Only those who have been awarded honorary Kabney’s by His Majesty the King are entitled to wear kabney after their retirement but all post-based kabney and patang should compulsorily surrender to the Royal Privy Council on completing their terms according to Royal Privy Council member, Dasho Sangay Wangchug.
At the same time even if somebody is allowed to wear kabney after retirement the person is not entitled to wear a patang as patang depicts authority.
Dasho said that the surrender of post based kabney and patang is important to keep the value of both the post and the recognition.
Making the matter eminently clear Dasho said that after 2008 starting from Ministers and MPs all those who have received kabneys and patangs should surrender it. He said with the advent of democracy from 2008 the system was entirely different as people were not chosen by the King on merit but elected by the people.
He said that since the then ministers and MPs received Kabneys and Patangs based on their elected posts they should give it up.
This statement comes in the light of some former ministers and even MPs elected after 2008 wearing or not surrendering their kabney and patangs to the Privy Council.
“Either if one’s term is over or if there is a transfer of responsibilities then the person has to submit his kabney and patang,” said Dasho.
Dasho said that post holders apart from Bura marp (red-scarf) like Ministers, Members of Parliament, Secretaries, Dzongdas, Zimpon Wogmas, Chief of protocol, Gups and Judges have to surrender their kabney and patang.
Though there are currently no clear rules and regulations on the issue, Dasho said that focus at the moment was to encourage people to naturally give up their kabney and patangs. However, he said that in the near future rules and regulations would come into place making it legally compulsory to give them up. He said people should surrender voluntarily before such rules come in.
A clear indicator on the issue comes from the Lungmar scarf awarded by His Majesty the King to the Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay on December 17th, 2014 National Day held in Trashigang. It was made clear that similar to the bura marp, the lungmar is conferred in recognition of excellent services to the nation, and does not represent the wearer’s post. For this reason, the recipient may wear the lungmar for life. The Prime Minister was awarded lungmar in recognition of his contributions to the democratic process during his tenure as the opposition leader between 2008-2008, and with the expectation that he would serve equally well as the Prime Minister.
The picture seems to be more complicated for those who received kabney and patangs prior to 2008. Here Dasho Sangay said that there were some senior people chosen by His Majesty the King based on their capability, experience and merit and so most of the high ranked post holders were awarded the red scarf or other scarves.
Dasho also said that until 2008, His Majesty the King appointed the ministers and prime minister was chaired among the ministers in rotational base. Here Dasho said that since these senior people had risen up the ranks and had been chosen based on their merit by His Majesty the King they were entitled to wear their kabneys.
Dasho said that there was a transition in 2008 when a new system came in. However, Dasho said that for those before 2008 post based kabney holders like elected peoples representatives, Dzongdas, bureaucrats, Judges and others should voluntarily give up their kabneys. “When one retires from the post and wears it, it is useless,” he said. He said that it does not make sense wearing a kabney after leaving the post.
Dasho said that, during the reign of His Majesty the Fourth King, the idea of surrendering kabney and patang started in 1998 when His Majesty decentralized power to the cabinet.
The National Assembly had various discussions and resolutions on the issue. The last resolution was before the dissolution of the NA prior to the 2008 elections. Dasho said that NA resolution had asked the Home Ministry to come up with specific rules on issues like Kabney Patang, Driglam Namzha and etc and submit it.
Dasho said that when former minister Lyonpo Thinley Jamtsho was the RCSC head the RCSC had issued a clear circular asking those retiring to submit their kabney and patang.
Dasho said that until now it the issue was not enforced but the Royal Privy Council is reviewing the matter. “In a small country with a small population, if everybody wears a kabney then it would devalue it,” Dasho said.
“Do not depend on rules and regulations or Acts but we should think of what is suitable, what is good for the country and what is good for preserving our traditions to move forward,” Dasho added.
Dasho also added that there is still little grey line and Royal Privy Council will make it clear soon.