PETALING JAYA: PKR’s Rafizi Ramli and Amanah’s Mujahid Rawa are “dreamers” for dismissing the need for the King and rulers to provide a check-and-balance for Putrajaya, says former Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim.
In commenting on the Pakatan Harapan leaders’ comments against the proposal to restore powers to the King and rulers to examine and approve bills, Zaid said Malaysia was not a normal democracy like England, where people power alone can move mountains, “Rafizi and Mujahid can criticise the idea, fine. Then, what is the way forward? “What ideas do they have?” he told FMT.
“We are not saying give the monarchy absolute powers.
“We are just saying that at the time of Merdeka until 1994, the monarchy had those powers and we were a more democratic society.”
He said perhaps if some of these powers were restored, then perhaps democracy can be returned to a certain extent as, at present, there is no democracy in the country.
Zaid said in an ideal democracy, “people power” ruled the day, but Malaysia was far from an ideal democracy.
“So we need to be realistic and to be creative in getting there. At present, we need the help of the royals to do so.”
Earlier today, Malay Mail Online reported that PKR Secretary-General Rafizi Ramli and Amanah Vice-President Mujahid Yusof Rawa disagreed with the calls to restore some powers to the monarchy.
Rafizi said the existing constitutional monarchy system is best for the country, while Mujahid said reforms should be carried out through a democratic process.
On Saturday, it was reported that the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, had called for an amendment to the Federal Constitution to restore the powers of the King or rulers to examine and approve bills.
He said this was necessary because it was not appropriate for these powers to be restricted or eliminated.
In May 1994, following a constitutional amendment, any law which has been passed by both the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara will become law within 30 days, irrespective of whether the King had given his assent.