PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he is not rejecting the Royal institution, but is trying to save it.
In an interview with Malay daily Sinar Harian published Friday (June 8), Dr Mahathir said that he believes that if the Rulers do something wrong, they should be subject to the rule of law.
That is why he had previously established a Special Court for Rulers.
In 1993, during his previous tenure as prime minister, Dr Mahathir made amendments to Article 182 of the Federal Constitution that stripped the Rulers of their legal immunity.
A Special Court for Rulers was established for Rulers to be tried by their peers in the Conference of Rulers.
Dr Mahathir told Sinar Harian that the Federal Constitution and the country's laws are of great importance, and even Rulers must be subject to them.
"We must take care, the King should not be involved in things that the people do not like. The people have no power, so when they are angry, they will rebel.
"We cannot let that happen.
"I do not reject the Rulers but I believe that if they do something that is wrong, we should take action to save them," he said.
Dr Mahathir added that the delays in his swearing-in as Malaysia's seventh Prime Minister and the appointment of Tommy Thomas as Attorney General "should not have happened".
"We have laws. We have a Constitution. We want to get back to the rule of law.
"When something happens that is against the law, then there will be anger," he said.
But Dr Mahathir believes that most of the nine Malay Rulers disagree with the delay in appointments.
"There were some who came to meet me, some of them tried to calm the situation," he said, adding that the situation was resolved by advice among the Rulers.
He said that many Rulers are also aware of the need to follow the law.
"I feel the Rulers realise this because many of them are making efforts to ensure that they all abide by the law," he said.