Speaking to reporters at parliament lobby, Nazri said since the Federal Constitution has to be amended to restore legal immunity for the rulers, “it must be something we have to discuss in cabinet but not necessarily tomorrow (Friday) as it is not so urgent and important for us."
“Anyway, it must come from not just one Regent but it must come, for it to be taken seriously, as a paper or a request for the Conference of Rulers. Then probably we will look into it," he said.
Nazri was responding to Negri Sembilan Regent Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Jaafar‘s call on Wednesday to the government to restore the royal immunity that had been "lost" for 15 years and return the monarchy's independence so that it can play a more effective role as guardian of the Federal Constitution.
Tunku Naquiyuddin had lamented the amendments to the Federal Constitution in 1983 and 1993 which dealt with royal assent to Bills in Parliament in 1983 and the privilege of immunity in 1993.
Nazri said the matter was raised by the Regent because the Yang di-Pertuan (the Ruler of Negri Sembilan Tuanku Jaafar Tuanku Abdul Rahman) was found to have owed money, in a recent decision made by the panel of special judges.
“So, he (Naquiyuddin ) has an interest in this and it has got nothing to do with the spirit of reason why the incident of 15 years ago happened.
“I do not wish to comment further but I am very sure this was raised because the Ruler was ordered to pay back to a bank a sum of USD$1 million."
"I do not think it has anything to do with (giving them) immunity to enable them to become the fountain of justice. I do not think that I want to take seriously what he had said because to me it is a conflict of interest,” he told reporters.
On Oct 15, the Special Court here ordered Tuanku Jaafar to pay Standard Chartered Bank (Malaysia) Bhd to honour his commitment over a 1999 business deal.
Meanwhile, DAP national chairman Karpal Singh said in a statement the Regent's call does not have basis and ought not to be entertained.
He said it is wrong to say that after the last general election, the constitutional structure of the country has changed.
Karpal said the King still largely acts on the advice of the Executive, and he could not see how after the amendments to the Constitution in 1993 that allowed redress against the rulers, the rulers could not play the same role as enshrined in the constitution.
He said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should be commended for bringing about the amendments and the royalty should set an example by complying with the law.
"Calling for immunity only presupposes eventuality of possible infringement of the law," he added.