THE STENCH OF ‘LET DOWN’ IS IN THE AIR – BETS GROW ROYAL TALKS A ‘SMART TAI CHI’ THE MALAY RULERS ARE PLAYING

The Smart Tai Chi The Raja-Raja Melayu Are Playing

But the Raja-Raja Melayu must not take sides in the political battles. If they do, the politicians who win will no doubt praise the Raja-Raja Melayu and call them wise, but those who lose will condemn the Raja-Raja Melayu and say nasty things about them. The Raja-Raja Melayu must wisely remove a strand of hair from flour without spilling any of it or kill with a borrowed knife.

The Malays call it removing a strand of hair from flour without spilling any of it. The Chinese call it killing with a borrowed knife.

Whatever you wish to call it, the Raja-Raja Melayu have come a long way since 1981 when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad took over as Prime Minister or PM4.

Mahathir’s dislike for royalty started very early in the 1960s when he opposed Tunku Abdul Rahman. He felt the Malays were too feudalistic and only the elite or orang bangsawan were able to hold power. Mahathir was a Malay-Indian mixed-breed and hence had no chance in a feudal-Malay society.

When Tun Razak Hussein took over, Mahathir was rehabilitated and from that day on he swore to turn Malaysia into a republic and get rid of the constitutional monarchy. That was why the first thing he did when he took over 40 years ago was to launch what is now known as the ‘Constitutional Crisis’.

But the ‘Constitutional Crisis’ was during the time of the fathers and/or grandfathers of the present Raja-Raja Melayu. The present Raja-Raja Melayu were still young or children at that time and were not yet on the throne. But the present Raja-Raja Melayu are all highly educated and tech-savvy. They are also surrounded by legal and economic advisers who keep them abreast of developments, sometimes before the events even happen.

If you have never had a face-to-face with any Raja-Raja Melayu, you will probably have the impression that they sit in their ivory towers totally detached from what is happening on the ground. But one hour in conference with them and you will realise that they know more about what is happening globally than even you do.

Do you think the Raja-Raja Melayu do not know what the rakyat are thinking and saying? Do you think the Raja-Raja Melayu do not know what the hopes and aspirations of the rakyat are? Do you think the Raja-Raja Melayu do not know the political games the politicians from both sides of the political divide are playing?

If you think the Raja-Raja Melayu are ignorant, then you are more stupid than you look.

Umno is divided. PKR is divided. DAP is divided. Barisan Nasional is divided. Pakatan Harapan is divided. Muafakat Nasional is divided. Perikatan Nasional is divided. Sabah is divided. Sarawak is divided.

And that is good for the Raja-Raja Melayu.

In 1982, Dr Mahathir was strong. Umno and Barisan Nasional were also strong. They won the 1982 general election with 61% of the popular votes and 86% of the seats. Then the ‘Constitutional Crisis 1.0’ was launched.

In the 1986 general election, Umno and Barisan Nasional won 57% of the popular votes and 84% of the seats. So the ‘Constitutional Crisis 2.0’ was launched.

One lesson the Raja-Raja Melayu learned from the 1960s and 1980s is that, when the government is weak, they need the Raja-Raja Melayu, when the government is strong, they try to get rid of the Raja-Raja Melayu. Political developments of the 1960s and 1980s have proven that.

Hence, as long as the politicians are divided and fight amongst themselves and remain weak, the Raja-Raja Melayu are safe. But when the politicians are strong, the Raja-Raja Melayu will face clear and present danger.

But the Raja-Raja Melayu must not take sides in the political battles. If they do, the politicians who win will no doubt praise the Raja-Raja Melayu and call them wise, but those who lose will condemn the Raja-Raja Melayu and say nasty things about them. The Raja-Raja Melayu must wisely remove a strand of hair from flour without spilling any of it or kill with a borrowed knife.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

MALAYSIA TODAY

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