First posted on : October 2011
KDYMM Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta'in Billah Ibni Al Marhum Sultan Abu Bakar Ri'ayatuddin Al- Mu'adzam Shah
DKP., DK., DKM., SSAP., SIMP., DMN., DK(PERAK), DK(JOHOR), DK(KELANTAN), DK(TERENGGANU), DK(PERLIS), DK(KEDAH), DKMB., DK(BRUNEI), DK(NEGERI SEMBILAN), DK(SELANGOR), QILADAH BADR AL-KUBRA(SAUDI ARABIA)., QILADAH AL-SHEIKH MUBARAK AL-KABIR (KUWAIT)., GRAND ORDER OF THE MUGUNGHWA(SOUTH KOREA), HON.D. LITT(MALAYA)., L.L.D.HC. (NORTHROP USA), HON. D. SC. (BEDFORDSHIRE, UK)
I know of his Father, Sultan Sir Abu Bakar more then I know of him because my late Father was serving in Pahang when Tuanku Abu Bakar was Sultan. Sultan Abu Bakar was partial towards the ladies and during our time in Pahang Tuanku was fully enamoured with Maria Menado. This human failing he more then made up by his love towards the people of Pahang and they of him. There have been many stories…some would say legends…of Sultan Abu Bakar's affection of his Rakyat. I know that the Sakai can stop Tuanku’s motorcade by just waving him to a stop by the side of the road. Tuanku will then alight from his car and talk to his subjects without to much concern for protocol.
There was one ‘General’ in Bentong who rode his bicycle resplendent in his “General Uniform” complete with a flag on his handlebar. My late Father recall with much amusement how Tuanku indulgently tolerated the ‘General’ walking around with his gun (water pistol) and shooting (squirting) guests at a gathering that Tuanku attended in Bentong!
There was also a time that I remember well when we waited for Tuanku’s return from Tioman. We were at the Kuantan Jetty in the very hot mid day sun waiting for over an hour because Tuanku’s was late. When he arrived he made it a point to talk to each and everyone that was there to greet him. Only then did he get into his car and left.
I remember that my Father had to detain one of Tuanku’s uncle during a racial disturbance in Pahang and the suspect was using his Royal status as a shield to prevent the Police from arresting him. Tuanku told my Father to just go ahead and do his job.
This Sultan Ahmad would not hold a candle to what his father was. There have been too many anak Pahang who have reluctantly and sadly chosen to disassociate themself with him and with Pahang after serving in Pahang – preferring to live outside Pahang rather then to be under his ‘rule’. That they chose to do so is a direct reflection of what this Sultan have done to not only embarrass the state but also the institution of Royalty in our country. That he now chose to enter the ring to fight UMNO’s battle for them is no gain for UMNO but a gain for us. Why we ask, are there still rats swimming towards the sinking ship of UMNO? Well money for one!
There are Sultans and then there are Sultans. Inbreeding amongst some of these august houses have not been kind to some of the off springs that have been produced and did not contribute to the ability of some of these Royal Houses to be able to provide for their needs independent of the support system already in place since colonial days.In short most of these Sultans are not able to survive without the stipends provided by the Government from the taxes that the Rakyat pays.
In the case of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah has need not only of this stipend but also from time to time, additional financial assist which he now seems to regard as being his Royal right to ask whenever needed – either in the form of business opportunites, logging rights or plain outright cash.
As head of the Islamic Religion in the state of Pahang this Sultan does profess to be the protector and defender of the religion. It is in the practice of the tenants of the Islam that he finds some difficulty in adhering to. A case in point…no two cases in point – he gambles and he fornicates. In the latter he has one daughter that we know of, out of wedlock. In the other he has at times amass massive gambling debts that has required the state to guarantee its payment before the said Sultan was allowed to leave the premises of the Casino.The matter of having a child out of wed lock is still being resolved though I would advise the parties doing the pursuing of the Sultan that the possibility of a cash settlement would be somewhere between slim and impossible. Why? Because any money that the Sultan would be able to get him hands on would stay with him – he would have more need of it for himself then to use it for the settlement of any out of wedlock dalliances that he had had.So perish any thought about getting a cash settlement out of that ‘business’ opportunity for the daghter of his.
This same Sultan Ahmad Shah was also the same Sultan Ahmad Shah that bought a plane from the Sultan of Brunei and then conviniently and steadfastly proceeded to do all he could to not pay for the plane. Why anybody would want to buy a plane that he cannot afford to pay for, much less to even pay for tarmac and hanger costs is one of life’s great mysteries. His rationale was that the Sultan of Brunei did not need the money! Huh! The thought of having to pay for something he had purchased never did enter his consciouness. As I have said he is just not that bright a Sultan.
Pahang has been ‘gifted’ a University after much effort by Najib – whether there is need for a Univeristy in Pahang is relevant. Najib has got Pahang a University – hip hip hooray! …but I digress. The University Malaysia Pahang permanent campus is located in Pekan - as and when construction is completed. The construction contract has been awarded to the Sultan – or his nominee or a company he has lobbied for…or a JV company he has interest in …etc you get my drift? Najib had given the contract to build the University campus in Pekan to the Sultan so that the Sultan can make some money out of the project. The problem is that so much money has been siphoned out of that project by the Sultan that delays to the construction schedule has meant not only costs overruns running into the millions but also delay in the opening of the campus in Pekan – which in turn has resulted in delays in the education of student who are not able to be accomodated at the temporary campus at Gambang. Najib is angry at the delay of one of his alpha projects for Pahang but not angry enough to haul the Sultan in for creating havoc with one of Pahangs much awaited projects – instead what Najib has done is to seek additional fundings (easy enough to do when you are Prime Minsiter) - and so the merry go round continues – more money to siphon…etc etc.
The list is endless. I would suggest that Sultan Ahmad thinks carefully before he again goes in to bat for Barisan Nasional as he did a few days back. Barisan Nasional is being watched so closley for any deviation from its oft promise ‘transparency in government’ that I do not see Najib or the Mentri Besar of Pahang pandering to the wishRS of the Sultan who is saying"Please Sir can I have some more” ala Oliver Twist.
All his PR effort to date can possibly impress some of his Rakyat in Pahang - but these are not the people that will give him the ‘business opportunities’ that he desperately needs to keep his body and soul together. He will either have to curtail his ‘wish list’ for more hand outs from Najib or, more realistically, find another non existent Shazan Tower to sell to get the money he needs to fund his lifestyle. Meanwhile this Sultan can continue with his visits to his Rakyats who are victims of floods, lanslide or who are in need of a few hundred ringgits to help them tide out their financial difficulties. These are matters within the ability of the Sultan to do. Nothing more and nothing less should be attempted by the Sultan so as to conserve whatever funds he still has left – if he has any left at all. Daulat Tuanku!