Standing Up For Hadi!

Amanah Youth has urged the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to revoke the “Tan Sri” title accorded to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang two years ago, over the latter’s “insolence and disrespect” against the Malay rulers.

According to Amanah Youth vice-chief Abbas Salimmi Adzmi, this was due to the Marang MP’s recent remark about plotting to topple the government led by Anwar Ibrahim, which the former said went against the king’s decree for political stability.

“What Hadi (above) is doing now should not be left to continue. Many times the Agong has decreed that all work together to defend the government and help the country recover.

“As a senior Muslim politician, he (Hadi) should work together to build the country, for the sake of the rakyat, and not be power hungry and try to topple the government,” Abbas told the media after handing a memorandum urging action against Hadi at the Istana Negara this morning.

Our comment

If Hadi is plotting illegally to overthrow the government then he deserves exposure and punishment.

If not, he is entitled to oppose the present government and to long and wish for its replacement – even to predict it. At the moment, most people rightly do not share his longing and it is unlikely to get him far if he keeps to legal means.

On the other hand, those who are trying to counter his machinations by dragging in specious arguments about ‘royal approval’ and ‘royal decrees’ are doing more harm than good when it comes to Malaysia’s democratic progress.

The stability of the government comes from the alignment of Malaysia’s political parties who represent their electorate. The King accepted the inevitable when he appointed Anwar Ibrahim, who commanded the majority of support amongst MPs and who has shown that he holds the necessary Parliamentary approval to govern the country.

The role of a modern constitutional monarch is to act as a referee in this process to ensure the enforcement of the rules, not to ‘decree’ as he/she chooses nor to ‘appoint’ a prime minister who does not represent the majority of MPs (despite the very unfortunate and regressive precedent of the previous coup government).

Seeking to curry favour with less sophisticated citizens by suggesting Hadi is ‘going against the decree of the King’ in opposing the present government is therefore to create a backward misunderstanding of how democracy works.

Malaysia is currently blessed with a government led by progressives (including Amanah) who should honour their duty to speak in terms that reflect the actual roles of the country’s institutions and not some feudal arrangement from the past.

Whether Hadi should ever have been awarded his title in the first place is an entirely separate matter.

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