There was a time when the istana, whether it be individual sultans or the Majlis Raja-Raja collectively, didn't need to fight their own battles. There was a time when UMNO would fight their battles for them.
UMNO has been fighting for the right of the Malay Rulers since the time of its conception. It had honoured the Rules with respect and in return, the Rulers by and large have been comfortable with a relationship whereby they stand as the symbols and guarantor of Malay leadership in Malaysia whilst UMNO executes the responsibilities of government with its partners in Barisan Nasional.
Even during the worst of times, over the period of the constitutional crisis of the early 80's, the Sultans did not need to 'turun padang' to defend themselves. At that time, part of UMNO fought on behalf of the majority of Rulers for the retention of all their rights whilst the another part of UMNO, allied with a minority of Rulers, challenged to further moderate the power of the Sultans as they felt was befitting a maturing democratic country that is Malaysia.
UMNO fought for the Rulers in the spirit of ensuring the continuity of the Malay tradition as custodians of what is Malaysia - now spun by the ill informed into the shallow concept of 'Ketuanan Melayu'.
As another Istana rises to address the challenge of the once insignificant Karpal Singh, one must again regret what UMNO has lost. Efforts of late by UMNO to belated rise to defend the rights of the Rulers against attacks by the Republican minded opposition parties, though commendable as efforts go, are severely undermined by the recent and not so recent past behaviour of the Pak Lah and the 'First Family" as well as their own court of sycophants (pengampu!).
One would have thought undermining the royal households by allowing UMNO controlled papers to declare Pak Lah's family the first family is bad enough. One was then stunned at the callous behaviour of the 4th Floor boys in renaming the SJER (Singapore's Johor Economic Rape) after the name of the Johor Sultan without permission.
However, these breaches of etiquette, though hardly forgivable, may have been excused to ignorance (perhaps Oxford does not teach manners to its graduates?). The most recent behaviour of Pak Lah's in disregarding the powers of Rulers in the decision-making and appointments of State Governments and Leaders have been appalling! Even more disturbing, one then sees some leaders and members following Pak Lah's lead in this matter against UMNO's grain!
Such actions have undermined UMNO's ability to act in its past capacity as a defender of the Rulers in recent times, and is hence further crippling UMNO's capacity in asserting the custodial rights and responsibilities over Malaysia. And nothing demonstrates the extent of damage caused by Pak Lah and co than the sight of the Rulers having to come out to defend themselves!
Pak Lah has lost the right to speak as the wazir of the Malay Rulers of Malaysia and certainly cannot turn from being an insulter of the Rulers himself into a defender of The Royal Highnesses overnight! To save UMNO from drifting further from its roots and reasons for being, to save UMNO from being so burdened by the his, his family's and cronies' wrong-doings any further, I yet again urge Pak Lah to Withdraw. I urge Pak Lah to return UMNO to its members...