Perak govt’s political training did not question Rulers, says Youth Assembly Speaker

John Bunyan
Perak Youth Assembly Speaker Teoh Yee Chern speaks to reporters in Ipoh April 22, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, April 22 — Perak Youth Assembly Speaker Teoh Yee Chern today dismissed the Opposition’s allegations that a state-run political training had questioned the sovereignty of Malay rulers.       

The Astaka assemblyman said that Malay rulers were discussed in Akademos in order to make sure that the participants, mostly school students, understood the royal institution and the importance of preserving it.

“Our country practises the constitutional monarchy system. So it is not wrong to discuss the system. There was no decision made in the discussion,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the state legislative assembly.

Teoh said that Akademos or the People’s Academy, is a platform for youngsters, especially school students, to understand and be exposed to national issues, democracy and politics in an informal manner.

“I hope a good leadership programme like Academos will not be politicised in order to seek popularity.

“The important thing is to understand the contents of the teaching under the programme,” he added.

Last Friday, Umno assemblyman Datuk Shahrul Zaman Yahya claimed that a module by Akademos — which is an initiative of the state Youth and Sports Development Committee office and funded by the Perbadanan Aspirasi Anak Perak — contravened the Federal Constitution.

The Rungkup assemblyman said the moderator in a discussion under the module questioned participants, which consisted of youth and Perak Youth Assembly members, whether it was right to have titles bestowed by the sultans such as ‘Tan Sri’ or ‘Datuk’.

Shahrul said the moderator also asked whether it is right to have a constitutional monarchy system if there is no need for the titles, in the course held from  October 12 to 14 last year at the Kinta Riverfront Hotel here.

Teoh defended the moderator by saying that the matter was first raised by the participants, not the moderator.

Teoh also said the “Mahathirism” issue discussed under the module did not refer to the physical body of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“What was meant by ‘Mahathirism’ here is the Cabinet structure, idealism, structure thinking and the ‘divide and rule’ strategy.

“We have been practising federalism since the 80’s when Mahathir was the prime minister. The system has been maintained until today, so the discussion was brought up so that the participants can judge whether the system needs any upgrade,” he said.

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