JOHOR BARU - The Sultan of Johor has expressed his unhappiness that the Johor Palace has been dragged into politics ahead of the general election.
His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar said he was "extremely upset" over a social media posting that has gone viral.
He said a 2015 Facebook posting by Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim had been distorted and has been making its rounds on social media.
Sultan Ibrahim said the Tunku Mahkota did make a comment on Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz but the posting going viral now seems to give an impression that the Tunku Mahkota was criticising Nazri on the Robert Kuok issue.
"It is fake news. It is a fabrication and I am very angry at this kind of false news. We want the police to trace the culprits behind this as we take this very seriously.
"It is a serious offence to use the Johor Palace's name to create fake news," he said, adding that no one seemed to be spared from fake news.
He told the people to be more careful about such fake news as it is likely to be more frequent now because of the elections.
His Majesty expressed regret that social media had been misused by some people to send out fake news to sow distrust and hatred.
He also advised the media and public to check and verify the source of news "instead of simply forwarding" it to others.
The Johor Royal Court Council also slammed an article from a Singapore news portal for falsely attributing remarks to Johor royalty.
Its president Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli said the portal had misused and manipulated the Tunku Mahkota Johor's statement in the ongoing spat between Nazri and tycoon Kuok.
Abdul Rahim emphasised that all statements made by His Majesty the Sultan of Johor and Tunku Mahkota Johor are only released through the Royal Johor (Royal Press Office) official page, Johor Southern Tigers official page and The Star newspaper.
"If there are any statements from sources other than those I have mentioned, such statements are not true at all," he said in a statement posted on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page.
He strongly condemned an article from Singapore's The Independent that used and manipulated Tunku Ismail's statement on the political issue between Nazri and Kuok.
"Tunku Ismail never made any statement on the issue. I request everyone to stop linking His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim and Tunku Ismail with political issues," he said.
Checks showed that the portal, The Independent, has since retracted the article saying it did not meet its editorial standards and apologised for the grievances caused.
It was reported that Nazri described Kuok as a "pondan" and challenged him to return to contest in the coming polls, adding that he should also give up his Malaysian citizenship.
This came after blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin posted three articles on the website Malaysia Today, alleging that Kuok was funding various political parties to overthrow the Government.
In response, Kuok refuted the allegations, and said he reserved the right to take action against the portal, which was then ordered by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to take down the stories.
Kuok's lawyers are said to have issued letters to Raja Petra and Malaysia Today.