Have you ever thought about the possibility that everybody has an ability or talent which is unique to themselves? It is not hard to imagine; 7 billion human beings, and each of them having something only they can do, or if anyone can, they can do it with the best possible way. After countless DNA information being interchanged, and human beings going through all sorts of experience as they grow old, it is not inconceivable that every single person might have developed something they are particularly talented.
Some people might discover within themselves superior physical strength , or a heightened sense of touch. Some others might see more colours in the world than others, or that they can calculate numbers amazingly fast-things like that which we might call geniuses. But having a unique talent does not mean that it is good, or that it could actually be beneficial, or even newsworthy. It is always a possibility that having a unique ability is not something great, it could always be something lame, mundane; useless.
Think about the being able to chew faster than anyone else. What good would it do, even if you are the fastest chewer on earth? There’s only so much that a person can eat. Perhaps you have the ability to flap your ears like an elephant , or an inert talent of stacking rocks in a perfectly vertical position. Some people could perhaps have the talent to stare at a laptop screen for days like I’ve been doing, or squat for a week like it’s no big deal. If you want to be a bit gross, someone could have the ability to fart continuously for a minute , or catch a fly with a finger.
These suggestions , these possibilities that I have written, are indeed unique, but most of them are in no way special, or beneficial. Strange abilities like these you could only profit from freak shows, or during family gatherings, when you decide to show distant relatives your weird talent. They would end up calling you ‘that weird cousin’ in their minds for the rest of their lives, or worse being ‘that gross guy who farted non-stop at a family meeting’.
What good does it bring from thinking about mundane occurrences anyway? I do have a strong and reasonable motive , which is to uncover the mystery of the esteemed Kings of this wonderful country. People had been speaking about the greatness of our Sultans and defend their impeccable honour, these last few weeks, that I had to try to figure out the reason behind this obsession. It is hysterical really, the lengths people took in defending these royalties.
Honest men and fearless intellectuals were caught and charged in court for the reason that they have somehow insulted the Kings; probably hurt their feelings and made them cry. What is there in these small group of exceptional beings, that people even asked those dissenters to be hanged to death? I , for the life of me could not comprehend the reason.
It came to me that perhaps our Kings have their own special talents or abilities; you know, like Elsa and her icy fingers. Perhaps one of them could grow his nails twice the rate of normal people. It is also not impossible to imagine one of the kings could jiggle his butts perfectly to the rhythm of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Who knows that perhaps one of the kings is a master in drawing perfect circles with just a pen?
They could indeed be real, but currently we have no proof to back those informations, and more than that, I do not think special talents are enough to make their supporters jail others merely for speaking against the Kings.
What is the secret of the Kings? When people say that they ‘must’ protect the Kings, what is it that they are protecting? Why? What do they see , when they speak of the Kings?
Legions of men who opposed feudalism and monarchy had written and said all kinds of things in their critiques , from ridiculously complicated essays to cuss words, but currently in our country they do not seem to work. Perhaps the most famous example would be John Locke’s Two Treatise against Robert Filmer’s work, but the writing is old , full with words I’ve never seen before, and the reality about the monarchs are different. Perhaps we need a ridiculous writing to match a ridiculous situation in this country, sprinkled with pop culture references.
First of all we have to agree upon the ‘divine rights of the kings’. Unlike kings from earlier times when there were prophets who chose kings among the people1 , under the guidance of revelations, our kings have no such proof of legitimacy. There are no more prophets, and the Quran does not appoint any of these men as Kings. They only have their bloodlines as proof of their kingliness . If the standard Indonesian sinetron tragedy could ever happen- the son of the previous king was switched with another peasant’s baby after childbirth due to an evil doctor’s plans, and the current king is just the son of that poor peasant, then the current king certainly would have to abdicate.
Have you not considered the assembly of the Children of Israel after [the time of] Moses when they said to a prophet of theirs, "Send to us a king, and we will fight in the way of Allah "? He said, "Would you perhaps refrain from fighting if fighting was prescribed for you?" They said, "And why should we not fight in the cause of Allah when we have been driven out from our homes and from our children?" But when fighting was prescribed for them, they turned away, except for a few of them. And Allah is Knowing of the wrongdoers.
(Al Baqarah- 246)
Could it be then that the worth of the King is in his blood? Is it the difference in the amount of iron in the blood? Could it be that their blood is gold in colour? What the heck is it that makes these people so special, if the structure of their blood cells are no different from oppressed old men who spent their later years grudging about their lost youth? Is the blood of the fathers of the kings any different? We would have to cut the kings to pieces to figure out, but by then there would be no more kings, and people would not need to worry about them anymore.
In Shinobu Ohtaka’s work Magi; The Labyrinth of Magic, the king candidates selected by the three wise magicians are people with superior physical strength and wit, and each of them have the power of Djinns at their disposal. Ohtaka probably took the idea from the prophet King Sulaiman which had the Djinns under his command. Sulaiman a.s was also blessed with the ability to understand the language of animals and control the winds.2
And to Solomon [We subjected] the wind - its morning [journey was that of] a month - and its afternoon [journey was that of] a month, and We made flow for him a spring of [liquid] copper. And among the jinn were those who worked for him by the permission of his Lord. And whoever deviated among them from Our command - We will make him taste of the punishment of the Blaze.
What does our kings have though, that they should be regarded with such honour and bathed with wealth and praise? I bet they could never even fart for a minute if you ask them. I do not think that having the whole police force at your disposal to jail anybody who might oppose the monarchy is a reason why one should swear fealty. It is a monopoly upon violence which is used to silence dissenters; the very original form of despotism.
Are they the prettiest beings on earth? They certainly aren’t. Are these kings intelligent people? They probably are , but there could be billions of people with greater intellect. They certainly aren’t the wealthiest either, and I am not sure that the wealth of the kings actually belongs to themselves.
Now we have cleared that there is nothing special about the human part of the king . They do not possess special powers, they are not special enough; in essence, they are just humans. When the king dies, he gets stuck in the dirt similar like everyone else, and in the hereafter he does not get discounted for his deeds, unless if he was a pious man.
Some people argue that we need to protect the king because he is the symbol of- there should be a long list- religion, unity, historical heritage , Malaysianness, even Islamic Governance! Considering that there is nothing special about the human part of the kings, and that they work as symbols, it should not even matter whether these kings are humans or not. Consider a job where you need no special ability or talent, no requirement for beautiful faces, no degrees needed, only your blood; even a dead king would do the job-of just being there, and the particulars of the human part is not necessary.
Even a cup would do the job- fill it with the king’s blood , and call it Sultan Cawan. A cup would be the bigger person-he won’t mind some insulting words ,and he won't put people in jail.
Islam had freed us human beings from the enslavement to the devil and men, and I refuse to be subjugated to another.
If people are indeed in love only with the idea of a king, in the romance of it, and not the characters of the men who became king, nor about their abilities or ruling prowess , then the actual monarchs does not have to actually exist. They should stay as ideas, living in fairy tales where the kings are absurdly just, in story books and poems.
Should we preserve the monarchy because of the history of their predecessors? While some of them actually brought some civilization in this country, the same group of privileged men were also responsible in selling Penang to Francis Light, bringing Brooke to Sarawak , and losing Singapore to imperialists. Even if their predecessors painted the history of the nation, the current monarchs sit powerless, wasting taxpayers money , and putting innocent people in jail. The current kings aren’t copies of their legendary ancestors-just phony beings who are incredibly touchy. Historical heritages should be put in museums, not palaces.
I am writing in search for the secret of the kings, in their physical bodies and hypothetical minds ,and the idea of a king, and indeed ,I have found none.