1. It is timely for Raja Nazrin (on April 18) to remind everyone, citizens, political leaders and rulers that ours is a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarchy. No one, but no one should for any reason think that absolute power rests with them, and that parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy can be ignored.
2. We see in other countries citizens trying to deny democratic majority rule by staging massive and continuous street demonstrations so as to overthrow a Government elected by the majority. We also see how often the generals seize power when civilian rule appears to be weak or overthrown by street demos or violence.
3. We also see the elected politicians abusing the powers conferred on them. And rulers too have been known to seize power and carry out unconstitutional rule even in democracies.
4. When the constitution is ignored and power is seized by anyone, sooner or later, the people will show resentment. This may lead to violence. Once violence is resorted to, it will not stop. And we have seen how demos and violence can overthrow Government whether elected or otherwise. Once such an overthrow is shown to be possible, resort to it will be made even for flimsy reasons. There will be no stability and anarchy may be the result. We are seeing this happen before our very eyes right now.
5. Malaysia is a peaceful and stable country. We are not prone to violence and assassinations to overthrown dictators or alleged dictators. It is the character of the people, a part of their culture if you like. But no one should invite such actions by abusing their positions.
6. We must respect the Constitutions and we must always ensure that in this blessed country the rule of law is upheld at a times. We may change the law as provided for by the Constitution. We may even change the Constitution if there is a need to. But we must not resort to extra-legal ways even though they may be non-violent. Nor should anyone take advantage of the reluctance of subordinates to refuse your demands.
7. Democracy is not perfect. It may result in weak or incompetent Governments. But democracy provides for changes in leadership. It may be through scheduled elections, it may also be through voluntary resignations. But no one should bypass the law and assume power supply because the elected Government is weak or incompetent.
8. Those in power must always remember that the power conferred on them is not for personal aggrandisement but for the performance of the duties for which they hold their positions.
9. As an old citizen I hope I am allowed to congratulate, the heir apparent to the throne of Perak for his willingness to say what the rakyat are unable or reluctant to say. The reminder is timely.