Yesterday, HRH Sultan Johor Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar expressed his dismay of being offended by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s remark at a luncheon with Singapore Foreign Correspondent Association on 12 August. He broke protocol to state his displeasure, to the press.
Johor sultan: I’m offended2011/09/30
firstname.lastname@example.orgJOHOR BARU: Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar yesterday said he was offended by the disparaging remarks about the state allegedly made by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng recently but added that as a ruler, he would stay above politics.
The sultan said politics should be left to politicians and the people should not be dragging rulers into politics.
“Yes, I was offended when I got to know about that statement, but I don’t want to react, because as a ruler, I shouldn’t be dragged into politics.
“Don’t speak for me. I am capable of doing it… I have the interests of my rakyat and also foreigners living in Johor at heart.”
Sultan Ibrahim also said Johor police under its chief, Datuk Mokhtar Shariff, had been entrusted with the security of the state and that he was doing his job.
He said this during an exclusive interview with the New Straits Times at his office here.
Lim had come under fire from numerous parties, who demanded that he apologise to the Sultan of Johor for his alleged statements made during a luncheon function in Singapore last month.
TV3, during its Buletin Utama prime time news on Monday night, had played an audio recording of a voice that was said to be Lim’s, making disparaging statements about the public security situation in Johor.
Lim was alleged to have said: “Penang was number one last year in terms of cutting crime by 27 per cent. For the first six months… also cut crime by another 25 per cent. Whereas in Johor, a Singaporean is likely to get kidnapped. Won’t have that problem when you come to Penang.”
Lim’s alleged statement was reportedly made while he was attending a luncheon organised by the Foreign Correspondents Association of Singapore on Aug 12.
Meanwhile, during the interview, Sultan Ibrahim also shared his plans for Johor.
Among them is to open Istana Bukit Serene once a year for the public to enjoy the scenic view from the palace, once the landscaping in the Danga Bay area was ready.
He said the date and the mechanism had yet to be determined, but the aim was to allow people to enjoy the state’s beauty and glory from the vantage point of the palace.
Sultan Ibrahim also said the stalls in Jalan Pantai Lido would be demolished and the traders moved.
“Pantai Lido will be a place where the rakyat can stroll and enjoy nature at its best without any inconveniences.”
Another “mess” that would be removed are the illegal stalls in the Stulang area here.
Sultan Ibrahim said these would be demolished and the traders moved to a better place where cars would no longer be parked haphazardly and cause traffic jams.
In Pontian, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Lim’s statement was disrespectful to his fellow leaders from other states.
He described Lim’s statement as irresponsible and unbecoming of a state leader.
“It is irresponsible and disrespectful when someone bad mouths the other states.
“This is not the Barisan Nasional way. I never said ‘Don’t go to Penang’ when I was the Johor menteri besar.”
On calls by Umno Youth urging Lim to apologise, Muhyiddin said it was the right thing to do.
“If Lim feels he has done wrong, then there is no harm in him apologising.”
Muhyiddin said Lim’s statement, which compared the crime rates between Johor and Penang, was inaccurate as statistics had shown that the crime rate in all states had dropped by 15 per cent.
The Mole which contacted the Penang Chief Minister’s Political Secrretary Zairil yesterday on his Boss’s statement in Singapore, refused to get co-operation to ‘set the record straight’.
Lim, who is Chinese Chauvinist DAP Secretary General cannot just dispute the episode by refusing to comment, just because “I haven’t heard the tapes”. The video footage on what he said is very clear on the statement which made Johoreans offended. In fact, the full transcript of what he said at the Singapore Foreign Correspondent Association has already been published here.
His lame excuse which was aired on NTV7 that, “It was a private conversation”.
How could that ‘conversation is private’ when he was there in the capacity of the Chief Minister of Penang with a scheduled itinerary and the Singapore FCA is an NGO representing the foreign press in the island?
Here is clearly busted, twice. He lied when Bernama published the report the first time few days ago and he is still lying now, when what should appear to be someone caught with his pants down. What more bluffs is Lim trying to play now? Use the Official Secrets Act wild card?
Then again, even though he is clearly in the wrong, he gets his guys to distort and spin the response. That is how the DAP Secretary General abuse and manipulate the practice of democracy.