Conference on federalism told of Malay legacy in rule of law

Lawyer Rosli Dahlan speaks at the ‘Federalism in Malaysia Conference 2019’.

SEREMBAN: An inaugural conference to discuss federalism heard that Malay cultural legacy can be made the basis of improving relations between Putrajaya and the states.

Lawyer Rosli Dahlan told the “Federalism in Malaysia Conference 2019” officiated by Negeri Sembilan ruler Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir that the states could serve as examples in the management of a federation.

He cited the example of Negeri Sembilan which was originally made up of nine districts which were merged into a single entity.

Rosli said there is a “healthy body of Malay precedents” in the form of proverbs which are actually legal maxims.

He cited two examples of proverbs which he said was linked to the rule of law in a federation.

“One is ‘Biar mati anak jangan mati adat’ (sacrifice the child but not the customs) where the word ‘adat’ actually refers to law or common law, not just customary rites,” said Rosli.

He also cited the proverb “Raja adil raja disembah, raja zalim raja disanggah” (a just ruler is to be obeyed, a cruel ruler is to be deposed).

The two-day conference which ends today is themed “Redefining the Federal-State Relationship in Malaysia”, and is co-organised by Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Nilai Resources Group and law firm Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill.

In his speech, Tuanku Muhriz said there was a need to explore the subject of fiscal decentralisation as an avenue to increase direct income to enable states to implement projects.