By Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin Muhriz
This booklet contains articles chosen often from the author's column, Abiding instances, in theSun, Malaysia, in addition to people with Tengku Zatashah Idris, Syed Haizam Jamalullail, Sharyn Shufiyan and Quek Sue Yian. released among March 2008 and August 2010, they have been written within the interval after Tunku Zain's go back from the U.S. and as much as the Proclamation of the eleventh Yang di-Pertuan Besar. From calling for the assessments and balances so the most important to the potent functioning of a democratic society to be reinforced, to reminding all contributors in a democratic society in their rights and obligations, the author writes in language that's effortless to learn and with a wry feel of humour.
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02 MPs Serve the People, Not the Party theSun, 27 March 2008 MY previous article contended that Parliament and Federalism would be the most important winners of the elections. There has been ample evidence of the latter in the appointments of the Menteris Besar of Perak, Selangor, Perlis and Terengganu: the state monarchs have exercised heretofore unused constitutional responsibilities to appoint new heads of government, and there have also been disagreements, or at least ‘miscommunications’ between national party headquarters and state party offices, of which the case of the DAP in Perak and the BN in Perlis are the most obvious examples.
An event last weekend co-organised by the Malaysia Think Tank and the Centre for Public Policy Studies asked many of these questions in relation to local council reforms. Over 40 people turned up to hear an academic, a lawyer, an activist and an MP speak on the policy and administration of local matters. Once upon a time, we did have local elections, but regulations in 1965 suspended them due to Konfrontasi and since then, the role and responsibilities of local government have blurred with time.
And then I’m asked about loyalty to my race, and I hesitate. I am Minangkabau: a portmanteau derived from our buffalo calf which disembowelled the enemy Javanese bull. In the 14th century, Adityawarman established a dynasty, some of whose future subjects would cross the Malacca Straits and settle in what became Negeri Sembilan. There they would endure uneasy relations with the Bugis in Selangor and Johor around them. The situation was also volatile in my other homeland where the Batu Bersurat lay: apart from regional power plays, there were disputes such as the 1830s Civil War and 1928 Rebellion which were put down by the Menteri Besar with the approval of the British, who had finally established an Advisor there only after heroic resistance from Sultan Zainal Abidin III.
Abiding Times by Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin Muhriz