KUALA LUMPUR: Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today said the Conference of Rulers (CoR) had a role to play when there was a crisis affecting the nation, adding this should be done for the good of the people and the country.
“Should governance stall, and the three branches are found wanting, the CoR could take the lead.
“And it can be done. After all, historically the Rulers were the source of our constitution. It stands to reason for the country to go back to the CoR if the constitution, purposely or otherwise, is shunted aside,” he said.
(The three branches of the government are the executive, legislature and judiciary)
Razaleigh, better known as Ku Li, said this in his speech at the launch of the book, “The End of Umno? Essays on Malaysia’s Dominant Party” at a private club here.
The longest serving MP in the Dewan Rakyat since 1974, said the CoR existed more in spirit in the constitution although without a structured body, such as having an independent budget and a comprehensive administrative structure.
“The point is that the CoR could have functioned as a collective force in addition to the three branches of the government for the good of the people and the country,” Razaleigh said.
His remarks are seen in the context of former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah last month on the Citizens’ Declaration.
Mahathir later said he failed to convince the King on the demands outlined in the declaration which carried more than 1.4 million signatures.
However, those behind the Citizens’ Declaration sent letters to all the Rulers – appealing that action be taken against Prime Minister Najib Razak for alleged wrongdoings.
The letter was sent ahead of the CoR which was held from Oct 11 to 19.
“We want to know whether the Rulers have any opinion on 1MDB and the action by the United States Department of Justice on assets purchased using funds allegedly embezzled from 1MDB, and what action should come out of it,” Dr Mahathir had said.
The former prime minister said as it was the people’s wish and the people are subjects of the Rulers, hence the Rulers were responsible for the fate of the citizens.
The document, and the movement which initiated it, has largely been dismissed by Barisan Nasional leaders as a “futile effort” to topple a democratically-elected government.