Rulers 'will stay clear of politics, illegal rallies'

NST – 18 November, 2007
KUANTAN: The Malay rulers will not get involved in politics or support illegal rallies, Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang said yesterday. He also urged those who were trying to drag the royalty into politics to stop their irresponsible act.

Sultan Ahmad Shah described as baseless the claims that the royalty had supported their action.
“I’m disappointed that they have made a false claim that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin supported the illegal rally in Kuala Lumpur recently.”
The Sultan advised his subjects not to get involved in such activities.
“We should not get involved in illegal rallies and violate the law,” he said when asked to comment on the illegal rally on Nov 10 organised by Bersih, a coalition of non-governmental organisations and opposition parties.
“Please respect the law. As Malays, we should not create hatred or tell lies, especially about our rulers.”
He said the Malay rulers would not sympathise with anyone who went against the law.
“As rulers, we support the government which gets its mandate from the people,” he said after opening the RM5.2 million Muslim Women Welfare Board’s building here.
Sultan Ahmad Shah said illegal rallies and demonstrations would affect the implementation of projects to develop the country.
“The government needs full support from the people in order to develop the country.”
The government had done much to develop the nation, he added.
In Johor Baru, Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman hit out at the opposition for trying to use the name of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to further its political ends.
In Malacca, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said those who spread lies that the rally had the backing of the king should be punished.
Meanwhile, Bersih has denied intending to drag the king into politics. Committee member Sivarasa Rasiah said Bersih, only wanted to submit a memorandum on electoral reform to the king.
“As citizens of Malaysia, it is our expectation that His Majesty will protect our rights and interests and ensure the integrity of our institutions,” he said.
Sivarasa, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice-president, co-organised a gathering of about 10,000 people, according to police estimates, who marched to Istana Negara with an electoral reform petition for the king.
The document was submitted to a palace official at Istana Negara.
Sivarasa said Bersih had never claimed that the memorandum was handed over with the king’s tacit or express approval.
He was asked to comment on a statement by Istana Negara stating that Tuanku Mizan had never condoned the rally and was displeased with assertions that he had supported the gathering.
Pas central committee member Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi said at no time did the coalition intend to drag the king into politics. “The memorandum was accepted by the palace and it is up to the palace to take up the concerns of the rakyat on the electoral process.”
The government has said that it was not against delivering a submission to the king but that the staging of the rally without a police permit had not only been illegal but caused disruption to the public and businesses across the capital.