Reflecting on the Perak defections

Today, I decided not to write any post but paste an excellent article from the Star.

This is written by Prof. Dr Shad Faruqi, a respected professor of law. The article is on the recent change of government in Perak.


Legal Turmoil over Perak defections      

What is worrying is that the fall-out of this crisis is sullying the reputation and credibility of many legal and constitutional institutions while the root cause – the despicable phenomenon of party hopping – remains unaddressed.

THERE is a constitutional impasse in Perak. The descent into naked and unprincipled struggle for power was triggered by the defection of a Barisan Nasional Assemblyman to Pakatan Rakyat and an immediate four-stroke counter-punch by the BN.

What is worrying is that the fall-out of this crisis is sullying the reputation and credibility of many legal and constitutional institutions – the Sultanate, the Election Commission, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the public prosecutor and the police. Despite this damage, the root cause – the despicable phenomenon of party hopping – remains unaddressed. Let’s examine some of these issues.

Defections: The “right” to switch parties in midstream is based on Article 10(1)(c) of the Federal Constitution which guarantees freedom of association.

However Article 10(2)(c) permits Parliament to restrict this freedom in the interest of security, public order and “morality”.

In the 80s the governments of Kelantan and Sabah passed anti-hopping laws to curb this right on the ground of morality.

However, in the Nordin Salleh (1992) case, the Federal Court declared that the anti-hopping law was unconstitutional on two grounds. First it was passed by the wrong legislature. Second – and this was most unconvincing – that the term “morality” does not cover political morality.

I believe that party hopping by an Assemblyman after his election on a party ticket amounts to a fraud on the electorate.

There are three possible ways of taming this turpitude. First, a constitutional amendment to Article 10 by a bi-partisan two-thirds majority should be attempted.

A second way could be for Parliament to enact an ordinary Anti-Defection Law and to enforce it immediately.

If and when the law is challenged on the Nordin Salleh precedent, vigorous arguments could be proffered to invite the Federal Court to overrule its prior, indefensible ruling.

One possible way of expediting the overruling of this bizarre decision is for the King to refer the issue to the Federal Court under Article 130 to seek an advisory opinion on the interpretation of the word “morality” in Article 10(2)(c).

A third way of enacting an anti-defection law would be to promulgate an Emergency Ordinance under Article 150. In the case of Stephen Kalong Ningkan (1968), the Privy Council ruled that “emergency” includes “collapse of civil government”.

Without doubt, defections bring about the collapse of civil government and an Emergency Ordinance would be legally, morally and politically justifiable.

Resignation letters: The legality of the undated resignation letters from the two Pakatan Rakyat defectors is at the heart of the constitutional imbroglio in Perak.

The Speaker of the Perak Assembly accepted the validity of the letters and issued a notice to the Election Commission. In favour of the Speaker’s view, it can be stated that in the UK it is part of the privileges of parliament to determine questions relating to casual vacancies in the House.

The decision of the House is generally regarded as final. Also, Article 35 of the Perak Constitution permits a member of the Assembly to resign “by writing under his hand addressed to the Speaker”.

The problem is that the two hoppers denied that they wrote to the Speaker. There is also a relevant judicial decision. In 1982 the validity of open-dated resignation letters was rejected by the High Court in the Sarawak case of Datuk Ong Kee Hui v Sinyium Mutit.

In the light of this decision and the denial by the two defectors, the Election Commission had some basis to make up its own mind and to declare that the seats had not fallen vacant.

Perhaps the safest thing was to seek a quick Federal Court decision on the interpretation of the Perak Constitution. The Perak Constitution in Articles 63-64 admirably provides for such a course of action. Regrettably, the parties to the dispute and the Sultan did not adopt this course of action.

Dissolution: Under the Federal and state Constitutions, the Sultan has an undoubted discretion, guided by his own wisdom and the broader interest of the state, to refuse a request for premature dissolution. We have examples from Kelantan and Sabah where such requests have been refused.

Confidence of the Assembly: Having been appraised that Pakatan Rakyat had lost the confidence of the Assembly, Tuanku Sultan was faced with many difficult choices. First, he could have prorogued the Assembly pending a court decision on the validity of the hoppers’ resignation letters and the question of vacancies.

Second, he could have asked the antagonists to face the Assembly and prove their support in accordance with usual parliamentary traditions. I am of the view that if an Assembly is in session, or can be quickly brought to session, it is its right to determine the question of confidence and no one should usurp this power nor should factors outside the Assembly be taken into consideration in determining the question of confidence.

Article 16(6) of the Perak Constitution is not crystal clear as to how it is to be determined whether the Mentri Besar has ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly but there is a 1966 Sarawak judicial decision in Stephen Kalong Ningkan v Tun Abang Hj Openg Tawi Sli that the Governor cannot dismiss a Chief Minister unless he is voted out by the Assembly.

In Perak, however, Tuanku took it upon himself to shoulder the lonely burden of determining who commanded confidence of the assembly. He took pains to interview all four defectors and to hear out the Mentri Besar and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak more than once.

The Sultan paid heed to the EC decision that there were no vacancies. Undoubtedly he was also influenced by the Speaker’s threat that the Speaker would not allow the defectors to enter the Assembly to participate in the confidence vote.

Dismissal of Mentri Besar: The Constitution of Perak in Article 16(7) states that a member of the Executive Council other than the MB shall hold office at the Sultan’s pleasure. This implies that an MB cannot be dismissed except by a vote of no confidence in the assembly.

The problem is Article 16(6) states that if an MB loses confidence then he has two choices. First, advise dissolution and second, if that request is denied, then resign. There is a lacuna in the law. What if an MB loses the confidence of the Assembly, is denied dissolution, but refuses to step down?

Can the Sultan dismiss him? It is submitted that life is always larger than the law. There are always unchartered territories. If an MB who has lost confidence, and is refused dissolution, is shameless enough not to walk away, then the Sultan would be justified in dismissing him, Article 16(7) notwithstanding.

But in Perak this was not the case. The question of losing confidence was not constitutionally investigated. There are many triable issues and the courts must accept the gauntlet.

Treason: Opinions are being expressed that to defy the Sultan and to threaten to go to court for defence of one’s legal rights amount to treason and a ground for deprivation of citizenship. There are fundamental misunderstandings here.

From day one of Merdeka, the King and the Sultans were open to civil suit for their official actions. They were only immune personally. In 1993 even the personal immunity was taken away.

In sum it is not a violation of the Constitution to resort to the courts to seek an authoritative opinion on one’s rights and duties. Where else does one go, what else does one do, if one has a claim?


49 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Peter Yew
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 16:49:49

    Dr Hsu,

    A very well written reflection article that raised every possible scenario that could have been attempted to resolve this impasse. I just got tired reading it, really! Our laws are such a jungle and being full of legalese makes lay people like me just want common sense to prevail. My simple motto is:

    When in double, go back to the people who first decided who should rule the state.


  2. Peter Yew
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 16:53:25


    When in doubt, go back to the people who first decided who should rule the state.


  3. cilipadi
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 17:30:40

    “Morality” should take precedent over “Legality”.

    Straight forward and save time. Go back to the people of Perak and seek a fresh mandate.

    Legally right may not be morally right.

    Morality is the yardstick to measure and solve this Perak fiasco. If not, your next PM Najib will be a legally appointed PM, but an immoral PM in the eyes of Malaysians.

    Malaysia can afford an immoral PM? Only you can answer that, not me, a non-Malaysian.


  4. Henry
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 17:54:47

    Dr Hsu,

    I know that this is not related to the above.

    A Multiracial Party Senior Leader being apointed to be Advisor “Chinese” to Perak MB seem degrating GERAKAN as a multiracial party.


  5. Monk
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 17:55:00

    Dr Faruqi always talks sense and is well respected among the intellectual circle. He also spoke very clearly when former PM ruled Malaysia an Islamic State. Compared to some MCA leaders like Ling comparing the label to an apple.

    Ha, ha… not only rots in the head first, we learn now that apples also rot from within while the outer appearance remains perfect.

    Chinese adage (wisdom): “See the face (outer appearance) you maybe familiar with but don’t know the heart within.”

    I remember Dr M saying that democracy is “not” the religion of Malaysia but the snake does better, he didn’t say but did it (the Perak coup).

    Legal or laws should be based on morality but there is such a big gap with added misinterpretations and misleading definitions that had been self serving for politicians. It happens everywhere though, so Americans called the laws as “the arse laws.” (Pardon the term)

    You can argue till the “ox” comes home, MCA leaders always debated this at meetings, about education (failure). Surprise? Yes, education and morals, aaah! Cilipadi, your favourite discussion. Some blame the shortcomings in the education system (and courses) that has produced “bad” politicians. There is no end to this debate.

    Sorry…off course. I have much respect for Dr Faruqi. Thank God, he is not a politician.



  6. klm
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 18:07:54

    Sorry guys. Morality don’t rhyme with power and politics. You have to to get real. Otherwise how to win the election. Like Dr Hsu said. One need to be ruthless to be a politician. Using power for the best good is the objective. A moralistic person ask too many philosophical questions and never get things done.

    You may argue. Pak Lah is a moralistic person. And he never get any things done.


  7. cilipadi
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 18:17:56


    You see. Another one appears right in front of my eyes. Hopeless.


  8. cilipadi
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 18:18:45

    Pak Lah is amoralistic person? Are you sure, klm?


  9. OBAMA
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 20:18:04

    Confucious once said: “Those who know what is wrong and talk a lot, yet do nothing is the worst cowardice of all”.

    Sadly this is exactly the situation in Msia just like most of the bloggers or commentators (local or alien) in Dr Hsu forum, where when asked to participate and do his/her part for good cause; full of excuses.

    So these people have no right to complain but mere chatterbox.


  10. Monk
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 20:57:29


    The world is wide and views are narrow. Vaclav Havel, the 10th president of Czechoslovakia by the name of Vaclav Havel.

    He received the highest award from the US, a presidential medal of freedom and another award as Ambassador of Conscience.

    He said, “Genuine politics–even politics worthy of the name–the only politics I am willing to devote myself to, is simply a matter serving those around us, serving the community and those who will come after us.

    “Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.”

    So Cilipadi, like children grown up around killers, they don’t know what is compassion and love. Malaysians have few noble-like politicians and leaders, like Tunku Abdul Rahman and those who had migrated permanently to the next world.

    Or younger generations never really know Tan Cheng Lock, his leadership style and command of the language.

    So politics to most people had to be self-centered and ruthless. I think political power should not be defined as able to things anyway and anything the politician likes. Imperial China had very powerful rulers but still met their “Waterloo”.

    Dr M was powerful and he is history today. Sure, ruthless and cruelty can allow them to get some of the things sometime, but not all time. Chatter we do, but it is still the truth. Even if we don’t say, the truth still exists.

    But there is no monopoly to knowledge and truth. The powerful can have the world but lose his soul. Nobody can bring one single cent after death no matter how powerful he person is. But we can bring much knowledge and wisdom with us to the next world in our consciousness.

    Never mind, Cilipadi. One type of grain feeds a thousand types of people. HA, haa. One topic with thousands views. Be accommodating.



  11. Monk
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 21:18:46


    A survey said 88 per cent disagreed with the ruler’s decision. No matter how ruthless the decision is, justice lies in the hearts of men, not in law books, legal statures.

    The natural moral code like karma is intangible, an energy manifesting given the right conditions are met. BN can keep Perak state by force with ruthless tactics.

    That’s particularly Malaysian politics. 88 police reports lodged against Karpal Singh, with majority from UMNO’s “children” (supporting organizations with racist agenda)…interesting.

    Sorry, Cilipadi, the moral argument dissipating…into thin air.



  12. cilipadi
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 21:35:51

    Thanks monk.

    I don’t even accuse who is who is immoral or don’t place morality an important place in their hearts, yet, we can read who are these people. Never mind, they have to be responsible what they did or going to do. It is none of my business anyway if they chose to be like that. Still, my mission to bring them to realization that ‘morality’ is important is somehow accomplished even if they disagree with what I commented. At least they read what I commented.

    “The world is imperfect ” but it should not be the excuse why we choose to remain as imperfect, like acting in concert with immoral people. Gerakan leaders who chose to accept an appointment in the newly Perak exco, to me, is immoral.

    If Dr. Hsu is selected to be in this Perak exco, do you think he will accept? The answer is sure no, simply because he is a person of high moral.

    Immoral people do not like to be labelled ‘immoral’, this is just human nature. Only themselves know exactly who they are actually.

    That is why I like the Malay idiom, siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas.


  13. Monk
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 22:01:19

    Haa haaa….well said Chilipadi. Just think, during the times of Buddha, Jesus, Guru Nanak and all those prophets, they could NOT even change many people’s mindsets who were around them.

    Who are u? Or me? You, just a small chilli with hot “sauna” taste that is bound to hurt some taste-buds.

    Never mind. Every man and nation have their own destinies. Planet earth carrying us has entered the “Kali” stage cycle (a cycle of cosmic time), started at midnight between 17th and 18th Feb, 3102 BC. It is a decisive moment for truth seekers as well as ruthless politics.

    UMNO can be fighting like hell for their rights but what is Malaysia compared to planet earth.

    A speck of dust in the universe. But don’t underestimate political power, it can cause delusions and illusions like a drug. Nevermind, Like an ant fighting for power in a well.

    It’s funny eh? More by-elections after Kedah and Perak. Ha, ha don’t believe me.



  14. cilipadi
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 22:18:00


    Tiny karmic forces, when combine, can be a strong force.

    Well said, who are u? or me?

    But who cares? so long we are morally right.

    How I wish “A true Malaysian” “Justin Choo” and “petestop” join their tiny forces with me and you. Hahaha. Look like they are still boycotting Dr. Hsu’s Forum. HeeHeeHee


  15. Monk
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 22:43:54

    Well, Chilipadi, it’s not fair for us to dominate this blog comments. We’re only guests of Dr Hsu.

    I won’t dare to say I am perfectly morally upright as I’m imperfect too.

    Tiny karmic forces? Don’t underestimate water, drops of water? Remember, the deadly tsunami?

    There are no forces here. Only individual views and sharing with each other. I am not seeking consensus, there is no need. After all, while great minds think alike, so are fools.

    I’m just another fool.

    I hope nobody boycott this blog. Dr Hsu writes well and clearly on vital issues. We may share his views or even disagree. But we should agree to disagree amicably. It’s only human to do so. We should not be angry and get hot under our collar like after eating chilli padi……ha…..ha.



  16. chinseng
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 22:52:35

    Dr. Hsu

    I agree with Peter Yew on

    “go back to the people who first decided who should rule the state.”

    OR at lease let all the Perak ADUN decide for themself who they will support by putting up a secret vote of no confidence or “even a vote of confidence” on which MB they support in an emergency state assembly to clear the air in Perak now.

    yang tak makan cilipadi, tak akan rasa pedas


  17. cilipadi
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 22:54:29

    Morality is not important. What if a judge is immoral, you tell me.

    Same thing is applicable for a MP or Adun, who is a politician. MP or Adun is law maker. Immoral MP or Adun makes immoral laws and policies. klm, you want to see this?

    “Morality don’t rhyme with power and politics” ? I feed you with strong dose of chillies.


  18. klm
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 23:05:39

    cilipadi. One of the earliest western thinker on politics is the Italian Niccolo Machiavelli. Machiavelli make a scientific study of Politics and Power. I quote the paragraph:

    “Machiavelli was the first to discuss politics and social phenomena in their own terms without recourse to ethics or jurisprudence. In many ways you could consider Machiavelli to be the first major Western thinker to apply the strictly scientific method of Aristotle and Averroes to politics. He did so by observing the phenomena of politics, reading all that’s been written on the subject, and describing political systems in their own terms. For Machiavelli, politics was about one and only one thing: getting and keeping power or authority. Everything else—religion, morality, etc—that people associate with politics has nothing to do with this fundamental aspect of politics—unles being moral helps one get and keep power. The only skill that counts in getting and maintaining power is calculation; the successful politician knows what to do or what to say for every situation. ”

    I still think Machiavelli’s thought is even more relevant today. It explains all the doings we see
    in modern day politics.


  19. klm
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 23:15:55

    cilipadi. All these bad ideas of power and politics are from the western world. 🙂


  20. Monk
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 23:18:10

    Chinseng and Yew is right. The contentious issue should go back to the people. Just thinking, had the EC just follow the Speaker in declaring the two seats vacant and hold the by-elections, will the problems still hold?

    It is already academic now, no point referring to the undated resignation letters.

    UMNO’s snake already wanted to recapture Perak state anyway. Former BN Perak MB already knew it was coming and privately disagreed which probably led to his resignation as party state chief (besides other reasons).

    There are still some good people in the party but overall, UMNO is a old party like husks, with no real soul. Paraphrase Roosevelt, Theodore.

    Like Gerakan, many UMNO leaders within dare not speak out wisely and fearlessly on what should be said. It is too boss-ridden and privilege-controlled and self-serving party.

    The series of by-elections should be an opportunity for Malaysians to speak through the ballot box.

    Malaysians have changed alot, thanks to internet. Dr Hsu should remember the defections of the two-Lim(s) from Gerakan to MCA. Reactions from the ground have changed tremendous.

    And the changes will continue to forge ahead. There’s no turning back.



  21. cilipadi
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 23:22:51


    Philosopher not always right.

    Gautama Buddha was a great philosopher. Yet, he does not impose his teachings to his disciples. He told you and me to think and analyze before accepting if there is any truth in his teachings.

    Did Machiavelli tell you to believe what he believed in?

    Kong Fuzi of China was a great philosopher, but was found to have many flaws that influence Chinese characteristics or mindset, both good and bad.

    Important, don’t follow blindly what you leaders say, more so if they are not people of high moral standing.

    Gerakan member, you still want to follow what KTK want you to do? I can’t answer for you.

    siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas


  22. cilipadi
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 23:31:51

    I better stop here and sipping my coffee.

    Let siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas comment.

    But, please use your brain to think first because you write. Anger won’t bring you anywhere. This is what I learn from my great teacher, Buddha.



  23. klm
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 23:32:49

    cilipadi. Machiavelli was not a philosopher. He was consultant to the Medici – on how to rule Venice.
    A practitioner. A pragmatist. On the ground person.

    And I think he was a Christian – a Catholic. (offense to anyone).


  24. klm
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 23:33:09

    sorry. I mean no offense


  25. Monk
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 23:53:26

    In the old days, Malayans don’t give a shit about politics, they merely have neither the time nor the will to take active roles because of the hardship in making ends meet.

    As lifestyles and banking accounts improve, people had second thoughts and said, what a shitty government, as policies and politics touch everything affecting their pockets and daily lives.

    People realized everything is politics. The mindset and psychological changes went further.

    Today, the growth of a civil society is blooming. Deep seated frustrations and anger and disappointments became catalyst for social and political changes.

    Cilipadi is right. Confucius maybe regarded a philosopher but a flawed one. Confucius was right in filial peity but dead wrong in moulding and conditioning the peasants to be submissive to the Emperor and he has a host of wise sayings on “great” man and benevolence. But he kept quiet when asked about spiritual realms even ghosts.

    What if, the government is corrupted and cruel? Why did Mao banned his teachings?

    Man as humans is composed of three levels. Physical, mental-emotional and spiritual. You cannot keep politics out of everything , Just as you can’t shut off morals from human beings. Regardless they are politicians, pauper, king or peasants. Everybody is subjected to morals whether knowingly or rejecting it (the truth). Even if we are dead. That’s the cosmic law. Inescapable. This is not a philosophy but the truth of life or “being”.

    Probably most politicians don’t give a shit about morality but it does not mean the natural laws don’t apply. Like physical laws, if we jump off from the top level of the the twinned tower building without a parachute, the physical laws apply as well. Laws governing emotion and spiritual laws. Defector Hee Yit Fong is reaping the emotional reactions.

    Cilipadi, you are wise in your views irrespective Buddhism or otherwise.Truth don’t need labels and endorsement from philosophers.



  26. romerz
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 02:27:15

    Dr Hsu,

    If you are interested, I’m currently having an online debate with Lim Si Pin in his blog about the legality of what HRH did.

    My last argument to him has not been replied yet but I’ll reproduce below what I said.

    Si Pin,

    I’m glad you brought up Article 16(7). This article is specific that only members of the EXCO and NOT the MB serves at the pleasure of HRH.

    I take this to mean that HRH can fire any EXCO on his own without further reference to any other provisions but it specifically makes an exception with regards the MB.

    So if the MB does not serve at the pleasure of HRH then to what higher authority does he serve? This brings us back to the assembly. I believe the constitution intended the assembly to be a check and balance on HRH and vice versa.

    As you said nowhere does it state in the constitution that there must be a show of hands or secret ballot for HRH to determine if the MB still commands the confidence of the majority likewise nowhere is it stated that HRH can determine this confidence or the lack of it by interviewing each of the assembly persons.

    in the absence of written law or procedure in the constitution then the wisdom is that convention shall apply ie to follow convention of democratic parliamentary procedures practiced by older democracies on which our system is based upon.

    As I said earlier, the method in which HRH used to determine confidence is also not provided for in the constitution so in the absence of written law, case precedence should apply and convention be adhered to.

    And as Art Harun said, Ningkan’s case is still good law since it has not been overturned by a higher court of law.

    Furthermore in my opinion both assemblies are split assemblies. If you accept the argument that HRH is not empowered to determine confidence by ‘unconventional’ methods, then the obvious way to determine confidence is by way of a vote in the assembly as is the convention of the Westminster parliamentary system.

    I disagree with you that a vote of no confidence had been established since you argue that HRH’s unconventional way is sufficient whilst I argue that if we are to follow a system then we must follow it in its entirety and not omit parts not palatable to our objectives.

    That is why I say again, this matter is by no means sealed in concrete and must be allowed to proceed to court otherwise we are moving into uncharted territory giving our constitutional monarchs more ‘power’ than was intended with our constitutions.

    This is the crux of the problem. I ask again, is the constitution the highest authority in Malaysia?

    [Feel free to jump in over at Si Pin’s blog anytime 🙂 ]

    Despite my argument about the illegality of asking MB Nizar to resign, I still think he should resign now but under protest.

    From my latest posting.

    Patik memohon derhaka.


  27. klm
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 09:49:02

    Qin Shi Huang was right in killing the confucian philosophers of his days. Harking on traditions and morality prevented him from doing the things he need to do for the nation.


  28. cilipadi
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 10:50:57


    Let say if you won the debate, do you think Sin Pin will advise KTK to pull out Gerakan from BN?

    I bet Sin Pin will not do that. Just look at recently appointed advisors to MB, they can’t even win in election, no Perakian support them, yet can act as part of Exco.

    What for you debate on legality ground if the whole thing is immoral?

    Shame on you to have the idea of “Despite my argument about the illegality of asking MB Nizar to resign, I still think he should resign now but under protest.”

    You also think morality is not important. What a disappointment, romerz. You can even stand firm on ‘righteousness’.

    Don’t let your love of Gerakan blind you. You are having the same problem of Gerakan members.


  29. cilipadi
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 10:53:25

    Sorry, you can’t even stand firm on ‘righteiousness’.


  30. romerz
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 11:50:44


    You have missed my argument by a mile. Please take the trouble to find out who I’m aligned to before you shoot your mouth off again.

    I believe morality is important but it does not win wars. Tactics does!


  31. klm
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 11:58:52

    romerz. Well said. Finally, I found someone who understand.

    From a good source – Seems 8 PR ADUNs in Selangor is preparing to jump ship, Sigh. Perak is coming to Selangor. Watch who are not going to Selangor MB’s meeting.


  32. cilipadi
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 12:26:49

    Immoral tactics to win wars okay to you? romerz and klm.

    8 PR Aduns in Selangor is preparing to jump ship if true, no surprise to me if they are immoral, as simple as that. Should these people be glorified as hero? Tactical move? sigh !!!

    Malaysia is heading towards governing by jungle laws, it seems.


  33. cilipadi
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 12:44:24


    You argument on legal perspective is fantastic, but ultimately, you still can’t do anything. This is what I want to point to you.

    PR lost to BN by immoral means of BN. Legality rules over morality instead of the other round.

    Your comment on “Despite my argument about the illegality of asking MB Nizar to resign, I still think he should resign now but under protest.” does not stand on morality perspective. MB Nizar has high moral for not resigning. How can you asked him to resign under protest? He is still the legally appointed MB, and should be legally removed by State Assembly, as simple as that.

    Your argument on legality perspective has erred you from the simple argument on morality ground. Have a clear mind, romerz.


  34. klm
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 14:01:38


    What laws of the jungle are you talking about? Nobody get killed to eaten. Yes, there will be vehement arguments by both sides. Yes, the laws and procedures will be taken to the extreme. Will it be ugly. You bet.

    Will Malaysians resort to violence to get their way. I hope not. I hope Malaysians will fight at the ballot box and not in the battleground.


  35. CYC
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 14:34:12

    Why argue over something that is done deal.

    Use our imagination to link up the chronological event listed below and you should have the answer why sultan made those “controversial” decision.

    1. Read the history on the system or procedures of appointment /selection of sultan in Perak, see the difference before and after Sultan Azlan was installed as Sultan. Ask who will be next Sultan after Azlan Shah, and next…..and next….. you will see the obvious answer. Who change the law related to this…?

    2. The PR statement government was sworn in by Raja Nazrin Shah, the Raja Muda but not the Sultan after ding dong for a weeek, Why?

    3. BN statement government was sworn in almost on the immediate next available working day by Sultan, Why the hurry?

    The rest of the story is just story lah.

    All the opinion expressed by the rest of you are true in your own perspective. That includes Dr Hsu’s. None is excluded and this is the spirit of BN where everybody gets their “fair” share provided you are with them. Ha ha ha ha haa…….
    don’t believe me, go ask Chang Ko Youn!


  36. Monk
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 16:56:58


    There is no such thing as moral wars, all wars involve killing. Somebody is right, tactics get winning, not on moral ground.

    It is not that you are wrong, but the reality on the ground is not on moral. But the moral laws silently take effect, that is the reality.

    Cilipadi, if you talk to Malaysian politicians on the ground, most would think you’re flying over the “coo-ku nest”. Many would pray in mosques and temples, but they leave behind their morality there when it comes to battling for power in the political arena.

    Believe me. 28 years with these politicians, I know.



  37. cilipadi
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 17:21:02

    Thanks monk. I knew that. Politics is dirty, but in the long run if everyone perceive as such, no decent guy would become a politician, especially in Umno and BN. No decent guy includes our doctor here, Dr. Hsu.

    I agree, tactical is important to win a battle. There is no doubt about it, but not at the expense of morality.

    Your experience above also is a reflection of many commentators here that keep on justifying morality is not important in winning political war. Why can’t they just admit that morality is important, but difficult to survive if one insists on full morality? Shameful of themselves, perhaps. Only themselves can answer this.

    At least our conscience are clear.

    siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas.


  38. Monk
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 21:10:24


    I must add that there are politicians who after having retired realized that morals are important. They also realized that their arrogant and “dirty-tactics” employed when they were in power, were wrong.

    Life is full of ironies and paradox. I used to tease some friendly ones that their mouth and tail became longer as soon as they were awarded with more power and bigger titles (I called it tali, means tail of an animal, example). When full-fledged, they become crocodiles.

    Some become more pious, religious and even preachers.But I don’t know whether that means, they practice morals. I suppose so. Benefit of the doubt. But it is not me to be judging. It’s their business though I will be happy for them.

    It’s better to have more benevolent and good people on earth rather than more devils. So you se, Cilipadi, people and politicians change. Pity that when they were in power with those morals, the country would have been a better place.




  39. cruzeiro
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 21:23:42

    Shad, after earlier proposing that it is the Sultan’s prerogative to “Hire” and hence, by virtue of the Interpretation Act, is entitled to “fire”, now makes a U-turn to suggest otherwise by saying that, “This implies that an MB cannot be dismissed except by a vote of no confidence in the assembly. If an MB who has lost confidence, and is refused dissolution, is shameless enough not to walk away, then the Sultan would be justified in dismissing him ……
    The question of losing confidence was not constitutionally investigated.”

    He then spins to justify the extra-constitutional actions of the EC in undermining the constitutional right of the Speaker of the Assembly, by saying that – “In the light of this decision and the denial by the two defectors, the Election Commission had some basis to make up its own mind and to declare that the seats had not fallen vacant….. “.
    Has he forgotten the prerogatives of the Speaker and the duties of the EC?
    So much for “constitutional experts”, I suppose.

    Anyway, he is once again, grossly mistaken on the matter of party-hopping – it isn’t in the least bit, “the root cause”, as he claims it to be.
    The fact remains that party hopping is legal, and justifiable, should the reasons for it be morally valid, and it reflects the people’s mandate – hence not an “issue”. It is the premise upon which such an action is taken, that needs scrutiny – not the act of “hopping” in itself.
    It would be wrong to ban it completely – and I maintain that it is wrong for Karpal and gang to demand an anti-hopping law, or reprimand DSAI for it.
    I would rather suggest that certain criteria be fulfilled and procedures be adopted – so as to reflect the people’s mandate, and also to restrict the exploitation that it may be subjected to by those who wield power and money.


  40. cruzeiro
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 21:33:46

    Anyway, Shad is also the “respected” guy who said that the “social contract” IS IN the Federal Constitution,
    and not “The Federal Constitution IS THE Social Contract”.

    If you ask me, the Pakistani mercenary expert isn’t much of a legal eagle as he is a Constitutional Spin Doctor – I for one, don’t have much regard for his spin-doctoring …


  41. cilipadi
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 22:01:52


    I agree with you fully. In pursuit of power, fame and material wealth, the politicians very oftenly blinded themselves until they couldn’t see the simply logic that they shouldn’t do this and that to remain in power. One good example is Gerakan KTK and the other is MIC SV.

    They are in power for far too long that whatever amount of good advices turn into deaf ears. They can’t even appreciate the sample logic of pulling their parties out of BN for their parties to revive in the long run.

    Simply, they have lost their morality to power, fame and material wealth. They will realize this when no more in position of power, but what is the use then.

    By the way, I am not sure your TM realizing on what Malaysia endure are the effect of what he did for the last 20 over years. But, what is the use, damage already inflicted.

    Again, who dare to say morality is not important in politics? By the time you guys realized its important, will that be too late?

    siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas.


  42. Monk
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 22:33:49

    Yes, Cilipadi….that two words, “too late” will be the time karma strikes, the effects of the original cause and the chain of effects, paying the price.

    Life is like that. It’s all about evolution and lessons learned. Time is irreversible. By the time the lesson is learned, it’s too late. These are the key words.

    Hence, it is often said that the stupid will learn his lesson while the wise “learn the lessons of others” (without making the same mistakes or ignoring the morality aspects).

    Advising the powerful and the arrogant is like playing music to cows. They will never appreciate. So why bother?

    Have you ever look at a lotus pond? Why the dirtier the pond, the more beautiful the lotuses? And why the leaves hover at different levels?

    The pond symbolizes the dirt of the world. The dirtier the pond, there will be people who have climbed highest (spiritually evolved). The leaves at different levels symbolize the different levels of understanding or realization of men. In short, wisdom. Hence, it is better to be wise than intelligent. Intelligence can give you a good living (i.e. wealthy) but a wiser life can give you more happiness. So what is the use of having billions when happiness in life remain elusive. Powerful and wealthy politicians find this difficult to understand.



  43. romerz
    Feb 13, 2009 @ 01:12:08


    Not once did I mention that smart tactics must be immoral in nature. All I’m saying is that in fencing there are 3 weapons, the foil, epee and the sabre and in the real world of politics, there is more than one solution to the problem.

    Different situations require different weapons. Delicate situations requires the precision of the foil, brutish and stubborn opposition requires the strength of the sabre.

    The real world does not exist in black or white only but pragmatism requires the color grey.

    In fact most of the ills in Malaysian politics are in the grey area and the appropriate weapon to use would yield the better result.

    Wielding appropriately the 3 weapons at different times of need does not signify the lack of morality, it signifies smart thinking unless you think being smart is being immoral.

    Are you saying that “I think therefore I am” is being immoral?

    I have a somewhat “clear mind” on the issues at hand, balancing ideals with pragmatism. Somewhat is the best I can say if I’m to be perfectly honest.

    I wonder if you do have a clear mind with your “no prisoners taken” attitude?


  44. cilipadi
    Feb 13, 2009 @ 10:39:20


    Thank you for clarification. I respect you a lot but still can feel you are somehow guided by your emotion, your love for Gerakan. This kind of love-hate feeling makes you explore whether Perak fiasco can be solved through your country judiciary. I can feel this when you suggest Nizar to resign in protest. You know how’s your country Judiciary function since Lord President Salleh Abbas was sacked.

    Anyway, I maybe wrong in my assessment. Perak fiasco should be solved through ballot box, no other way.

    I suggest you join DAP. The party need ‘strategist’ like you. Forget your love to Gerakan, it leads you nowhere.


  45. looes74
    Feb 13, 2009 @ 23:39:45

    To add on to cilipadi’s statement. I vomitted when that Chang Ko Youn does not support defection personally.

    My question to Ko Youn : What the heck you are joining force with Zam Zam Ali KeZam.

    I am sorry, Dr Hsu. Gerakan is deaded. It died when Tan Chee Koon left the party.

    I still wonder what the heck Gerakan represents.

    Anywaym what the heck happen to the torn picture of Koh Tsu Koon

    Dr Hsu,
    Where is Gerakan’s dignity? My suugestion to Ko Youn :

    RESIGN FROM ZAM ZAM ALI KEZAM’s cabinet. Stay as far away from this fiasco

    By the way, tell Ko Youn that Gerakan would be obsolete very soon. Spend his time in building your party future and keep his mouth shut

    By the way, I have never forget that Kah Choon,Tee Kwong & Kin Woon has left Gerakan. Those are heavyweight as compared to that clerk Hee (Most probably just mce)


  46. romerz
    Feb 14, 2009 @ 02:48:27


    I am already working with DAP though I have not joined them as a member. I don’t just talk but put words into action.

    I have not joined DAP because I believe I can do a better job as a “neutral” and not have to toe the party line (as Dr Hsu is facing now).

    I told this to YB Liew Chin Tong and YB Chong Eng when I had lunch with them yesterday and when I met YB Liew for the 1st time through Justin.

    I won’t say anymore about this cos I’m currently working with YB Liew about managing his website and setting up something like Obama’s ‘community action groups’ where the voices of his constituents can reach him.

    And please don’t ever accuse me of my love for Gerakan again (please don’t get me started!). I have no love lost with the party in its present condition but I still remember my friendship of 23 years with KTK and this is Penang, a small kampung, where we run into each other from time to time.

    Despite his failings, I still try my utmost best to give him the respect of a past CM of Penang for 22 years without emotions coming into play.

    And yes if it makes you feel any better, I’m an emotional person. Otherwise why would I leave my comfortable life to maintain a blog which takes a large proportion of my time when I have much bigger responsibilities to my family to fulfill?

    Remember the foil and the sabre. If I act stupidly and arrogantly, I lose my last communication avenue with the higher echelons of BN.

    Think man! I’m starting to get tired of having to answer to you. I have bigger battles to wage!



  47. cilipadi
    Feb 14, 2009 @ 07:26:26

    well done romerz, keep it up.


  48. sosong
    Feb 14, 2009 @ 14:32:29

    At least 70% of Perakian are now angry with this incident. They cannot understand WHY CANNOT just dissolve the state assembly n go back to electorate??
    Why is BN scare to face the electorate??


  49. Dean
    Mar 06, 2009 @ 01:43:13

    While I disagree with few of his opinions there is no doubt that I’m still proud to be one of his students in constitutional classes while I was taking up Law at ITM sometime ago. I remember, one fine day we were debating the subject of constitutional monarchy, later when winding his lecture for the day, he turned to me and asked “I wonder what was it that caused you to have so much grudge against the royalty?”. Ha ha tak da apa apa la Prof.


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