Today I want to write about Sultans! No I am not going to hantam them for their sexual indiscretions for they are all humans. Do they not bleed when you prick them?
I am not going to write about them jumping through hoops and asking UMNO how high to jump every time UMNO cracks the whip for them to do a “favor” for UMNO. After all these Sultans too need extra pocket money from time to time – and whom can they turn to but UMNO?
Selling Datukship is no longer the done thing. Timber concessions, tenders and contracts are risky and no longer the cash cows they use to be. So I will not go there too.
There are some rich Sultans around but they seem to get a bit confused about wealth. Their inherited wealth, if not replenished, will soon disappear. So the question remains - are they savvy enough to replenish their wealth before it all disappears?
Nor do I want to talk about the Sultan being the Head of Islam in their respective states. What is there to talk about when their knowledge of Islam is as good as mine – shallow, without depth and limited to Friday prayers and
marching at the head of the procession celebrating Prophet Muhammad’s birthday! So perish that thought!
So what else is left if I do not want to talk about all of the above? Not much I guess. Except for politics.
Ever since Mahathir put the fear of God into these Sultan’s head with his 1993 amendments to the Constitution of Malaysia removing legal immunity of the Sultans we have seen some of these Sultans start dabbling in politics. Well not really dabbling…more like them asking UMNO “what is there in it for me?” every time there was an opportunity for them to “dabble” in politics. Perak and Selangor come to mind. What was “in it for the Sultan” is for them to know and for us to speculate. But all that is history. What would be interesting is to see how these Sultans will “dabble” in the forthcoming 13th general elections.
How many of these Sultans would have the ability to understand what is at stake for them in the results of the 13th general elections? Any of them with University Degrees? Any of them from Oxford or Cambridge? And going for a short stint at Sandhurst does not mean you have had a Military education!
Maybe the Sultan of Perak was our CJ some time back but I think he has spent too many decadent years as Sultan of Perak to still have any of the worthwhile attributes that he had picked up as our CJ to still influencing his decision making process –as his support of UMNO in the taking over of Perak can attest!
So these Sultans better have good advisors advising them on what to do vis a vis the 13th general elections! Are any of you familiar with the individuals that populate the Istana Balai with their “Pateks and Ampun Tunaku’s” and what have you court etiquette? I am not but common sense tells me that “birds of a feather, flocks together” - so I guess there is not much hope of good decent people wanting to waste their time hanging around Istana’s and the Balai's…is there? So what hope is there for these Sultans having good advisors around them? Not much I guess – so let us leave these Sultans to their own devices. They are going the way of the Dodo birds! And we know what happened to the Dodo birds!
p.s. image depicted above is not of Sultan. Writer unable to source for more appropriate image - apologies!