Malaysian Tourism Minister responds to Johor Prince: 'At least I was elected'

Malaysian Tourism Minister responds to Johor Prince: 'At least I was elected'
Tunku Ismail (left) posted the video on his Facebook page hours after Mr Nazri Aziz (right) warned him to stay out of politics.
PHOTO: The Star/ANN

SABAK BERNAM - Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said that he was elected by his constituents to serve them, which sets him apart from the Crown Prince of Johor.

He said that he was voicing out the people's sentiment, just like what Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim did as the leader of his rakyat, on behalf of Johoreans and Malaysians.

"The difference between us is that I was elected by the people. If I do not carry out my duties then the rakyat will punish me in due time.

"I have to face the people's court every five years but God willing, I have been judged five times and I won," he said to reporters when met during his official visit to Sekinchan here Tuesday.

He was asked to comment on Tunku Ismail's statement that he was voicing out the people's sentiment as the leader of his rakyat and Malaysians.

Last Saturday, Nazri had told Tunku Ismail to stay out of politics unless he wanted to be subjected to the same rule and be "whacked".

The royals, he said, should keep out of politics because "we are the ones protecting royalty".

He was referring to Tunku Ismail's remark posted on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page on June 5 against the Prime Minister for not attending a dialogue on national issues.

Tunku Ismail replied by uploading a silent video, showing him making a beckoning gesture.

Nazri later responded to another posting by the prince saying he never claimed to be God.

However, he said that royalty were above politics and therefore should not hit at politicians.

Nazri noted that it was apparent that Tunku Ismail had taken sides after he criticised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's no-show at the Nothing2Hide forum on June 5.

"When Tengku tweeted that Najib would not show up because he had everything to hide, so what is that?

"It means he has taken side and judged him. In fact, no one in this country is wrong until proven in court.

"The country has rules, so let's follow it and be careful. That's all," he added.

He also noted that the playing field was not level when a royalty criticised the Prime Minister because the latter could not do anything to defend himself.

"I get criticised and even prosecuted when I defended the Prime Minister. So it is not a level play field.

"If you have immunity (as royalty) then you should not get involved in politics because I will be sued for countering back.

"That is why I think that the royalties should stay above politics, as practiced in the Westminster system," he added.

Earlier, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said that said the minister would be investigated for making a statement that could cause public alarm after several police reports were lodged against him.

Nazri, who was the former Law Minister reportedly said that he was willing to be probed and prepared to co-operate with the police, noted that he had yet to be called up for his statements to be taken.

Asked if he was upset when some labelled him as kurang ajar (disrespectful) to the royalty, Nazri said that it was not the first time he was labelled as such and he did not bother much about the people's opinion.

"At the end of the day, my constituents are my only concern. That is why I am a wakil rakyat for five terms. "We subscribe to democracy and people can say whatever they want about me. But don't get mad when I rebuke because I too have the right to say my views. Be fair."

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