Rulers are above politics and as such cannot participate in open debate to answer allegations hurled against them by political groups, Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah said yesterday.
He said 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 was a dangerous act and could destroy the peace in 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 to any action, to the extent of disregarding the law for the sake of attaining power,” he said at the loyalty pledge and awards ceremony in conjunction with his 81st birthday at Istana Iskandariah here.
In what many observers see as the ruler’s take on the on-going political crisis in his state, Sultan Azlan Shah said the power struggle had shown an ugly side with despicable characteristics being paraded in the open.
The ruler said he felt that there was too much politicking in the country and this would affect economic productivity and the country’s image.
He said 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 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.”
Sultan Azlan Shah said 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 interests of the country and people are safeguarded at all times.”
He said based on the spirit behind the formation of the Federation of the Malay States, the rulers were responsible for protecting the privileges and position of the rulers’ institution, Islam, the Malay language and the legitimate interests 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.”
Sultan Azlan Shah said in 52 years of nationhood, the country’s administration had seen ups and downs.
“I myself have been giving views and advice either openly or behind closed doors on matters which I think should be rectified.”
He called on the people to be wary of attempts to provoke them into dismantling the system and institution as this could create chaos in the country. — Bernama