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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Malaysia’s democracy at work


Salleh Said Keruak

Tomorrow is the coronation of His Majesty the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V, as the 15th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. No doubt Malaysia’s Agong is a Constitutional Monarchy, which many regard as a symbolic head of state. However, the position of the Agong is more than just symbolic and cannot be regarded as a rubber-stamp head of state.

Malaysia’s system is unique and not to be found anywhere else in the world. The Agong has a function to perform in maintaining checks and balances and is chosen by the Conference of Rulers and serves on a rotation basis. So even the Monarchy itself practices a form of democracy although the state rulers are hereditary.

The Constitutional Monarchy ensures stability and this has brought confidence to Malaysia, which foreign investors have ranked as the most politically-stable nation in South East Asia. We need to maintain this image and reputation and show the world that we choose our government through the ballot box and not through street violence like some countries, which just brings chaos in the aftermath of that change.

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