Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Anwar’s Shameless Bid to Politicise the King’s Speech

Every year in May, Queen Elizabeth II rides in a horse-drawn carriage from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Palace in London – the place referred to as the mother of our very own Parliament.

There, wearing her crown and ceremonial robes, she spends the next 40 minutes reading out a speech that has been written by the government of the day setting out the legislative agenda for the next year.
Whether or not she agrees or disagrees with what she is reading is not even raised as an issue in the UK, because this tradition is a quaint reminder that the monarch acts on the will of the people via the elected Parliament and her Government.

It makes perfect sense to everyone who understands the workings of Westminster democracy except, it seems, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who has Monday launched a ham-fisted and deeply disrespectful attempt to politicise our very own monarch.

Anwar has attacked the speech by Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, which last week called on the people to accept the GE13 result. The speech, he says, was written by BN.

If by the words "written by BN" he means "senior staff within the Prime Minister's department who might happen to be BN members", then Anwar is possibly correct. But he is also brazenly trying to distort the facts for the sake of his tedious campaign to discredit GE13.

That's because Anwar can't bear to hear anyone calling for the rakyat to accept the election result even if it is a statesmanlike like figure like His Majesty, who has every reason to want peace and stability in Malaysia, and recognition that his Government that rules for everyone.
The speech was hardly partisan in the sentiments it articulated. "If there are differences of opinion, use the channels to resolve them as outlined in the Federal Constitution and the country's laws," Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah said.

Who, apart from Anwar, would argue with that?
But Anwar didn't stop there. He said if necessary, he will write to the King to explain how Pakatan Rakyat has been compelled to hold the rallies due to what he calls "excessive fraud" in GE13.
Writing such a letter would be yet another serious breach of protocol – not least because it would drag the King into Anwar's partisan bickering, a reminder of his grandstanding at the first Bersih rally.

Another disappointing fact about Anwar's latest outburst is that it comes after it looked like he was finally cooling down. Over the weekend, Anwar said he welcomed the formation of a bipartisan committee to review the Election Commission.

But, now it looks like he is still steadfastly committed to his campaign to discredit GE13, despite the fact he has few supporters on his own side of the Dewan Rakyat and a fast-diminishing audience across the land.

The irony of Anwar's latest outburst is that in seeking to show that the King's Speech has been politicised, he is doing just that himself. If only Anwar could see the damage he inflicts on the institutions he professes to respect and has sworn to uphold.

As it stands today, it appears that he either cannot see the damage because of his desire for Putrajaya; or worse, sees that damage and does not care.

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