Talkback

PN Favour Reform But Not Of Themselves

Amid allegations that Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) election funds were partially sourced from gambling companies, the Muhyiddin Yassin-led coalition said it will not disclose the funds it received.

Its deputy Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said it is not the practice of political parties to make their funding public.

“We will not be presenting the list. No political parties have done that (present a list of funds received) before,” he added….

However, he said PN is open to debating the political funding bill in Parliament.

“If that’s among the main issues, then go ahead. As an MP, I, too, call for this.

“It was supposed to be solved during Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s tenure (as prime minister) but Parliament had already been dissolved, so there was no time for that

Our comment

So, let’s be clear. PN are totally in favour of reforming the political funding laws in Malaysia in order to adopt the basic levels of transparency expected in a democracy (as already enacted in other countries across the globe).

In fact, they were going to do it when they had a chance in government but never got around to it because they decided to call a snap election instead, presumably because they reckoned they could somehow pull off an early election win.

We all know what happened next. PN displayed the most enormous level of funds throughout the election campaign, of the sort that used to win elections when its elderly leaders like Moo first learnt their craft. However this time it didn’t work.

So, everyone is now asking where on earth did all that money come from in the hands of a party which has had its hands on the levers of power during a state of emergency for eighteen months, where all systems of accountability were conveniently shelved and Parliament shut down?

The new PM/FM has confirmed improprieties took place regarding the handling of RM600 billion of public money during that period which he will investigate. He has also suggested PN (dominated by the ‘religious’ folk from PAS) received election money from gambling interests.

Yesterday, a stash of papers sadly caught fire in the rubbish area behind the MOF.

Now, whilst furiously denying any improprieties or income from gambling outfits and at the same time saying it is fully in favour of reform and transparency, PN are refusing to open their accounts…. because so far it’s not the law?

Why don’t these clerics and their side-kicks start to lead by example and stop telling the rest of us to believe them holy just because they say so?

On The Matter Of Foreign Funding

PAS ulama council has asked the government why it is not investigating the accusation that Pakatan Harapan received foreign funding when it was in the opposition.

The council’s chief Ahmad Yahya said there should be greater concern about foreign funding as it could jeopardise national security.

“The most important question now is about Harapan receiving funds from foreign entities, something that had alarmed the public before this.

“This matter was revealed by Daniel Twining himself, who is the president of the International Republican Institute (IRI), after the 14th general election.

Our comment

This cleric (whose party of course exists entirely off donations or scrabbling public appointments for doing very little) has reminded of an important point.

The only major funding into Najib’s secret personal war-chest apart from moneys looted from 1MDB was roughly a hundred million dollars documented as a donation into his illegal bank account from the Saudi Foreign Ministry.

In fact, for the longest time Najib tried to pretend the entirety of the billion dollars in that account had been a “gift” from the Saudi King to help keep him in office and promote his alleged support of Islam (for which read his financial courtship of the PAS party which had previously been regarded by UMNO as dangerous extremists who had caused conflict in Malaysia).

PAS has been trading its obedient flock for cash to the highest political bidders ever since.

Not only did PAS agree to ally with the Saudi-financed klepto-crook Najib, but they carried on in government with him (and all the other crooks they now pretend to deplore now they have fallen out) for three years following the coup in which they played a part and following his conviction.

They have therefore been happy to gorge off foreign money handed not to opposition parties but to the party of government even – foreign funding to control the government of Malaysia and spread the brand of religion espoused by Saudi Arabia (where Hadi went off to learn his lines).

PAS are well-known for their sanctimonious hypocrisy, but it seems particularly astounding they would choose to bring up this particular issue where their behaviour is so exposed with documents, court evidence and the conviction of Najib on the basis of an  interpretation of what some think tank person might have or might not have claimed in the US.

Palace Man Shows Stunning Commitment To Ministerial Role

International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz was the only absentee in the unity government’s special cabinet meeting today.

It is understood that he is in Abu Dhabi to attend a trade mission. Sources told Berita Harian that the ministry is expected to make an official announcement on the matter tomorrow.

Earlier reports had claimed that Tengku Zafrul had missed the cabinet meeting as he was away in Qatar. “He is not in Qatar, as claimed. He’s not there to watch the World Cup. He went to Abu Dhabi on a trade mission,” said the source.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had earlier today chaired a special cabinet meeting in Perdana Putra, the first of the unity government, three days after announcing the federal cabinet lineup on Friday.

The special cabinet meeting, attended by all ministers except Tengku Zafrul, began at 10am.

Our comment

The ringgit may have leapt from the day he was replaced as Minister of Finance and the new government may already be expressing concern at the “serious breaches of procedure” regarding RM600 BILLION potentially misappropriated under his watch.

However, Tengku Zafrul has leapt to demonstrate why it was that his friends in high places were pressing so hard for him to be appointed back in the cabinet, despite failing even to gain a seat at the election.

Having only been appointed late on Thursday (the plea had been for him to grab his old position back as MOF but he was politely given International Trade instead) the man was already darting across the world to start implementing his role. He didn’t even have time to attend Anwar’s first Cabinet meeting with all the other ministers 10am Monday!

Think what a stunning achievement this was. Right up till just Friday he had hoped to be re-appointed MOF, but by first thing Monday morning he had picked himself up having organised over the weekend a full-scale trade mission to Abu Dhabi.

The civil servants in both countries must certainly have been kept on their toes over those two days … no lazy weekend watching the World Cup just a hop across the way in Qatar for them!!

And, certainly, as Zafrul’s own spokespeople have rather gratuitously assured the media, this was not at all the purpose of the known sporting-enthusiast minister’s own trip out West. The fun-loving amateur runner, who was perhaps more regarded as a well-connected lightweight in his earlier years, has got right down to business instead.

What trade matters he was exactly up to is yet to be revealed or how he had come to be briefed on the trade policies of the hours old government he’s just joined as a total outsider. But we can rest assured that one person who will not be sitting in the VVIP section of the stadium for the final on Sunday (tickets for which are being touted for over RM113,000 in KL) is Malaysia’s new International Trade Minister.

Instead, he will be doubtless on his travels again drumming up more trade for Malaysia to make up for the many billions that disappeared during his period of office as Finance Minister.

How About Introducing A Crime Of Mysogyny In Terengganu?

The Terengganu assembly today passed the Shariah Criminal Offences (Takzir)(Amendment) Enactment 2022 which, among other things, includes Section 3A involving witchcraft and sorcery activities.

State Shariah Implementation, Education and Higher Education Committee chairman Datuk Satiful Bahari Mamat said the amendment also involved Section 33A (women acting like men), Section 36A (preparation for sodomy), and Section 29A (pregnant or giving birth to a child out of wedlock).

“We are trying to make use of the opportunity by maximising the punishment based on Section 356, namely a three-year jail term, a fine of RM5,000 and six lashes.

“With this amendment, we hope that the well-being of Muslims, especially in Terengganu, will be better protected,” he told reporters after the state assembly session at Wisma Darul Iman, here today.

On the witchcraft and sorcery-related section, Satiful Bahari said a special committee had been established under the Terengganu Religious Affairs Department to monitor the matter and ensure that the state’s Muslim community did not seek alternative treatments that conflicted with Islamic law.

He elaborated that the punishment would only be meted out on individuals who provide such treatments, and not the patients.

The section on women acting like men, he said, was needed because the existing legal provisions only involved men acting like women.

“In the past, there might not have been much of this issue (women acting like men). Now, however, we see that ‘pengkid’ (tomboys or lesbians) and similar cases are becoming more widespread. So, the state government intends to curb this issue,” he said.

In addition to the four sections’ inclusion, he said today’s amendment also involved 21 existing sections and would come into force after receiving Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin’ consent.

Our comment

Historical records show that hundreds of years ago, before other countries got rid of the sorts of primitive laws that the bright boys of Terengganu have just decided to re-introduce, the most awful acts were committed on the excuse of countering these same phantom crimes of ‘witchcraft’, ‘heresy’ and ‘deviancy’ all in the name of religion.

Women (since this is about gender abuse) were drowned and burnt, often after being raped and tortured by ‘religious’ activists – the actual criminals in the case. Sadly and appallingly the world is watching the same sort of perversion in the name of God taking place in Iran today and likewise Afghanistan.

The introduction of these new phoney laws are an invitation for the same kind of abuse to develop in Terengganu as ‘religious’ police set about enforcing their new powers against women.

After all, the first problem with inventing ‘crimes’ around alleged ‘witchcraft’ and ‘deviancy’ is that such matters are entirely in the mind of the beholder rather than present as solid fact and so they are in reality merely a way for one segment of the population (men) to seek to exploit, bully, threaten and control another segment (women). The punishment being violence.

The entire exercise is utterly countrary to the rule of law as developed by modern civilisation.  It is just an excuse to introduce an arbitrary, primitive exercise of authority for privileged individuals.

There is no need for such legislation since genuine crimes are long since outlawed. The practice of alleged sorcery, for example, is already dealt with under civil laws to the extant that if an unlicensed practitioner is seeking to administer harmful substances in the name of superstition to another person, then there are plenty of civil laws to control and punish such behaviour without endorsing the supernatural claims which have no basis in science nor indeed the Muslim religion.

So, why give credence to nonsense? Indeed, it is clear that by outlawing ‘witchcraft’ these buffoons are admitting they themselves believe in it, which is not only contrary to their religion but encourages others to assume it must exist as well – otherwise it could not be outlawed!

Likewise, what makes for a ‘tomboy’?  Is this a girl who proves too forward by coming top in class perhaps?  A girl who is energetic and likes to run and climb a tree? A girl who rejects a disappointed male even?

How do these men plan to define the female who should receive lashes on grounds of being a ‘tomboy’? Are they off to Afghanistan to ask the Taliban?  One assumes so, unfortunately.

As for punishment for pregnancies out of wedlock. Will there be a DNA test so that the stronger of the two sinners can be identified and punished likewise?

This intrusive snooping into other people’s lives should not be legitimised in any society where there is a modern state and judiciary. This is village level governance that belongs to primitive times and primitive economies. It can bring no wealth and no prosperity (nor any moral uplift) to the folk of Terengganu.

The bullies from their newly funded mosques clearly have nothing more to offer in terms of ideas. Their training and life experiences do not extend beyond seeking to dominate the hard-working wives, sisters and daughters who make their homes and families, grow their food and do most of the work about the place. What do they do themselves save preach and procreate?

Without doubt civil crimes will be committed in the name of these contrived laws of oppression.  They always are, and the victims will be the physically weaker sex whom these bullies seek to target.

Terengganu will be condemned throughout the world for its oppression of women and the rest of Malaysia is going to leave them well behind.

Rave From The Grave - Zafrul's Bid To Return As MOF!!

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim might unveil the names of new cabinet members tomorrow – albeit a partial list, according to sources close to the PKR president….

Meanwhile, an Umno insider claimed that there was a setback in forming the new cabinet due to lobbying by a former minister, who is allegedly eyeing the finance minister position.

Ex-minister becoming a stumbling block?

The source, who is close to Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s office told Malaysiakini that the former minister is from the nationalist party, but his name was not among those in the list of candidates that Umno had sent to the Prime Minister’s Office.

“He is the stumbling block. He was not part of the list and Anwar also doesn’t want him as finance minister.

“But because he had been lobbying with certain figures, so now we are in this situation,” the source claimed.

Malaysiakini has reached the former minister for comment and is withholding his name pending a response.

Our comment

If, as is being rumoured, this last minute interloper demanding the Finance Ministry role is none other than its previous occupant, Zafrul Aziz, the resounding response must be why?

Zafrul originally got the job based on no political background whatsoever, beyond an apparent close friendship with the current Agong. Somehow, he emerged as Finance Minister as part of the arrangement devised behind palace doors when Muhyiddin was appointed the surprise PM as the leader of a tiny band of rebel MPs.

It looked mightily like Zafrul was the quid pro quo for the royal backing ‘Moo’ received.

Once again, when the BN contingent of the Coup Coalition managed to wrest control,  Zafrul was allowed to remain in post as an unelected Finance Minister, directing the spending of a government with a wafer thin majority in a Parliament that barely sat.

Perhaps the strange state of affairs was less evident during the Covid ‘state of emergency’ called by the Agong.

However, Zafrul’s ambitions to remain in the job were plain in that he took the trouble to run for what ought to have been a safe seat at the last election, had his party and his record been considered acceptable to voters.

Instead he was rejected and failed to win the seat while his party crashed. That should have been the end of politics for Zafrul Aziz. The negotiations of the past few weeks have rightly involved those who were elected and a Prime Minister is now appointed with the authority to decide the cabinet – that PM does not want Zafrul, naturally, and nor do the other coalition leaders nor the world of finance.

Indeed, the big bounce in the ringgit following the announcement of Anwar Ibrahim’s appointment as PM, speaks to the general verdict on Zafrul’s past three years’ management of Malaysia’s economy with his bloated budgets and scant accountability.

So why, belatedly, the apparent pressure to re-appoint this unelected fellow, rejected by voters and with a record scorned by all?

What ‘high-level’ influence could have been exerted on Zafrul’s behalf to give the new PM pause in such a way, when the Constitution makes absolutely clear that it is for him to negotiate with his political colleagues as to what jobs go to whom?

UMNO confirm that this unelected has-been from two discredited past administrations was not on their list of proposed cabinet posts.  So, which other political faction would have pushed his cause?

The Prime Minister and his elected colleagues must now be allowed to do their job without interference, surely, if only to avoid unhealthy speculation as to who is promoting this rave from the grave, and why?

Want To Hadi Your Cake And Eat It?

PAS president Tan Sri Hadi Awang has branded the unity government of newly minted Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as a “minority government supported by robbers, pirates, gangsters, secret societies, and givers and recipients of bribes”.

“In their (GE15 campaign) speeches, they mention about fighting corruption, robbers and pirates. But when they form a government, they invite these types of people to make up their numbers. How can we accept them?” Harakah Daily quoted Hadi who successfully defended his Marang parliamentary seat in the recent 15th General Election (GE15) as saying.

“We have dignity. We Muslims have to follow the laws of our religion. God’s order is superior to the orders of all the governments in this world. This must be understood,” he told a gathering at the Darul Ummah Mentara Integrated Islamic Foundation Elementary School (SRITI) in Rompin, Negri Sembilan on Monday night (Nov 28).

Earlier, Hadi also belittled Anwar’s unity government as merely “a minority government with minority support” given that “it is dominated by DAP and non-Muslims”.

He further claimed that more than 80% of the Malays (in Peninsular Malaysia) and Bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak had voted for Perikatan Nasional (PN) as well as the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) and the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) thus creating a “majority-elect legitimate government”.

Our comment

These MPs, whom Hadi describes as “robbers, pirates, gangsters, secret societies, and givers and recipients of bribes” are, of course, the self-same individuals that Hadi and his allies are simultaneously fighting to bring into their own coalition.

Indeed, he has worked in a joint governing coalition with many of them for the past three years.

By virtue of working with Hadi, are they therefore cleansed of sin?

By the same token, in Hadi’s apparent world view (shared by few other respected Muslim leaders, many of whom have branded Hadi a leading figure of a terrorist organisation) those who say they are Muslim are good people, whereas those who were brought up in other religions are bad people.

This, naturally, has not deterred Hadi from cruising around in non-Muslim vehicles, availing himself of life-saving non-Muslim medicine nor from flashing the occasional non-Muslim accessory (see image).

Hadi rails against the Chinese majority DAP party, as if their DNA categorises them as evil, and yet his struggling coalition relies on the remaining MP from the Chinese majority MCA party to make up its shortfall in numbers.

Hilariously, Hadi also proclaims GPS Sarawak as backing him, when GPS clearly represents a majority Christian state which dissolved into uproar when there was a hint that its MPs would support a coalition dominated by Bible-burning Hadi – prompting the present decision to support PH instead.

You can’t denounce someone as evil and yet beg for their support, whilst at the same time proclaiming to be holy. It’s called trying to have your cake and eat it – and everyone knows that it is either, or.

Do Not Act As They Do - With Hope Comes Tolerance

Terengganu Pakatan Harapan chairperson Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad has alleged that PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has committed treason by insulting the institution of Malay rulers.

He called on the authorities to investigate Hadi’s statement, which he also claimed was seditious.

Raja Kamarul said that those who were unable to govern well are disrespecting the Malay rulers out of lust to remain in power.

“Those who supposedly once established a Malay-Islam government in Malaysia should mirror all the good of being Malay and Muslim.

Our comment

It has been convenient for PH as the winning party, once the Agong fulfilled his role and called their leader to form a government, to bandy about talk of the Agong’s ‘decree’, duties of obedience, and now it seems of ‘treason’ and ‘sedition’ on the part of those who have been bad losers – like Hadi Awang.

Of course, the old political cleric has been behaving more like a small child who lost at a party game than a mature leader concerned about the good governance of his nation, let alone a worthy man of religion.

He is indeed a menace to the nation, having darkly hinted at disturbances and retribution (apparently to be meted out by God). Hence, the rightful concerns about sedition on the part of those who left PAS when Hadi’s faction took over the movement (with a nice dollop of assistance from his UMNO friends at the time).

Hadi is a man who has incited riots and caused innocent folk to die in the past, all in service of his personal ambitions which he likes to cloak in the name of God. He is dangerous.

However, so is the bandying about of accusations of sedition and calls for punishments over ‘disrespect’ to royalty. Democracies have to be tolerant of criticism of those in high places and of opposing views, complaints and so forth.

The past Harapan government saw a welcome respite from the hounding of dissent, which immediately returned with the coup coalition of which Hadi was a part.

Hadi is indeed quite capable of leading riots and plotting insurrection. He has done it before. However, this is not the time to start harassing and investigating him for petulant words. He needs watched and he needs answered, but he should be judged by his actual actions.

The Agong Is There To Assist The Process of Democracy, Not To Issue Decrees Or Give Orders

Constitutional expert Prof Datuk Dr Shamrahayu Ab Aziz said a unity government is thought to be one of the main choices because it is considered capable of achieving unity among the Malaysian communities.

Our comment

With all due respect to the Prof, her interpretation of Malaysia’s constitution misleads. It is not for the Agong to ‘Decree’ that the Prime Minister must form a ‘Unity Government’, it is for the Agong to call the person who appears to command the most support in Parliament to form a government as that person sees fit.

This is because elections are not held for fun or as some kind of opinion testing exercise. They are an expression of the will of the people. Malaysia is a parliamentary democracy meaning that it is ruled by the people and not by the Agong. The Agong’s role, as a constitutional (bound by strict laws) and temporary monarch, is to remain above the political fray and to ensure the WILL OF THE PEOPLE is obeyed.

The Prof does acknowledge “the form of government is a privilege owned by the prime minister” but on the other hand suggests Anwar’s appointment is “a decree…. not merely a suggestion but an order that must be obeyed” – as if a Royal Decree is not something that has to be authorised by Parliament, which it does.

Indeed, were it simply up to the Sultan who happens to be Agong at the time to decide who gets to govern, and how, you could end up with a situation where the Agong could completely ignore the leader who commands the most support amongst the people’s representatives and appoint someone who commands absolutely no support whatsoever …..

Oooops!  That is exactly what happened, of course, in 2020.

However, the debacle of 2020 ought to be treated as an extreme lesson in what ought not happen, rather than as some kind of precedent. The excuse then was, perhaps, the extraordinary circumstances where a coup was hatched in the same week a pandemic struck.

Amidst much loose talk of ‘Decrees’ and ‘Orders’, as if the temporary Agong was an absolute monarch, Muhyiddin who was a traitor to his own party and who held no legitimate role as an elected leader of any party, was appointed PM following the Sheraton Coup.

‘Moo’ had claimed he had a majority of ‘Statutory Declarations’ from MPs supporting his bid, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. That has been proven to have been a lie and so weak was his actual following that the Agong was then obliged to suspend Parliament for months so that this imposter would not be shown up by a confidence vote.

To be clear, under the Constitution it is the Confidence Vote that confirms the position of a new Prime Minister. There is no reference to any ‘Decree’ by the Agong nor any ‘Swearing In Ceremony’ by the Agong nor ‘Orders’ by the Agong to form this or that type of government. It is Parliament that confirms that an administration has the support of the majority of the people.

In order to maintain the Muhyiddin Government through this disastrous period of minority rule, therefore, the Agong was forced to resort to another of his limited but important roles under the Constitution. He called a State of Emergency which was used to suspend Parliament altogether!

The excuse for the State of Emergency was Covid, but few other countries extended their Covid Emergencies to a complete suspension of democratic government. Quite the opposite, most countries leaned on the authority of their Parliaments to press through emergency rules that were often hard to bear.

Unsurprisingly, ‘Moo’s’ propped up regime eventually collapsed under the weight of its democratic deficit and incompetence (but not before billions in un-tendered Covid contracts had been funnelled through without scrutiny).

Now the same fellow is running around again claiming that his alleged new bundle of SDs outweigh the declarations of party leaders that have made it clear to the people and even to the Agong where the support of MPs lies.

Anwar has told the Moo cow that he can keep his unconstitutional SDs and that he will this time see him in Parliament, which is indeed the proper place, as determined under the Constitution, for this dispute to be resolved.

Anwar is confident he has his majority, hence no need to find an ‘Emergency’ excuse to block MPs nor to rely on specious talk of ‘Decrees’ and ‘Orders’ which misrepresent the role of the Agong under the Malaysian Constitution.

It is there for all to read.

Too Late Mate!

GPS will be joining the unity government that will be led by newly minted Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, as per the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree.

Its chief Abang Johari Openg said the Sarawak-based ruling coalition abides by the Agong’s decree, saying His Majesty wants a strong and stable government.

“The Agong advised us to form a unity government to overcome the political impasse.

“We obey the constitutional monarchy and the Rukun Negara clearly states that we must obey the king, even though we don’t have a king in Sarawak,” he told a press conference today.

Our comment

Last night Abang Jo was pledging to only support PAS controlled-PN, for reasons most Sarawakians are wondering very angrily about.

This was AFTER he had last seen the Agong, but while he still plainly hoped that his pal Hishamuddin would pull off his treacherous move to snatch the leadership of his BN party and then the country.

Now, far too belatedly, Abang Jo is claiming that some ‘Decree’ by the Agong has instructed for him to be part of a Unity Government.

This is not how the Constitution of Malaysia works. Much as the ceremony and ‘Swearing In’ at the palace may have made for a great news story and a symbolic acceptance (at last) of the fact PH won most seats at this election, it is not for the Agong to ‘Decree’ the nature of his government.

That will be confirmed by Parliament when Anwar demonstrates what has become obvious (even at last to the King) which is that he commands a majority of MPs. It is for Anwar to appoint his coalition colleagues following negotiations between themselves.

However, owing primarily to his crass behaviour of the past few days, Abang Jo is not part of that configuration. It was not thanks to GPS ‘Kingmaking’ that Anwar achieved his numbers, but thanks to the majority of BN’s MPs, whom Abang Jo sought to destabilise with his plotting with PN and the likes of Hishamuddin and Ismail Sabri.

Abang Jo may be desperate now to jump on the bandwaggon with his GPS lackeys. But they have all shown they had preferred to work instead to support a PAS led coalition, and had been prepared to actively undermine the collaboration between PH and BN designed to achieve a stable government.

The Agong may have ‘Decreed’ a unity government, but he cannot decree that Anwar gives any of these GPS chancers a single seat in his slimmed down cabinet – and nor should he!

Abang Jo Should Heed The Will Of The People

Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will leave it to the wisdom of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to decide who should be the prime minister.

GPS said this in a statement today, two days after it claimed that it would support a government led by Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister.

Its latest statement does not mention Muhyiddin at all, nor did the coalition nominate anyone else.

GPS said this although it had previously proposed the formation of a government comprising PN, BN, GPS and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)…

Our comment

Having first proclaimed he would surrender Sarawak to a coalition dominated by the malignant voice of the extremist PAS and a leader who just before the election proclaimed PH was a front for a ‘Jewish and Christian Plot’, Abang Jo has now said he will submit entirely to ‘the wisdom of the Agong’.

Why have elections at all?

The Agong has a role in the process as a constitutional monarch who acts as the objective umpire to make sure that the WILL OF THE PEOPLE is obeyed – not his will. He is not a capricious autocrat, who may or may not be wise, but a titular head of state.

Abang Jo should stop making a fool of Sarawakians and press for their interests in this process. That doesn’t not involve submitting to PAS nor submitting to a Malay Sultan.