PETALING JAYA: Outgoing Dewan Negara president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran called upon the government to reinstate the full powers of Malay rulers that were reduced by a 1993 Constitutional amendment.
Vigneswaran said he believed the amendment contravened provisions in the Federal Constitution, as it was enforced without the consent of Malay rulers and remained a subject of debate today.
“The power of the Malay Rulers should be returned as it was during Independence," he said in a speech at a farewell luncheon as his two-term tenure as the senate chair ended on Monday (June 22).
He said the powers vested in Malay rulers were important to guarantee political stability and the future of the country's multi-racial community.
Vigneswaran said appreciation of the Constitutional Monarchy system in Malaysia was reflected during the recent political turmoil that ended in a smooth power transition.
"It can be concluded that the royal institution still plays an important role in the administration system, as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
"When the political crisis erupted in late February, we bore witness to the role played by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
"It showed that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay rulers are important pillars of the country.
"They are the hope and symbol of unity, as they are above politics," he said.
Article 182 of the Federal Constitution was amended in 1993 to enable the setting up of a special court for Malay rulers to preside over cases involving Sultans.
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