Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Monday January 5, 2009
No lobbying in Tuanku Muhriz’s appointment, says Negri chieftain


REMBAU: The appointment of Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir as the new Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan was unanimously made without lobbying by any party, one of the state’s four territorial chieftains said.

In an interview with Bernama at his residence here yesterday, Undang Luak Rembau Datuk Muhamad Sharip Othman denied talk that there were attempts to influence the four Undangs to decide on the appointment, including from Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

Muhamad Sharip: Described the task of choosing the new Ruler as a “very heavy responsibility.” — Bernama
Muhamad Sharip said according to the state’s constitution, the absolute power to appoint the Yang di-Pertuan Besar rested with the four Undangs of Sungai Ujong, Jelebu, Rembau and Johol.

“For the record, the decision we made was 100% unanimous,” he said in clarifying reports by bloggers on the appointment of Tuanku Muhriz.

Tuanku Muhriz, 60, succeeded his uncle, Tuanku Jaafar Tuanku Abdul Rahman, 86, who died on Dec 27 after a reign of 41 years.

“I am most thankful, especially to the Mentri Besar. He never interfered or influenced the Undangs in making our decision,” Muhamad Sharip said.

“We have heard such talk and I deny this. He has been very professional.”

There has been speculation in the blogs about the choice of the new Yang di-Pertuan Besar centred on Tuanku Jaafar’s eldest son, Tunku Naquiyuddin, the high-profile prince widely known especially in the corporate sector.

Muhamad Sharip described the task of choosing the new Ruler for the first time in over four decades as “a very heavy responsibility.”

He said it was not easy for the four territorial chieftains to decide as they had to consider various aspects before arriving at their decision.

He was also very proud of the fact that the secrecy surrounding the appointment of Tuanku Muhriz was maintained until the proclamation before the late Tuanku Jaafar was laid to rest on Monday.

He said the decision was not pre-informed to Tuanku Muhriz and the three other members of the royalty who are in line to the throne.

The three are Tunku Naquiyuddin and his two brothers, Tunku Imran and Tunku Putera Nadzaruddin.

Muhamad Sharip also agreed that there was keen interest among the people, especially from outside the state, to learn about adat pepatih, Negri Sembilan’s unique matrilineal system of governance.

He has also published an updated book on adat pepatih and matters related to it which would go on sale soon.

The book, entitled Legasi Ketuanan Rembau (The Legacy of Rembau Supremacy), would be mainly distributed to schools.(The Star Online,5 January 2009)

Anyone from the Negri Sembilan Malay Adat Perpatih community buying it? There may be some but it seems doubtful if everybody would take the Chieftain's press statement at face value. Since the inception of the Adat Perpatih in Negeri Sembilan about 500 years ago, this tactical lobbying has been the order of the day any time there was a selection for any adat post, from the lowest rank of "Buapak" to the highest rank of The "Yang Dipertuan Besar." Past history has not been silent on this.

If only the late Norhalim Ibrahim, who authored three "adat" books on Negeri Sembilan was alive, he would be able to pinpoint the numerous lobbying tactics alleged used by the so-called adat officials to win favour.For those who wish to know more about this can go to one of his books "Negeri Yang Sembilan" published in 1995. The book was sponsored by the Negeri Sembilan State Government and published by Penerbit Fajar Bakti Sdn Bhd, Shah Alam.

I think what the Rembau Chieftain should do was to explain to the Negeri Sembilan people how the selection system of Yang Dipertuan Besar works. Let the people fully understand the system instead of the flat denial, which could lead to more suspicion.

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