Saturday, December 1, 2012
As the General Election is drawing near, it is a good time to see and reflect the Government that we have previously elect in the election. Malaysia adapted closely the Westminster system of Parliamentary Democracy where the elected representative who make up the majority in the Parliament will formed a government. In the case of Constitutional Monarchy, a reserved power were given to the monarch to appoint from the side who win at least a simple majority as the Head of Government who shall lead the Government in the name of the reigning monarch. In this series, we will see the relation between the Government and the monarch and how well both of this institution cooperate with one another in each respective State's political landscape. The first the State that we will see in the series is the State of Kelantan Darul Naim.
Kelantan since 2008
Since the General Election 2008, the State Assembly witnessed a major changes in the seats between the serving government and the opposition. Since 1990, the State Government has always been formed by the Islamic based party, Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz bin Nik Mat, the Menteri Besar of Kelantan once again received the mandate from the Kelantanese for another term.
And compare to that of 2004, the 2008 General Election witnessed that PAS formed the Government with a landslide victory. This make the State Government can focused more on another important matter such as the 5% Oil Royalty Payment. The state claimed that they have the right and should received royalty from the oil produced on the state offshore. And, it is this stable government that help the troubling monarchy in its time of need.
When the Government swore their Oath of Allegiance in 2008, the reigning Sultan was His Royal Highness Sultan Ismail Petra II. He has ruled the State of Kelantan for almost 30 years. It is not the first and probably not the last that the Sultanate of Kelantan will witnessed problems during the succession of the crown. The health of Sultan Ismail Petra was deteriorated in 2009, led to a regency by his first son, Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra.
During the early stage of the regency, there are not much of a problem. Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra is well received by the Kelantanese. As a down to earth Crown Prince, the Kelantanese have a very deep expectation for the Regent, that he can do well as a Regent and as well as the Al-Sultan of Kelantan when the time comes. Nevertheless, the trouble soon occur when the royal family of Kelantan suffer a fate of controversial issue when the Crown Prince's sister-in-law, Manohara Odelia Pinot fled to Indonesia with her mother when they are in Singapore with her husband, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra to visit the Sultan Ismail Petra II where he was hospitalized there. And the worst is yet to come.
After the controversial issue of the wife of a Prince, another issue splat out to the royal family, and this time with the shocking news of the second wife of the Sultan, Che Puan Elia Suhana who the marriage is kept secret within the royal circles. The marriage is proved to be valid. In addition, a tug-of-war fight also arise between the Regent and his brother, Tengku Temenggung of Kelantan. The State Government has done a good job not to intervened with the Palace's affairs. But after almost a year with a problematic monarchy, it has come to a boiling point where the State Government has billed out an amendment to the State Constitution regarding the regency where any Sultan which proved incapacitate more than a year need to abdicate the throne. During the State Assembly session, both the government and opposition alike unanimously in favour of the amendment.
Thus, without much hardship, Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra were proclaimed as the Al-Sultan of Kelantan with a reigning name of Sultan Muhammad V. Even though during the early stage of His Royal Highness ascended the throne, there are several attempt to challenge the validity of the succession, the position of Sultan is secured especially when the Conference of Ruler acknowledge the position of Sultan Muhammad V as the new Sultan of Kelantan.
Nevertheless the role played by the Government of Kelantan during the royal family feud is something to be praised. It is very hard to see a Government that willing to help the monarchy and upholding the royal institution. Until next time with another episode of His Royal Highness's Government.