitals but with different labels.
When I was detained under ISA in 2001, I was interrogated about this matter. I had committed treason, I was told, and treason is punishable with death.
I asked my Special Branch interrogators whether any of them are members of the Royal Family. None were. Then you have no business interfering in palace matters, I told them. This is a matter between the Sultan and me and Bukit Aman should stay out of it.
The Special Branch officers said that acts of treason is a national matter and a matter of national security. So they can get involved. I replied that if this were 200 years ago I would lead an army on the palace and dethrone the Sultan and put someone else on the throne.
The Special Branch officers were speechless. They shook their heads and muttered that I am really asking for it.
So my feud with the palace is not new. It goes back to the day they buried my father about 40 years ago. It became worse when I opposed the annexation of Putrajaya and asked the Sultan to abdicate. The final break was when I opposed the illegal takeover of Perak and whacked the Sultan of Perak.
And yes, the Sultan can declare someone persona non grata. But I did not allow him to do that to me. Before he could do that, I declared that I am in self-imposed exile. And that really pissed the palace big time.
Anyway, I have a score to settle with the federal government. They have to choose whether Kuala Lumpur or Putrajaya is going to be the federal capital. They can’t have both. And if by God’s grace we get to change the federal government, then I am going to make it my life’s mission to get back Putrajaya, which was illegally annexed by the federal government.
-Raja Petra Kamarudin