KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — The federal government allocated RM256.9 million from January 2017 to this April for the Yang diPertuan Agong’s facilities and amenities, according to experienced newsman Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.
Kadir used the figure to convey that the Malay Rulers’ welfare and interests were completely protected, when commenting on the now-resolved dispute over the appointment of Tommy Thomas as Attorney General (AG).
“I wouldn’t dare say that the Rulers are so insecure these days about their position that they need to be assured and comforted.
“On the contrary I think the Rulers are as confident and assured as ever before. Why shouldn’t they? They are guaranteed by the Constitution, lavishly provided for, wealthy and even (Datuk Seri) Anwar (Ibrahim) kissed their hands!
“For 16 months to April this year, a total of RM256.9 million had been allocated to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for purposes of accommodation, residence and palace, personal items, aircraft and transportation, training and escort equipment, clothing and ceremonial items, gifts and souvenirs, overseas visits and salaries of palace staff,” he wrote on his blog yesterday.
He did not state the source of his information regarding federal spending on the royals. According to the Treasury, the government allocates RM13.5 million annually for the Agong.
Kadir noted that, like all Malaysians, the Rulers were also bound by the Federal Constitution.
The Federal Constitution was also the very document from which the Agong derives his powers and authority, he noted.
“The Constitution that guarantees the right of the homeless pauper who languishes in the back lane of Chow Kit also guarantees the right of the King who lives in the gleaming RM650-million Istana Negara,” he wrote.
He also noted that the Federal Constitution was amended in 1993 to clarify the extent of the Rulers’ immunity, which he categorised as a measure taken to “further protect the royal institution”.
The Agong and the federal government were reportedly in disagreement over the nomination of a non-Malay candidate to be AG.
However, Sultan Muhammad V yesterday gave his royal assent for Thomas to replace Tan Sri Apandi Ali in the role.