Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran, the outgoing president of Dewan Negara, today called on the government to reinstate the Malay monarchs’ diminished forces. Noting the significance of the Malay Rulers, Vigneswaran, whose tenure ends today after having served two terms as Senate president, said that the political turmoil that led to the country’s uncertainty was only put to rest after the Agong interfered.
As the retired Yang di-Pertua, it is my desire to call on the government to retract the controversial amendment of 1993 that has been hotly debated till today. Which, in my view, is contradictory to the Federal Constitution, whereby the amendment was rendered without the consent of the Malay Rulers Council and diminished the powers of the Malay Rulers, and the royal institution’s supremacy must be restored
Throughout his previous term as the fourth Prime Minister, which lasted 22 years, then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad led the then Barisan Nasional ( BN) government to table amendments to Article 182 of the Federal Constitution which deprived the monarchs of their legal immunity.
The reforms required the creation in the Conference of Rulers of a separate court for sultans who broke the rule to be prosecuted by their peers. The reforms came into effect 30 March 1993. Vigneswaran said that after previously attending a Speakers conference in Johor, he has already done his research on the topic, and plans to release the 72-page report soon.
After taking charge of Putrajaya in 2018, Dr. Mahathir affirmed in an interview with Sinar Harian that the Federal Constitution and the rules of the nation are supreme, stating that even the rulers are accountable to them.
He even like to move back to rule of law. Unless anything occurs that doesn’t suit the rules, otherwise there will be rage. He told the paper, referring to the hours-long wait on May 10, until he was sworn in as the seventh prime minister and member of the Pakatan Harapan coalition that day at 9:30pm. He added that they don’t reject the Rulers but he believe they should take action to save them if the monarchs do something wrong.
He also told in an interview with the Putrajaya Perdana Leadership Foundation that they have laws that include setting up a special court for the Rulers.