In this worsening constitutional crisis in Perak, it is imperative that the highly respected and much loved Perak monarch should stay on the RIGHT side of history in the eyes of his subjects, for the sake of the prestige and integrity of the monarchy in the country.At the 14th Malaysian Law Conference in October 2007, HRH Sultan of Perak Raja Azlan Shah gave the opening address. He said,
"This year (2007) marks the 50th year of our nation’s Independence. It is also the 50th year of our Merdeka Constitution.The 50th anniversary of our independence is therefore an appropriate moment for all of us to reflect upon the STRENGTH of our constitutional system.On 3 April 2007, at the 'YOUNG MALAYSIANS' ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON NATIONAL UNITY AND DEVELOPMENT IN MALAYSIA: PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES FOR NATION BUILDING" Conference , Crown Prince Raja Nazrin gave the the keynote address. This is what he said:
As we rejoice in our success, it is important to be alert to the pitfalls of failure if proper regard is not given to our constitutional mechanisms....
It is important that there must be, in the hearts and minds of those who are entrusted to administer and uphold the constitution, a belief in the values and principles that animate the august document.
I had occasion to observe when sitting in the Federal Court in 1977 that the “constitution is not a mere collection of pious platitudes”. I spoke then of the 3 essential features of our constitution. I said:It is the supreme law of the land embodying three basic concepts:One of them is that the individual has certain fundamental rights upon which not even the power of the state may encroach.
The second is the distribution of sovereign power between the states and the federation.The third is that no single man or body shall exercise complete sovereign power, but that it shall be DISTRIBUTED among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, compendiously expressed in modern terms that we are a government of laws, not of men.”The prescription that “we are a government of laws, not of men” describes the basic principle that runs through our entire constitution-the principle of the Rule of Law. Read here for more
- HRH Raja Azlan Shah, Sultan of Perak
More calls for fresh elections in Perak
".. My address this morning is on the challenges and prospects of nation building, a topic that is of the greatest and gravest importance. Nation building is essential to national unity which lies at the heart of what this country was, is and will be. ...
In Malaysia, the Federal Constitution, the Rukun Negara and Vision 2020 encapsulate the rights, hopes and aspirations of the population in a way that no other documents do. The integrity of these documents must be defended and promoted, especially the FIRST...
If nation building is to be successful, enforced solutions must be avoided. Nation building is effectively rendered null and void by coercion or the threat of violence. 'Might' CANNOT and must NOT be shown to be 'Right'.
If solutions cannot be found within the political and social structures, there will be a strong temptation to resort to ILLEGITIMATE ways and means.
The political, social and economic incentives must reward good behaviour and penalise bad.... The incentives for building up a nation must be greater and more compelling than breaking it down.
I hope we will do our best to guard against cynicism and hopelessness.
And I hope we will all stay the course. Failure, may I remind you all, is a costly option." Read here for more
- Raja Nazrin, Raja Muda of Perak
Read here article in Malaysiakini
Param Cumaraswamy, former UN special rapporteur for the independence of judges and lawyers has these to say on the ongoing political crisis in Perak:
“The present crisis in Perak could have been averted if His Royal Highness Sultan Azlan Shah had dissolved the Legislative Assembly on Feb 5.
The present scenario in Perak is seen as a state without a legitimate government. The casualty in such an environment primarily is the rakyat. If the situation is not carefully addressed and arrested quickly the rule of law in Perak will be in jeopardy and anarchy will be the order of the day.
Our rulers are NOT absolute monarchs. They are in essence constitutional monarchs.
Their decisions are not absolute. The implications of their decisions CAN be discussed and commented by the people and the media.
The ramifications of the decision not to dissolve the legislative assembly on that day are now seen, heard and felt.
This is NOT the time to look into the technicalities and strict interpretation of the Law and the Constitution. This is NOT even the appropriate occasion for the intervention of the courts.
There is a higher constitutional principle namely the doctrine of separation of powers to be protected. It is ultimately for the rakyat of Perak to decide their own destiny. That is what democracy is all about.
There clearly appears a situation where no one member of the legislative assembly could command the confidence of the majority in the same assembly.
I therefore appeal to His Royal Highness to dissolve the legislative assembly and pave the way for fresh elections.
Let there be a government of the rakyat, by the rakyat and for the rakyat in Perak.”
- Param Cumaraswamy
- The Sultan of Perak, His Highness Raja Azlan Shah still holds the record (in the Guiness Book of Records) as the world’s highest educated monarch. He is a constitutional law expert and a former Lord President (now called Chief Justice) before he relinquished the post to become the Raja Muda of Perak in 1984 and on to become the Sultan of Perak. He is now 80 years old.
- Raja Nazrin has an academic and intellectual background with a bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University. He also holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of government, Harvard and Ph.D in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University.