Published: Tuesday January 29, 2013 MYT 8:53:00 PM
Negri Sembilan prince explains DAP offer
KUALA LUMPUR: Negri Sembilan prince Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin Tuanku Muhriz has confirmed there had been discussions on an offer by the DAP for him to be coaxed to enter politics.
Tunku Zain, who is a son of the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir, said it was unfortunate that private discussions had been made public.
"Political parties should be able to freely engage any Malaysian citizen to discuss confidential proposals within the boundaries of the law," he said in a statement.
The statement was issued following the disclosure by former DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim that Negri Sembilan DAP chairman Loke Siew Fook had asked him to coax Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin to become a candidate of the party and contest a state seat in the next general election.
Tunku Abdul Aziz said he conveyed the DAP's desire to Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin, but the latter dismissed the offer.
Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin said that as the matter had been brought to the public domain, he could confirm that the descriptions of the contents of his conversation with the DAP some months ago were broadly accurate.
"As it was an informal conversation, no minutes were taken. It should be noted that I have been invited to similar informal and private conversations with representatives of other political parties as well.
"As I have written in my articles over the past five years, I respect and admire principled and hardworking politicians regardless of the party they belong to.
"However, in my view, no political party today articulates the vision of our Ayahanda Kemerdekaan (Father of Independence) with sufficient conviction and consistency for me to consider joining them," he said.
Tunku Zain Al-'Abidin said it had been alleged that it was improper for a child of a Ruler to participate in party politics, but added that five children of Rulers had already done so.
He named them as Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj of Kedah, who was the MP for Kuala Muda (1955-1970) and prime minister from 1957 to 1970 (Umno and Semangat 46), Tunku Panglima Besar Tunku Abdullah of Negeri Sembilan (MP for Rawang, 1964-1974, Umno), Tengku Sri Paduka Raja Tengku Ibrahim of Terengganu (state assemblyman for Ajil, 1990-1995, Semangat 46 and PAS), Tengku Datuk Sri Azlan of Pahang (MP for Jerantut, 1999 to present, and Deputy Minister of Transport, 1999-2008, Semangat 46 and Umno) and Datuk Seri Syed Razlan Jamalullail of Perlis (MP for Arau, 2004-2008, and state assemblyman for Pauh, 2008 to present, Umno).
Tun Zain Al-'Abidin said Malaysian civil society space had grown significantly in the past few years, and he had long been active in that environment, since before his father was elected the 11th Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan.
"It is in this space that I wish to continue to contribute, particularly through the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and the various foundations in which I serve," he said. - Bernama.