Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ), who often makes comments on issues related to Malaysian politics, has now recalled the events of the "1992 Constitutional crisis" on Facebook
He called it a "dark history" when during the tenure of former PM Dr Mahathir, the rulers were stripped of their legal immunity
"I will never forget the 1992 constitutional crisis.
I still remember how my family was treated by the federal government officers.
I remember things such as trying to disband Johor Military Force, Johor Exco members were told not to receive my late grandfather at the airport, how JKR was told not to fix and maintain anything at any of the Johor Palaces.
My mother was even stopped by the Malaysian customs upon entering Johor from Singapore. She was told to step out of the car because they wanted to inspect everything in the car. I still remember everything and I still remember the individuals responsible for it," TMJ wrote on the Facebook page of the JOHOR Southern Tigers.
While TMJ did not name anyone, he made an indirect allusion to events that took place when Dr M was at the height of his power as Prime Minister and pushed through a resolution to limit the power of rulers in a special parliamentary sitting in 1992, which eventually led to the 1993 amendments to the Federal Constitution, which stripped royals of their legal immunity.
He then added that the 1992 episode is in the past. "God is great and karma is a beautiful thing. Today the relationship between the government and the Johor Royal family is good. I appreciate that."
"I hope it's not just because you need us now. It's good that you realise that we need each other. But I think at this time the focus should be to correct the mistakes and progress as a nation. I hope such dark history you created for your thirst of greed and power will not happen again.
Do not manipulate the people for the sake of self-interest because you are elected to serve the people. I pray that we can focus on making this nation of ours a better place in the future, for the sake of the people," TMJ wrote.
The 31-year-old Johor Crown Prince, who was merely 8 in 1992, it seems failed to mention the violence inflicted by the royal family.
It started with a game of hockey when Perak hockey team defeated the team of the second son of then Johor Sultan Sultan Iskandar, Tunku Abdul Majid, who then hit the goalkeeper of the Perak team.
Following which, the Malaysian Hockey Federation slapped Tunku Abdul Majid with a five-year ban. His father, enraged at this, apparently then pressured the state education department to order school hockey teams in the state to boycott national tournaments.
As first reported by Malaysiakini, this had upset hockey coach Douglas Gomez, who criticised the education department and called for the resignation of key office bearers in the Johor Hockey Association. Peeved by this, the late sultan later summoned Gomez to the palace and reportedly assaulted him.
The hockey coach, Douglas Gomez, then filed a police report.
After TMJ's selective recalling of the events, Coach Gomez's son, Brian Gomez, also took to Facebook to help fill in the gaps.
He detailed how his father's "eyes were all swollen" when he returned home from the palace. Like TMJ, Brian said, "I'll never forget the constitutional crisis occurred in the year 1992."
"I still remember how my dad, a teacher, and coach of the Army hockey school, was brought to the palace. I still remember his eyes were all swollen after coming home.
I still remember the story about what had happened in the palace, and whose hands caused the bruises. My Dad's fault?
Bringing the army hockey school to Kuala Lumpur to compete in the champion schools national rankings. And the courage he found following events where the cops entered the field and escort them out over a certain party's "command".
Brian's Facebook post, a powerful display of raw courage at a time when dissent is not tolerated, narrates how it's the common people, squeezed in between two giants (the Johor Royalty and Dr M), who perform, rise up, and brighten the way. It further reads:
"And I realised, in those days, the real power does not belong to the authorities.
Real power exists in the human instinct that can differentiate between right and wrong. It exists in courage, self-confidence and the rights of every individual to question the existing state. Real power belongs to the people. Extend the power."
While this is not in defence of Dr M as he is no saint, the steps he took in 1992 to ensure that the rulers were stripped of their legal immunity were among his most democratic ones. For in a democracy, nobody should be above the law, not even the royalty.
This story is the personal opinion of the writer.
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