Saturday, 8 May 2010

Selangor Sultan and the Mosque Controversy: Zaid Ibrahim is on the Right Side of the Law and Should NOT Apologise

Read here for more in Malaysia Today


PKR's Zaid Ibrahim said the Selangor Religious Council (MAIS) chairman Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa had advised him in a letter that it is an offence for anybody to go against or dispute any order or directive by the sultan.

According to Zaid, "He (Mohd Adzib) further said that any order or directive issued by the sultan or MAIS has the effect of the law and is enforceable as such without having the need for it to be gazetted."

Zaid said that he will be replying to the letter, and is also prepared to seek an audience with the sultan to offer his explanation.He added that he has the utmost respect for Malay rulers, including the Selangor sultan, and that he has no reason to belittle them.

Zaid insisted he is NOT  apologising for his personal opinions.

He said,
" But this is an issue of public interest and as a politician, it is my duty to give my views.
So I will be writing a letter to the palace to seek an audience with the king if that would help clarify this matter.
Malay rulers as heads of Islam do NOT  have the authority to issue orders, directives and decrees without first going through the state assembly and gazetting those decrees.
We are a constitutional monarchy and rulers must abide by the rules of the constitution at both the state and federal level. So I believe that Section 12 is not valid.
Orders and decrees must be gazetted so that people understand their scope and exactly what is prohibited.

It doesn't make sense that laws debated in Parliament and the state assembly have to be gazetted but those issued by rulers are excused. The law is applicable to them as well because it has an impact on the public.
In our system of governance, we select members of parliament and state assemblymen to enact laws.  If we allow anyone else to do the same, then there is no democracy in this country because the people will not have a say.
......Perkasa is a strange creature but this is what you get from an organisation sponsored by Dr Mahathir (Mohamad).

And I will not entertain Perkasa because it is a fascist organisation that doesn't deserve to be entertained."
He slammed the burning of his effigy and the “irresponsible attacks” by politicians on “someone who is giving his legal opinion”, stressing that such acts cannot be condoned.

“These are gangster politics,he said. These are tactics that were once used by Hitler and Mussolini and are now outdated except in Umno and Perkasa.”

In his blog posting on Wednesday, he said that the sultan's remarks on the issue are merely personal opinions, and at least, a piece of advice to any party, and should not be mistaken for a decree or an order.

Zaid had said in his blog:
"In the constitutional monarchy system, the sultan cannot make decrees like back in the times of the Malaccan sultanate.

"According to the constitution, whatever the sultan wishes, must be channelled through Mais which will then meet and decide on gazetting any laws such as fatwa."
That raised the ire of several Malay rights NGOs, including Perkasa, which burned his effigy as well as demanded that he be exiled from the state.

Several police reports were also lodged against Zaid.

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