1st April 2018
PM: DO NOT CAUSE UNDUE CONCERN AND APPREHENSION AMONG MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL MALAY REGIMENT
I was shocked in disbelieve upon reading an article in Malaysiakini dated 30 March 2018 with its headlines, ‘PM: Malaysian Malaysia might spell end of the Malay Regiment’.
As a retired Royal Malay Regiment officer, I and many other retired Royal Malay Regiment officers and other ranks are puzzled, confused and apprehensive with regards to the statement made by the PM, i.e., that a ‘Malaysian Malaysia might spell end of the Malay Regiment’ should the people choose wrong leaders and the government to be formed by such leaders, and the reason(s) for saying it. The PM was reported to have made the statement in a speech at a dinner hosted by serving Armed Forces and Police Officers at the Armed Forces Officers Mess in Kuala Lumpur last night (30th March 2018).
One has to understand the history of the establishment of the Malay Regiment to realize that it is virtually impossible to ‘spell the end’, to disband or to declare the Royal Malay Regiment redundant. I say this with very clear conscience that no government or any succeeding Malaysian government would want to make such a declaration, not only for historical reasons, but more importantly the special attachment the Royal Malay Regiment has with the Malay Rulers since the regiment was established in 1933 by the British Colonial Office.
One has also to read the various provisions in the Federal Constitution relating to the Royal Malay Regiment, and in particular the ‘Seven Deeds of the Malay Rulers’ (Tujuh Wasiat Raja Raja Melayu) signed by all nine Malay Rulers on 5th August 1957, one of which spells explicitly the establishment of the Royal Malay Regiment as the protector of the Malay and bumiputra rights, and also to protect the rights of the other Malayan races.
From the historical perspective, the Army today was born out of the Royal Malay Regiment, and to say that the Royal Malay Regiment may end as the result of a change in government, can also be taken to mean the end of the entire Malaysian Army.
Although the PM did not specifically mention what he meant by Malaysian Malaysia, one could assume that he was referring to the opposition parties, particular the DAP because it was the DAP that was the proponent of the Malaysian Malaysia concept since the 1970s. The party has dropped that concept used as a slogan since two decades ago. It is obvious that the PM was insinuating a DAP-led government should the opposition wins the election. Educated and informed Malaysians can see that DAP has often been used as a bogeyman to frighten off the Malays. Politics has for too long drawn on communal lines. Unscrupulous politicians are the main culprits who frequently fan the fire of racial animosity. Its aim is simply to secure the voters base of one community, disregarding the serious negative result of a more fragmented society.
How contending political parties maneuver, how they employ their tactics to outdo each other, is not Patriot’s concern. If what is said and done is detrimental to the harmony of our society, and causes disunity, then Patriot will not hesitate to speak up. The statement made by the PM did no auger well for national unity among the various races. We are certain his statement too would slight the Malay rulers.
It was also reported that following the speech by the PM, the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) had in his speech urged members of the Armed Forces and the Royal Malaysian Police to be loyal to the government lead by the PM.
Patriot likened the statement by the CDF a political statement, thus dragging the two armed services into the realm of politics, thrashing the long-standing tradition that both the armed services are apolitical and had pledged to serve King and Country. It is simply inexcusable and shameful for speechwriters from the Ministry of Defence not knowing such protocol.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan