PAS distances itself from Nizar’s WWW 1 tweets
KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — PAS has distanced itself from Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin’s remarks about the Johor Sultan’s half-a-million ringgit purchase of the WWW 1 registration plate, over fears the Islamist party may be seen as disrespectful of royalty.
Police are investigating the vocal PAS leader and former Perak mentri besar for sedition, an archaic law that critics say aims to suppress legitimate dissent against the government and constitutional monarchs.
Vice-president Salahuddin Ayub said it was unfair to blame the party for Nizar’s personal and spontaneous response on Twitter this Monday to the announcement that Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar had won the bid for the coveted car number plate with a record-topping RM520,000.
“Let the law take its course in relation to this matter. We submit this to legal channels, every one makes a mistake,” Salahuddin told Sinar Harian in a report published today.
“No one has the right to punish him except the law,” he was reported as saying.
Salahuddin was responding to Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who this Friday rapped the opposition party for not acting against Nizar.
“Not doing anything about Mohammad Nizar means the party agrees with their leader’s statement,” the Umno vice-president had said.
But Salahuddin said PAS was strict in upholding its own party policy and federal principles to respect and pledge loyalty to King and country, as stated in the Rukun Negara.
“PAS holds firm in this matter and continues to respect the royal Malay institutions,” he was reported saying.
Nizar, who has apologised on Twitter for his remarks, maintains there was nothing seditious about his May 28 posts.
“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 PPRT (Program Pembangunan Rakyat Termiskin) homes!” Nizar had said on his Twitter account @mbnizar.
But the lawmaker’s remarks drew a swift rebuke from Johor’s Tengku Mahkota Tunku Ismail Idris, who responded via Twitter to say that the state’s royal family does not use public money for personal expenditure.
“JOHOR Royal Family does not take any Money from the Government. Since the time of Almarhum Sultan Ibrahim. Feel free to ask the MB or any Government officials.
“The Money allocated to My Father and I every month as a Sultan and Tunku Mahkota is put into Yayasan Iskandar and Yayasan Ibrahim. The purpose of these foundations (Yayasan Iskandar and Yayasan Ibrahim) is for the Rakyat and to assist the Johor State Government.
“I myself, since the time I was the Raja Muda, Never took 1 cent from the Government till this very Day. Its my Rakyat’s Money. So before You Open your mouth. Do your research,” the Johor crown prince posted on his Twitter account @HRHJohor2.
The Sultan of Johor’s successful bid of RM520,000 for the WWW 1 plate is a record in the country, and beat out almost 10,000 other bidders including the Yang diPertuan Agong.