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Containing anger in Malaysian politics

Updated On: Sep 12, 2008

As Malaysian politics enter a heated phase, UMNO has moved quickly to suspend its Bukit Bendera division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail of his membership rights and stripped him of his posts for three years for uttering racially explicit remarks.

When this decision was made, the alliance parties of UMNO has immediately cheered the decision for taking into account the feelings and emotions of minorities in Malaysia. The component parties are uptight about Division Chief Ahmad as he has thus far refused to apologize for his remarks although appealing for calm amongst members of the Malay community.

While politicians slug it out in the open, the Malaysian police and military forces, generally seen as objective and professional, are on standby and will not hesitate to take stern action against people stoking racial tensions. This is specifically uttered by Deputy Inspector-General Tan Sri Ismail Omar.

One solution to the political turmoil that is being floated around is to bring the initiative back to the Malaysian royalty and strengthen the institution of Malay rule. This proposal is floated by Malaysian elites related to the royalty like Tengku Mahkota of Pahang and Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, both of whom specifically want to mobilize UMNO turn to the institutions of Malay rulers as the guardian of the country and the people, the Malay community and Islam.

The restoration of Malaysian royal power is seen as a move to reverse the royalty slide after the removal of the immunity powers of rulers. In other words, there is an acute need to reverse the slide of royal prestige. There is now a sentimental nostalgia about the active role of Malay royalty, incurring images of Merdeka, the spirit of racial co-existence, sovereignty and dignity of the nation.

Sources:

Bernama, "Tengku Abdullah Wants Umno To Strengthen Institution Of Rulers As Protector Of Malays" dated 11 September 2008 in the Bernama website [downloaded on 11 September 2008], available at http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v3/news.php?id=358429

The Star, "Ahmad Ismail suspended, stripped of posts for 3yrs" dated 11 September 2008 in the Star Online [downloaded on 11 September 2008], available athttp://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/9/11/nation/2001187&sec=...







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