Time to get tough on those who insult monarchy, says Rais Yatim

Rais Yatim urges authorities to act to stop the belittling of Malay rulers on social media.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians should not belittle the institution of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the monarchy, said sociocultural adviser to the government Rais Yatim, in the wake of online comments following Sultan Muhammad V’s resignation.

Rais also urged the authorities to take firm action against those who try to exploit the matter, adding that the Agong’s resignation should not be politicised.

He said the resignation was done in an “orderly manner in line with the constitution”.

“There is no need for any party to try to champion the issue and degrade the dignity of Tuanku on social media.

“However, there are certain people who are deliberately expressing views that are not constructive and don’t contribute to the nation’s harmony,” he told Bernama.

He said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) could act under the relevant sections of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 to stop insulting remarks against the Agong.

“We have to prove to the people of this country and the outside world that we are serious about this matter,” he said.

Rais said there was a need for people to have a better understanding of constitutional monarchy.

“We cannot take this lightly. It’s not just about the person who is the King and resides at Istana Negara but the fact that this person, the King, represents all the citizens of this country.

“Those who belittle the institution of monarchy, however, don’t see the Agong as a part of our nation’s sovereignty,” he said.

Rais also called for an internal code of ethics among rulers to protect the constitutional monarchy system in the face of the increasingly challenging times.

“The rulers must create an internal code of ethics. There must be discipline in the institution. Those who are more influential must play a big role and protect it (institution of monarchy) from being tainted,” he said.