- The Straits Times
Tengku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim is not backing down from his stance on Malaysia’s political situation as he attempts to display his political neutrality.
Tunku Ismail wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday (Apr 8) that he was only giving his “sincerest” personal opinion in a previous post he made about the country’s political state of affairs.
The referenced post, made on Saturday (Apr 7), is alleged to be directed at Pakatan Harapan (PH) party leader Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad without explicitly calling him out by name, reported Malaysiakini.
Top comments on the post implied opposition towards the Crown Prince’s remarks, with several saying that Malaysians are suffering and inclined to vote against Barisan Nasional (BN).
“I gave my sincerest opinion for what I think is the best for my state, ” he wrote on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page.
Tunku Ismail added that people have the right to their own opinion and decisions on political leadership.
Nonetheless, they have to keep in mind that the elected person must give priority to the people and not his personal agenda.
He wrote: “To me, the people of Johor believe in the leadership of His Majesty The Sultan of Johor.”
“It was my personal opinion, and being in my position, I do not support any political party or individual.”
Nonetheless, his post – which appeared to show bias towards BN in the election – was seen as a thinly-veiled attack on Dr Mahathir, according to The Malay Mail Online.
“I only disagree when a person who had a crisis with Johor in the past tries to take over Johor!” said Tunku Ismail.
He warned the public to avoid being fooled by a “forked tongue” individual while being adept in evaluating what is best for state and country.
He added that he would never forget those who “damaged” the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), attempted to diminish the royal institution’s power and disband the Johor Military Force (JMF) which has stood since 1886.
Dr Mahathir, however, views the Crown Prince’s statement as a boon to his political party.
In a Malaysiakini report, the former prime minister said Tunku Ismail’s remarks would serve to boost PH’s standing among voters.
“It would affect…in a way that would make Harapan more popular,” he said briefly after attending an event in Ampang on Sunday.