Mahathir’s Republic-The Sultan’s Must Go

The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.” Charles de Montesquieu


The idea of a presidential-style republic has never been too far off the mind of Dr. Mahathir. And because he is so obsessed with that idea of government and nation, he has been running Malaysia like a US-style republic of sorts since GE 14 without the necessary checks and balances in place.

In his previous incarnation as prime minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir had in fact already been running government in presidential style. He appointed, hired and fired his ministers at random. If they did not comply and comply without question with his ideas directives and his decisions even if these fell way outside of the law he would not only fire them but also destroy their reputations forever.

It mattered not that what he did or failed to do fell outside the bounds of the authority or jurisdiction of the constitution vested in him and the parliament.

But who was there then to advise him of what the constitution was all about anyway? Malaysia’s legal fraternity who he has always held in utmost contempt were then as they are now but an elevated bunch of petition writers with superfluous law degrees obtained on the cheap from local and foreign universities.

The ministries of finance, defence, industry, education, health and in fact every ministry of government, Dr. Mahathir saw as an extension of himself. He ruled over them using his own powers of intimidation and exercised his authority over them as prime minister and absolute leader.

Mahathir did not mind that his totalitarian misconduct in this regard was outside of the constitutional powers, rights, obligations and limitations bestowed upon him as prime minister. He did whatever he did simply because he could. None of the “legal greats” inside and outside of parliament knew enough of the law to rein the man in.


Karpal Singh the “Lion of Jelutong” much like his son, a loudmouth pussycat who yelled and screamed threats and insults in parliament and in court was in fact was a lightweight in the law. And so too are the likes of Lim Kit Siang another lawyer who has served a lifetime in parliament.

It was Karpal who outed Anwar as a homosexual in parliament in 1998. His son Gobind honours his father’s crooked legacy with his service to Anwar’s nemesis and executioner today. He sits alongside Mahathir with a straight face, his hand on his heart.

None of these lawyers believe in or practise the law within the ethical bounds of the law or that of the profession. Little do most of them understand the law, apart from having to obtain a law degree first as a prerequisite to bullying, abusing their clients and profiteering from their incompetence as “lawyers” because “no one is minding the store”.

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

These same lawyers turned politicians like Gobind and his father before him, Tommy Thomas now attorney general of Malaysia, Ambiga Srinivasan and others like them have conveniently and shamelessly appropriated to themselves the reputations of great lawyers of a time gone by.

Lawyers like SP and DR Seenivasagam, Hussein Onn, Ramani and others like them had reputations that were earned. The current crop of lawyers in Malaysia with a few exceptions have no reputations to speak of.

None of Karpal, Tommy Thomas, Ambiga Srinivasan or Lim can point to any seminal works of law or cases which they have had conduct of in their time which have made it into the annals of the commonwealth legal records.

None of their work can be regarded as persuasive or authoritative in the common law. Where they may have participated in any of seminal, groundbreaking reported cases it is mostly because they were able to seek the assistance of and rode on the backs of English and Indian lawyers who injected the critical components of the fight to have achieved any credible result in the courts.


Mahathir today appoints “eminent persons” like the US president appoints secretaries for each portfolio in government e.g. secretary of state, secretary of commerce, secretary of defence and so on. None of these are elected representatives of either House of the Senate or Congress although they may be. And Mahathir has no constitutional authority or power to apportion to an unelected coterie of his friends those powers only the King has right power and authority to appoint.

The President of the US may select potential candidates from any walk of American life — business, education, the military, or those already in government service. The Ineligibility Clause of the U.S. Constitution, however, states “no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.”

Mahathir selects the most compliant and the weakest from amongst those who have misbehaved in office or those who have skeletons rattling away in their closets, desperate enough to do his every bidding. And the only way in which they are able to conceal what dirt there is on them, is to comply blindly with the directions of the man who admitted to having been a dictator in his previous incarnation as prime minister.


“In the infancy of societies, the chiefs of state shape its institutions; later the institutions shape the chiefs of state.” Charles de Montesquieu

Mahathir’s other and most pressing objective in government is as he once disclosed to a visiting American dignitary to “rid Malaysia of its Sultans and Royals.” “They” he said referring to Malaysia’s traditional rulers or sultans, “do nothing useful, encourage waste and laziness amongst the Malays.” He went further to suggest they “breed like dogs and cats having children with every beauty queen or other people’s wives”.  

In the same breath Mahathir revealed the source of his contempt for Malay rulers thus;

My wife and I had to work like slaves to get to where we are. I always encouraged my children to do the same. My grandmother had to wash the floors and dirty clothes of royals and they were very rude, disrespectful and cruel to her”.  He then said he did not want this for Malaysia. Which Malaysia he did not say.

He pointed out to the dignity and power accorded to the traditional rulers of Malaysia as being like ‘the chains to which the Malays are bound’. “They are like slaves to them. Even the educated ones”. And perhaps given the history of the misconduct of the Sultans of Johor he may well have a point or two there. But certainly not with the rest of them. A single swallow does not a summer make.

The present King of Malaysia may have unwittingly done his bit to help reinforce Mahathir’s views of Malaysia’s traditional rulers by his failure to obtain quality independent and comprehensive advise before swearing in Mahathir’s government in 2018.

That omission by the King itself points to some perceived weakness in the character and willpower of the man (whether true or not) in the office of the King. He is said to be a man whose skeletons Mahathir is well aware of and has rattled as a warning.

There still remain legal and constitutional grounds and opportunities for the King to withdraw his appointment of a government under Mahathir which continues to violate the constitution (and by that the King’s own authority) with impunity. But as they say “who cares and who’s watching anyway, especially if the King himself appears not to care?”

The King is empowered under the constitution to sack the government and has the grounds and authority to do so now if he so wishes to and if pressure builds on him from his subjects to act.

The Malays otherwise to a man will have to live with and accept responsibility for the destruction Mahathir rains upon them.

The mooted appointment of Richard Malanjum as replacement Chief Justice is a poor choice for a number of reasons. It will be a trigger for religious and possibly racial strife in Malaysia.

It will deal another blow and rubbing dirt in the face of the Malays and Muslims with the appointment of a Christian right winger whose public comments on the Syariah have demonstrated his contempt for Islam and the Malays. Malanjum’s appointment if it goes ahead will reinforce the dominance of Christian Syariah (the current underlying doctrines of Malaysia’s British Christian (Anglican) style constitution) a set of laws based on Protestant Christianity and imposed on the Malays for over 3 centuries now.


There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children”. Nelson Mandela.

In Australia, the UK and the US Christian (Protestant, Evangelical and especially Catholic) churches are on trial. They are on trial for the systematic abuse of children over centuries. It is a practice that continues unabated in the churches. And Mahathir wants a Christian attorney general and a chief justice in the name of secularity and in the name of his republic?

The stacking of Christians in positions of power and authority for no other reason than to enforce Christian secularism on a Muslim majority in an effort to humiliate the Malays and Muslims will only hasten the notion of Ketuanan Melayu and the Islamization of Malaysia from a secular state to a radical theocracy.

It remains thus far only the Sultan of Selangor who has escaped the wrath or the blackmailing by Dr. Mahathir.

The Sultan remains stoic in his views of his role as traditional head of government the religion of Islam and guardian of the culture and traditions of the Malays. More important he keeps himself informed unlike the other Sultans.


“Out, damned spot! out, I say”- McBeth

There is much that Dr. Mahathir desperately along with Tunku Razaleigh and Daim Zainuddin need to destroy if Mahathir can’t cover it up himself.

The death of Jalil Ibrahim is but one of them.

 “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!”- MacBeth

6 Responses to “Mahathir’s Republic-The Sultan’s Must Go”
  1. Tipah says:

    Two third majority in the parliment is needed to change the constitution..

    No shakespere quotation can change that.


    • grkumar says:

      You have a point there where the conventional requirement for change is concerned. But you must also note that there has been no constitutional referendum as is required for those changes that have occurred stealthily since independence. A two thirds majority is required to change articles of the constitution. As it stands today the constitution and all its conventions appear to be suspended without a declaration or statement to that effect. However it is the acts and omissions that have gone unchallenged that matter more than the words that are used in the articles of the constitution that appear to matter now. There is no Shakespeare in my comments. But then again….if it is Shakespeare to you, I am perhaps dealing with a Malaysian lawyer.


      • Joe says:

        ” As it stands today the constitution and all its conventions appear to be suspended without a declaration or statement to that effect. However it is the acts and omissions that have gone unchallenged that matter more than the words that are used in the articles of the constitution that appear to matter now”

        Bro.. There is ex CJ.. ex judges…thousands of lawyers in Bar Council… Lawyers in UMNO… Lawyers in PKR…lawyers in DAP…. Royalties which got lawyers advice..

        Till today only you said something about constitution suspension.


      • grkumar says:

        One wonders what they are doing about it. One wonders about the so called standards about these lawyers and judges.


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