Without hidden hands, the Sultanate of Johor would not dare attack Mahathir government so openly. It definitely smells a rat when some nine student activists exposed how a group of four academics from local universities were involved in advising the Conference of Rulers and convinced the monarchies to reject the Rome Statute.
The gang of four who had apparently ill-advised the Conference of Rulers are Universiti Teknologi Mara’s deputy vice-chancellor and dean of Faculty of Law Prof Rahmat Mohamad, International Islamic University of Malaysia’s law lecturer Assoc Prof Shamrahayu Ab Aziz, and Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia’s law lecturers Fareed Mohd Hassan and Hisham Hanapi.
Is there anybody out there actually believe the nine sultans in the country somehow had approached the four academics to prepare some papers on Rome Statute and presented them “secretly”, without any involvement from some politicians who harboured the evil intention of triggering a conflict between the country’s monarchy and the new government?
Strangely, Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail fired his first shot at Mahathir administration on March 10, claiming that there could be orchestrated war crimes to eliminate the country’s royal institution, but the papers prepared by the four academics were dated April 2. It was like an afterthought that some “biased” papers were prepared to justify the rejection of the Rome Statute.
The justification papers conveniently but laughably used the tribunals set up against Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany and Emperor Hirohito of Japan – two monarchies who were involved directly in World War I and World War II, respectively – to conclude that the Malay Rulers in the country were not immune from prosecution by the ICC (International Criminal Court).
While it is a public knowledge the majority of the local university lecturers possess an IQ worse than a carrot, it’s flabbergasting that the supposedly wise Sultanate of Johor actually believed Emperor Hirohito was innocent. The Japanese emperor was directly responsible for the war crimes committed by the Empire of Japan in many Asia-Pacific countries during the period of Japanese imperialism.
Is there any plan by the country’s monarchy to expand the Empire of Malaysia through military invasion and imperialism against its neighbouring countries, Southeast Asia, and even Asia-Pacific for that matter, and in the process slaughter millions of innocent lives, the same way the Empire of Japan had done under Emperor Hirohito during the World War II (1939-45)?
Don’t make my toes laugh. Only four out of the 28 Russian fighter jets owned by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) are able to take to the skies – revealed Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu last July. Any military intervention needs tons of money. The Malaysian Army’s financial state was so pathetic that army trucks were used to transport students to schools.
The jurisdiction of Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) covers four international crimes – genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression. The reason the U.S. is not a member is because the global community will punish America for its aggressive foreign policy by using the ICC to prosecute American soldiers and other military actors.
Obviously, the nine Malay Rulers in the country will not be subjected to ICC prosecution simply because Malaysia is a constitutional and not an absolute monarchy, unlike Japanese Emperor Hirohito. Hence, the fierce rejection of the Rome Statute, especially by the Sultanate of Johor, was nothing but a political game seeking revenge by the second generation of the monarchy.
The Johor Crown Prince has made it his personal vendetta against Mahathir even before the corrupted Najib regime collapsed last May. Back in 2016, the prince cried, whined, moaned and bitched about the old man. Basically, he was referring to the 1993 Constitutional Crisis – which involved the stripping of the monarchs’ legal immunity.
The Johor prince, who was only 8-year-old during the crisis, said – “I will never forget the 1992 constitutional crisis. I remember things such as trying to disband the Johor Military Force, Johor Exco members were told not to receive my late grandfather at the airport, how JKR was told not to fix and maintain anything at any of the Johor Palaces.”
Recalling how his mother was stopped by Malaysian officials upon her return home from Singapore, the crown prince said – “I still remember how my family was treated by the federal government officers. She was told to step out of the car because they wanted to inspect everything in the car. I still remember everything and I still remember the individuals responsible for it.”
The Johor Crown Prince might still feel insulted that his family was stripped away the VVIP treatments during the 1992 crisis. However, the fact remains that had his grandfather (Sultan Mahmud) behaved and didn’t beat up hockey coach Douglas Gomez in 1992, not to mention the murder of a golf caddie in 1987 while serving as Agong (King), Mahathir would not have had the excuse to strip the monarchy of their immunity.
The intervention of Sultan Ibrahim of Johor in protecting his crown prince has made the war of words between the 93-year-old PM Mahathir Mohamad and the 35-year-old Crown Prince Tunku Ismail more explosive than Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un during the nuclear weapon confrontation. Things heated up a few notches after Mahathir told all and sundry that the Johor prince was not above the law.
On the day Johor Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) Osman Sapian was rumoured to resign, the crown prince childishly tweeted that his father, the Sultan of Johor, had wanted to replace Mr Osman for some months. He said – “The order to change the Menteri Besar has been said before. But someone else wants to take the credit and mileage, as if he ordered it.”
Without the crown prince realising it, his admission that Chief Minister Osman only resigned two days ago (April 9) after a meeting with Mahathir, despite months of lobbying by the Johor Palace to replace him, goes to show that the prime minister is still the boss calling the shot, and not the royalty as the future Sultan of Johor would like people to believe.
But the biggest controversial remark which attracted the attention of PM Mahathir was when the crown prince said that the power to choose the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) is the absolute right of the Sultan. Get real, if the Sultan of Johor possesses the absolute right to do so, it would not be known as constitutional monarchy but an absolute monarchy, would it not?
Going by the sultan’s amusing logic, probably his crown prince can contest for a state election and upon winning the seat; the monarch can thereafter appoint his own son as the Chief Minister. Perhaps the Johor Sultan thinks the Kingdom of Johor was an “independent nation” when he warned unnamed parties, obviously referring to premier Mahathir, not to interfere with his state’s affairs.
Mahathir gladly and cleverly answered that the federal government is authorised to comment on Johor’s affairs as the state is part of the federation. The prime minister, despite his advanced age, has proven to be a hard nut to crack when he said the role of appointing the new Johor Menteri Besar lies with the party that won the election, not with the Johor Sultan.
Like it or not, Mr. Mahathir is the only man in the entire nation who has the balls of steel to confront the monarchies. Not even PM-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim has a fraction of the old man’s guts when comes to war with any of the nine sultans. In fact, the more one tries to intimidate or bully the world’s oldest prime minister, the more he will fight back.
The Sultanate of Johor, and the rest of the monarchies for that matter, should be careful what they wish for. At Mahathir’s current ripe age of 93, do you really think he is afraid of anybody or anything now? He has nothing to lose but everything to gain should the royalty challenges him to a war. In fact, he’s begging the monarchy to declare war on him.
Today (April 11), PM Mahathir fired his first warning shot – “There have been a lot of attempts to make the Rulers unhappy with the government. But it is not going to succeed. It will fail. They cannot just get rid of the government and substitute it, unless of course you want to drop democracy and become a kleptocracy or become an autocracy.”
While his statement does not sound very threatening or fearsome, it contains hidden messages which could be absolutely deadly. Mahathir is notorious for saying one thing but meant another altogether. Any dumb moves or missteps from the Sultanate of Johor could be interpreted as possible attempts of overthrowing the legitimate government or even inciting an uprising against the Agong (King).
If the Johor Palace is not careful, not only the crown prince, but also Sultan Ibrahim himself could be dragged and charged in a Special Court. Established in 1993 after the Constitutional Crisis, the Special Court has exclusive jurisdiction to try all offences committed in the Federation by the “Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King)” or the Ruler of a State, which in this case include Sultan Johor.
Perhaps the Sultanate of Johor thinks Mahathir, who ruled the country with an iron-fist for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, is an easy meat today due to his old age. The question is can you handle the old ginger? If he could single-handedly tame the nine monarchies when they still possessed immunity in 1993, how difficult it is to handle a sultanate without immunity today?
For all you know, Mahathir probably has already prepared the necessary chess pieces for the Royal Rumble. One has to remember the life of this old horse is on the battlefields. Retirement makes his life dull and meaningless. He had brought down his successors PM Abdullah Badawi and PM Najib Razak, not to mention deputies and opponents like Musa Hitam, Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar Ibrahim.
Source : Finance Twitter