Johor Sultan rebukes Nizar over WWW 1 tweets

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — The Sultan of Johor today personally ticked off Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin for daring to voice criticism against the royal house and advised the former Perak mentri besar not to “act smart” about things he did not know.

Nizar, a vocal PAS leader, had earned the Johor palace’s wrath last month for tweeting remarks seen as critical of the monarch’s RM520,000 bid for the coveted WWW 1 car registration number.

“Has he forgotten our Malay customs or is he indeed ignorant and shallow minded?

“He should not act smart if he has no knowledge of what is happening and make statements when he does not know the truth,” Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar (picture) was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper today at the opening of the Johor state assembly meeting in Nusajaya.

The English-language daily reported the Johor Ruler as saying he was angry with Nizar’s comments and told the latter it was better to stay silent than to make comments when he was not aware of the truth.

Sultan Ibrahim said he has always used the proper channels to do things and that it was unnecessary to publicise all that he has done for charity.

The Ruler’s successful bid of RM520,000 for the WWW 1 number is a record in the country, and beat out almost 10,000 other bidders including the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Under fire from Johor’s Tengku Mahkota Tunku Ismail Idris and several right-wing Malay groups last month for his implied criticism of Sultan Ibrahim, Nizar had apologised for his remarks and said he would seek an audience with the Ruler to explain his May 28 tweets.

“RM520k bolih dibelanjakan membantu rakyat melayu Johor yg masih ramai miskin serta memerlukan bantuan utk kprluan hidup, bina 20 rumah PPRT!” (RM520,000 can be spent on poor Malays in Johor who need help to survive, and build 20 Program Pembangunan Rakyat Termiskin homes!)” Nizar had said on the micro-blogging site.

But Nizar, who is being investigated for sedition over his statement, shifted the blame to Umno-owned newspaper group Utusan Malaysia’s tabloid Kosmo, saying he was “highly influenced” by their coverage of the Sultan’s bid since April.

The Bukit Gantang MP also said he would sue Utusan Malaysia and TV3 for “falsely accusing me of saying that the Sultan used public funds.”

“I never said that. I was just giving my opinion as a member of the public, an MP and former mentri besar. I apologise to Tuanku and will seek an audience to explain,” he told reporters on June 12.

Kosmo reported on May 25 that RM520,000 can buy a house, shoplot, BMW or 2.777kg of gold. So as a former mentri besar I was just pointing out you can also buy 20 low-cost homes,” Nizar said.



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