Abiding Times 2 by Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin Muhriz

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By Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin Muhriz

This publication includes articles chosen more often than not from the author's column, 'Abiding Times', in theSun, Malaysia, in addition to others. released among July 2010 and August 2011, they have been written within the interval after Tunku 'Abidin's go back from the U.S. and covers his function in principles. From calling for the tests and balances so an important to the potent functioning of a democratic society to be reinforced, to reminding all members in a democratic society in their rights and duties, the writer writes in a language that's effortless to learn and with a wry experience of humour.

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He is far more knowledgeable about classical music than I am, while I tend to embarrass my children by dancing to James Brown. Politically speaking, Tunku ’Abidin tends to classify people by their political ideologies while I tend to view people more horizontally, based on where they stand above or below the imbecilic bar. And Tunku ’Abidin believes in as little government intervention as possible whereas I think that the government has a role to play in most things except for one’s personal life and faith.

Still, this year definitely has a greater air of despair. We have moved further away, not closer, to appreciating the incredible multiethnic history of our country that I had written about in 2008, and the ‘one songket’ I imagined last year is fast unravelling before our very eyes. Those of us who thought that the historic election of March 2008 would result in an evolution from race to ideas and policy-based politics are feeling dejected and cognisant of our own naivety. With the benefit of hindsight, of course the beneficiaries of a race-tinged politics of patronage would have done everything to ensure a perpetuation of the ancien regime.

En route back to Malaya he was stranded in Colombo due to the war and became a newscaster, finding his way back to England to work at the BBC. After the war came an offer to work in the Malayan Civil Service, which he accepted after more courses at Cambridge, the London School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Transferred to the legal service in 1949, his rise was so meteoric that by 1956 the Conference of Rulers requested his advice in drawing up the Constitution of the Federation of Malaya (the Sultan of Brunei did the same three years later).

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