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Strip Zakaria of Datukship as he had again defied Sultan of Selangor within 24 hours of royal reprimand and warning
(Parliament, Monday) : Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah should strip Port Klang State Assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros of his Datukship as Zakaria had again defied the Sultan within 24 hours of royal reprimand and warning on Saturday.
Zakaria had earlier defied the Sultan of Selangor who had summoned him to his palace the previous Sunday with a week-long standoff, claiming that he was “ill”, when he fact he had played “truant” and was “caught red-handed” holidaying and “celebrating a cosy Hari Raya” with his family at a chalet in Kampung Tengah, Kuala Sungai Baru, in Alor Gajah, Malacca.
On Saturday morning two days ago, the Sultan of Selangor “advised” Zakaria to resign as Klang municipal councilor, mend his “wayward” ways or risk being stripped of his Datuk ship.
The issues raised at the Selangor Sultan’s hour-long royal audience to Zakaria at Istana Bukit Kayangan included:
· construction of a palatial mansion in Kampung Idaman dubbed “Istana Idaman” without obtaining approval from the local council;
· three members of Zakaria’s family getting appointed as Klang councillors;
· the failure of Zakaria to pay assessment for his current house for 12 years as well as the non-payment of assessment of the Port Klang Umno office and the Kampung Idaman Umno branch for at least 10 years.
After the royal audience, the Sultan’s private secretary Datuk Lela Bakti Datuk Muhammad Munir Bani, told the press that Sultan Sharafuddin had “advised” Zakaria to relinquish his post and behave in a more acceptable manner of “bersopan-santun and berbudi bahasa.” (be polite and courteous) and that if Zakaria did not behave properly as “advised” by the Sultan, he risked having the Datukship title taken away.
Sultan Sharafuddin had also advised Zakaria “to repent and seek forgiveness from Allah with a thankful heart” and told Zakaria to respect the Selangor Datukship “by behaving in a manner befitting a title holder”.
However, in less than 24 hours, Zakaria had again showed utter contempt for the Selangor Sultan’s admonition when his rowdy supporters acted in a violent, lawless and gangsterish manner against a peaceful protest outside Istana Zakaria at Kampung Idaman in Pandamaran, Klang, led by DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng, yesterday morning - committing battery and assault.
Zakaria must bear full responsibility for the disgraceful, violent and gangsterish conduct of his supporters yesterday, bringing further shame and dishonour to the Selangor Datukship which he holds, or is he prepared to publicly apologise for the assault and battery committed by his supporters against peaceful protestors and press representatives yesterday?
It is clear from yesterday’s incident that Zakaria has no intention whatsoever to heed Sultan Sharafuddin’s advice “to repent and seek forgiveness from Allah with a thankful heart” and “to respect the Selangor Datukship by behaving in a manner befitting a title holder”.
Sultan Sharafuddin should now remove Zakaria of the Selangor Datukship in the first step to restore the respect and dignity of royal titles which had plunged to unprecedented depths in recent years.
But it is not only the Sultan of Selangor who should take follow-up action by stripping Zakaria of the Datukship, the time has also come for the UMNO political leadership to take firm action against political recalcitrants and disgraceful elements within their ranks.
It is indeed a shame that the Sultan of Selangor has to be involved to “advise” Zakaria to resign as Klang municipal councilor, which gave the excuse to the Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr. Mohd Khir Toyo to give Zakaria the ultimatum that he would be removed as Klang municipal councilor if he does not resign as councilor by November 8.
Zakaria is one of the NEP-putras who had waxed obscenely rich under the New Economic Policy while the masses of ordinary Malays remained poor, allowing the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) to use a very flawed methodology to compute 18.9% bumiputra corporate equity after 36 years of NEP permitting astronomical leakages of wealth accruing to privileged Umnoputras but which do not appear in the EPU calculations.
It is also a sad reflection of the poor political leadership in the country that the Sultan of Selangor has to intervene to stop the abuses and excesses of power by Zacharia.
It is a triple shame. Firstly a shame to Zacharia. Secondly to the Selangor Mentri Besar as it is Mohd Khir Toyo who should have intervened to correct Zacharia and not wait until the Sultan of Selangor had acted. Thirdly, it is a shame to the Prime Minister and UMNO President in not taking action to check Zacharia from his scandalous escapades.
The directive to Zacharia to resign as Klang municipal councillor should have come from the Prime Minister and Selangor Mentri Besar without having to involving the Sultan of Selangor. This can only reflect on the poor and weak political leadership by both the Prime Minister and the Selangor Mentri Besar.
This is however not the end of the Zacharia caper. If Zacharia is not fit to be Klang municipal councilor and must relinquish the post as directed by the Sultan of Selangor, how could Zacharia be fit to continue as Selangor State Assemblyman.
Having to give up the Klang municipal councilor’s post, Zacharia is honour-bound to resign also as Port Klang State Assemblyman. But who will give Zacharia such a directive so that a by-election could be held to have a new State Assemblyman is elected – will such a directive come from the Selangor Mentri Besar or Prime Minister?
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman