Sunday, March 30, 2008

[April 2, 2008] Forum on Interventionist Monarchs – A Complement or a Challenge to Democracy?

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) & The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) cordially invite you to

Forum on Interventionist Monarchs – A Complement or a Challenge to Democracy?

Date: 2nd April 2008 (Wednesday)
Time: 8.00pm
Venue: MCPA, 2nt Floor, KLSCAH
(1, Jalan Maharajalela, 50150 Kuala Lumpur. Next to the Monorail Maharajalela station)
Road map:

Dr. Syed Hussin Ali (Deputy President, PKR)
Mr. Gobind Singh Deo MP (DAP)
Dr. Dzulkifli Ahmad MP (PAS)
Mr. Malik Imtiaz (President, HAKAM)
Datuk Zaid Ibrahim MP (Minister in Prime Minister's Department) (to be confirm)

Mr. Wong Chin Huat (vice chairman, CRC-KLSCAH)

The Civil Rights Committee of the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (CRC-KLSCAH) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) will be holding a forum discussion on the role of constitutional monarch in a democratizing Malaysia.

Constitutional monarchs are seen by some quarters as the guardian of democracy against the wrongdoing of elected politicians. Free from electoral pressure, the sovereign may act in the real interest of the nation better than politicians. From this perspective, many see their Royal Highnesses the Sultan and Crown Prince of Perak as the model national leaders for their stances on judiciary independence and an inclusive nationhood.

The March 8 elections ushered in new political reality which changes the operational setting for "interventionist monarchs".
Alongside the Opposition parties, the palaces have been empowered. This does not only happen in Perak and Selangor where new parties have come into power with slim majority in the legislature, but also in Perlis and Terengganu where the incumbent BN secured two-thirds of the legislature. In the standoff in Terengganu, the palace and the legislative majority have had completely opposite preferences.

Is such royal intervention in government formation constitutional according to the letters of the law? Beyond legality, is it in line with the norm of constitutional monarchies where the monarchs are only the figurehead? Can the palace, an unelected institution, dictate who should head the government and who sit in the cabinet? In the context of democratization, is the ascendance of royal power at the expense of the declining hegemonic party desirable?

For the details, please contact with assistant secretary of CRC, Mr. Chan 03-22746645.

The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) is the umbrella organization of over 400 various Chinese community-based organizations in Klang Valley. The Civil Rights Committee (CRC) is a subsidiary committee of the KLSCAH specially tasked with the advocacy of civil rights.

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is a non-governmental Malaysian human rights organization working for a free, equal, just and sustainable society.

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