Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pakatan wants to ‘destroy’ constitutional monarchy, claim Malay groups

August 22, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — An umbrella body of Malay rights groups today accused the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) of having “grand designs” of turning Malaysia into a republic, citing the Penang sermon issue and last year’s resistance to the Perak political putsch.

Malay Consultative Council (MPM) secretary-general Dr Hasan Mad claimed that there have been four cases where PR have shown their “utter contempt” for the rights of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as well as the Sultan of various states in the country.

“Quarters in society, mostly from Pakatan Rakyat, are trying to destroy the concept of constitutional monarchy. They want Malaysia to be a republic, and do away with the rights of our kings,” Hasan told reporters here.

The remarks from MPM, which is led by Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali, come on the back of allegations made by Penang Umno liaison chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi that several mosques in the Tasek Gelugor, Permatang Pauh and Jelutong areas had replaced the name of the King with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in Friday sermons.

“This latest incident is not new. It is an addition to other cases where there is a blatant disrespect towards the Royal institution,” said Hasan.

The MPM previously had focused on pressuring the Najib administration to keep what it called Malay rights and privileges in the economic sector despite reforms under the proposed New Economic Model (NEM).

Most of its members are small organisations dominated by Perkasa, the Malay rights group founded by Ibrahim, the Pasir Mas MP.

“There are at least four more cases where this has happened. In Perak, when Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Kadir took over as Mentri Besar, Pakatan challenged the constitution as well as the Perak Sultan.

“Recently in Selangor this happened where the Queen was not invited to a function... also in Johor where the Johor Sultan’s picture was used by Chua Jui Meng,” he added.

The MPM committee member claimed that PR was secretly stoking the “hatred” among people towards the concept of a constitutional monarchy.

“The khatib involved in uttering Guan Eng’s name during the sermon... he would not have done that if he was not pressured,” Hasan claimed.

The Penang PR government today, however affirmed its loyalty to the King as it sought to contain the debacle over the on-going issue of the Friday sermons.

Umno has listed six mosques which have swapped the names in sermons delivered by guest khatibs (prayer leaders) since February, with its newspapers claiming Lim’s government was being disrespectful to the King.

PR has denied the allegations and Lim chaired an emergency meeting today where they passed a 10-point resolution over the issue that could cost the coalition Malay Muslim votes in the next general election.

State religious affairs executive council member Abdul Malik Kassim on Friday said the state or the religious affairs department have not received or issued any directive over the use of Lim’s name in Friday sermons.

They however admitted that some prayer leaders had mentioned Lim’s name in the context of seeking Allah’s grace to get the chief minister convert to Islam.

Yesterday, Mansor and Malik in a joint state statement urged Umno to stop politicising the issue, saying the Malay party should just lodge reports to police and the Islamic authorities for investigations.

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