SCwatch


NEGERI SEMBILAN’S “STRENUOUS CRITERIA” IN PICKING ITS SULTAN (OR YAMTUAN BESAR) : AN ILLUSTRATION OF DEMOCRACY WITHIN ROYALTY?

I followed with much interest a program on one of the Astro channels which highlighted the ascendancy of His Highness Tuanku Muhriz, the latest Sultan or Yang Dipertuan Besar (Yamtuan Besar) of Negeri Sembilan, one of the 14 states in Malaysia.

The unique thing about Negeri Sembilan is that the appointment of the new Yamtuan Besar (upon the demise of the previous one) is not based on a hereditary system i.e. the off-spring does NOT get automatically appointed.

Instead, he is picked by the heads (datuk2 undang) of nine of the provinces in Negeri Sembilan from four leading princes in the state. 

Although I have to say that it appeared the norm that most of the Yamtuan Besars who were appointed since 1824 were the off-springs of the previous incumbents, there were exceptions.

And these exceptions involved the last two appointments of the Yamtuan Besars …… in 1967 and most recently in 2008.

Of course, the speculators would have a field day as to why the datuk2 undangs would support one over the other …….. but the fact remains that the datuk2 undangs hold sway.

These datuk2 undangs, on the other hand, are also elected by their constituents in the 9 provinces in Negeri Sembilan.

At the end of the day, you could say that the Yamtuan Besar is truly the pick of the people of Negeri Sembilan.

That’s unique democracy within Negeri Sembilan’s Royalty!

With such a unique and yet transparent system of selecting Negeri Sembilan’s Yamtuan Besar, is it not expected for the Rakyat driven BERSIH movement to push for clean and fair elections in upholding true democracy in the Malaysian Parliamentary system?

It knows no racial or political leanings in its aspirations …… just purely people/Rakyat motivated …… and is reflected in the over 80% support in a poll recently.

And btw, it was through the Negeri Sembilan system that our first PM got his inspiration for the appointment of Malaysia’s King or Yang dipertuan Agung ……. they hold office on a rotational basis for five years and are selected from 9 of the 14 states in Malaysia!


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