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The Monarchy in Contemporary Malaysia

Nazrin Shah

Publication Year: 2004

This paper was delivered by His Royal Highness Raja Nazrin Shah at a Public Lecture organized by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore on 27 July 2004.

Published by: ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vii

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The Monarchy inContemporaryMalaysia

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pp. 1-2

I am delighted to be here this morning to share my views with such an eminent gathering, which is a more than usually perceptive one. After all, the monarchy in Malaysia is, I am sure, a subject on which you are all already knowledgeable, even if...

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pp. 2-4

I must also confess that having to present this subject to this audience is a somewhat titillating prospect for me because of the background of our two countries. Singapore and Malaysia were once considered Siamese...

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pp. 4-5

These are strong claims. But now there is another implicit challenge in the temper of the times in which we live. We have reached — indeed, mankind has reached — a critical juncture in our affairs which dictates that we...

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The Harmony Dividend

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pp. 5-7

The Malaysian monarchy is not merely symbolic. Support for it goes beyond sentiment or symbolism. It is true we have retained the colourful mosaic of ceremonial splendours associated with royalty, which adds a touch...

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The Monarchical System

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pp. 7-9

The sultanates — and there are nine of them left — have been in existence for over six centuries with their roots in fifteenth century Malacca. It is interesting that Malacca is one of the states where the monarchy has since...

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The Independence Formula

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pp. 9-10

With Independence, the monarchy became a constitutional monarchy with clearly defined parameters prescribing the sphere of influence left to the Sultans. The system of monarchy itself, too precious to relinquish, was prudently...

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The Yang di-Pertuan Agong

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pp. 10-11

Malaya, when it had the constitutional choice, not only retained its traditional sultanates at the state level but also introduced another layer of monarchy into the federal system, through an overall, supreme Ruler, thereby...

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The Conference of Rulers

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pp. 12-13

Constitutional monarchy also led to the reconstitution of another traditional body — the Conference of Rulers, which existed pre-Merdeka but in a more restricted form....

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Federal-State Relations

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pp. 13-14

The Conference of Rulers reinforces the concept of federation. The concept is relatively new, and really only came in with Independence in a country where state loyalties run...

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The Islamic Factor

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pp. 14-16

The Sultans are the custodians of Islam in Malaysia. They have wide powers and discretion over matters relating to the Muslim religion. These powers and discretion are...

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The Challenges Ahead

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pp. 16-21

Let me now address some of the challenges, as I see them, facing the monarchy in the years ahead....

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p. 22-22

In conclusion, I do not wish to end on just one facet of the monarchy, which is the Head of Islam, but on its multiple roles and responsibilities central to the evolution of a...


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pp. 23-25


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p. 26-26

E-ISBN-13: 9789812306289
Print-ISBN-13: 9789812302885

Page Count: 26
Publication Year: 2004

Edition: 1