Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has defended his right to comment on national issues, despite criticisms from Culture and Tourism Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Below is his statement in full:
MESSAGE FOR MALAYSIANS
Of late, I just voiced out my opinion and a reminder that people who has been entrusted with the responsibility to not blame the people for losing trust and confidence in them, but think of why the people no longer have the confidence and trust in them. Apparently my gentle reminder has been met with a rather hostile response from a minister. If I got such a reply, then what chances does the rest of the rakyat have?
You are a minister, not a God from the heavens who lord above everybody. Do not think the people of this country exist to provide you with position and wealth, but the position exists for you to serve the people. When I voice out, I do it as the leader of my rakyat, on behalf of Johoreans and Malaysians. All I did is to remind the leaders of the country that they have a responsibility to serve the people, and for this, I am attacked.
In the new world order, I envision a future that every person has a right to voice their opinions. However, that is not the case in Malaysia today, where ministers think they are untouchable. I am willing to be cursed for standing up for what is right, rather than be loved for defending what is wrong.
I am not a politician. I am only answerable to Allah, my Sultan and the people of Johor. I do not do the bidding of some puppet-master who pulls the strings. Johor only has place for those who want to serve the people, not for those who want to garner votes for their own interests.
There will come a time, when the Johorean people must decide what is best for us and our future generations. Decide and unite we will, as Bangsa Johor, to forge our future. United we stand strong, divided we fall. I stand for my rakyat, not to joust for power, not to topple the government, but to ensure the well-being of my people.
I never told anybody to step down or resign, only to remind politicians of their roles and responsibilities. If you cannot deal with that, it just shows your arrogance to the people. Alhamdulillah, I have been blessed with a comfortable life, and I can just live my own life and be oblivious to the worries of my people, but here I am, standing firm by their side. So for those wanting to tarnish my image and make me public enemy number one, the people are smarter than that, and they can think for themselves.
Do not use me to divert the attention from 1MDB and other national issues. This country needs politicians who are clean and transparent, who carry out their duties with sincerity and integrity.
– HRH Brigadier General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, The Crown Prince of Johor.