Monday 9 July 2012

cakap cakap...SULTAN.

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!


  1. My pet you, not much to say anymore about this pirates except that they still reign supreme over the mostly idiotic bolehland people's......what to do?

  2. There is nothing wrong wth the 1993 ammendments to the Constitution of Malaysia that removed the legal immunity of the Sultans.
    Sultans before the 1993 amendments can even kill fellow human with the immunity. Without legal immunity it will be a deterrent for them to do so.
    However, I think the Sultants now suffer from "Stockholm Syndrome" as they become beholden to UMNO, the very party that removed their immunity.

  3. Truth be told the sultans of old did not have it so good! Local big shots control the ground. And they do their own thing. The chief will have a few fighters with him and they would then terrorize the locals with blood-sucking stories, whacked a few people, intimidate them and get what they asked for, which was not much like women and slaves to do their work.
    It was only when "foreigners" came into the picture to mine, buy local produce, later grow tropical produce that the local chiefs, and the big chief started to collect "tax' in return for passage. They dont do work but collect "rent" just like they are doing now. Others do the wealth creation, they do the "administration".
    The Malay population was sparse and poor, were either farmers or fishermen. Some adventurers/traders
    /pirates would take advantage of the situation. The sultans were weak, did not any army or built up fighting forces..oh yes we hear of hang Tuah and Pahlawan this and that, but there is no army, no fleet. The local lords control the rivers and tributaries but the seas were controlled by the Bugis, the Europeans and others.
    It was only when the British took over the states that the sultans became the instruments for control and legitimacy. The British built up the sultans, created all the myths to serve them. Out of line and they were out of the palace. But they were mostly subservient or were easily bought out by the British for a few dollars. The British dressed them up, made them presentable.
    The truth was laid bare for all to see when the Japanese came. Not one sultan or any member of any of the royal families were there to "fight" or lead the fight against the invaders! SO much for all the gagah/pahlawan stuff.None had the courage to make a stand. Yes there were tantrums thrown but when push came to shove we know what happened.
    And confirmation of this was when the British came back and all the sultans were threatened with the sack for their unspeakable role as connivers and puppets of the Japanese. We know what happened. If the Malay nationalists had played their cards right we would have retired all the sultans in 1946.
    While all conniving and collaborating to rid the country of the foreign rulers, the scions of the royal families and the sultans were scheming how to survive. And so it came to pass that the Sultans and their proxies/offsprings worked out a solution to save the British from an ignoble exit. The true sons of the land who fought the japanese and the British werea again betrayed by the sultans. In return for their remaining on the throne the country was again sold down the river!
    So there you have it....