Happy Eid-Fitri to all of you. In this lovely morning, I have a brief period of leisure to put an article in the blog's Royal Discussion. Today topic that I want to highlight is regarding the title of our beloved King, His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Literally translated as 'He who is made Lord', but the most accurate meaning is 'The Supreme Ruler/King'. As Agong in Malay Language brought a meaning of 'Supreme'. Nevertheless, despite all the effort of elected a Supreme King to become the Head of the Federation, why the title is just King? Why the nation does not used the title Emperor to the Supreme Ruler even though it is apparent that the Supreme King enjoys privileges and precedence over States Rulers.
I have made my research regarding this issued whether the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can be known as Maharaja or Emperor. A most basic ingredient to become an Emperor is that, an Emperor must lead an Empire.
A Malay Empire
We in Malaysia never run short of Empires. Sabah and Sarawak previously is a territory of the Sultanate of Brunei, which previously covers a mass land of Northern Borneo and have severals sisters States in present day the Philippines up to the Metro Manila. In Malaya, three major Sultanate have ruled the region during the times of a Malay Sultanates. The Sultanate of Johor-Riau, the Sultanate of Malacca and the Sultanate of Acheh. The quadruplet have a basic ingredient as an Empire but unfortunately, all of them are currently exist as a Sultanate.
Brunei Darussalam enjoys privileges as the richest Sultanate in the region, nevertheless its territory today has only covered a small sections of Borneo. Johor, even though still in existant, the modern Johor is a State founded by the House of Temenggung which is a remnant of the fallen Johor-Riau Empire. Malacca which a major power in the past has ceased to exist and all Malaccan royalty descendant who ruled a State of Johor, Pahang and Perak in the past has all ceased to exist. Johor and Pahang royalty nowadays is a descendant of Bendahara Tun Habab, Marhum Pedang Saujana while Perak is a descendant of Siak Royalty.
So, a direct line to the past Malay Empire is save to say, has all ceased to exist and no longer ruled any States or nation.
An ingredient of an Empire
Probably all of us has been wondering what is the characteristics of Empire? Here is the main characteristics to become an Empire.
- The populations of an Empire is culturally and ethnically distinct from the imperial ethnic group. (Our beloved King are known as Malay Royalties and Malay by racial composition. Malaysia also exist as multi-racial country. So, Yes. We have the first ingredients).
- Empire is form by either Direct Conquest by military expansion control with force or Indirect Conquest control with power. (Malaysia was formed when Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore federate with States of Malaya. So, No. we do not have the second ingredient. And modern Malaysia never gain any territory by military might.)
By the second characteristics, I supposed we will have ourselves a Constitutional Crisis if we're to used the term Emperor to describe our King. The description clearly stated that Empire controls its territory by force and power unlike federation which composed of voluntarily extensive territory of autonomous states and people. We never forced Bruneian to insert the Sultanate into the new country in 1963 who clearly against the Malaysia idea. Even though we can actually said that Singaporean has in some way been forced to accept Malaysia because they can't say no when their government held a referendum regarding the union, even though only 25% chooses not to vote in the referendum.
In conclusion, the title of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the best title to describe our beloved monarch as a symbol of unity to all Malaysians. A radiant yet down to earth royal title as a pillar of the nation and defender of the people. Daulat Tuanku.