PETALING JAYA: Veteran newsman A Kadir Jasin today weighed in on the case involving “a prince and his father”, saying that their immediate concern should not be on the monitoring of their social media activities.
While not naming names, Kadir is believed to be referring to allegations made by Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim last Sunday that he and his father, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, were being monitored by the new government.
“The more immediate concern is not about the monitoring of their social media activities. The concern is about them straying into the political arena, where they may get clobbered, their immunity questioned, and their status lowered.
“Anybody who plays politics must be prepared to be treated like a politician, more so when he or she takes to the media – social and formal – to air partisan views,” he said in a blog post today.
Tunku Ismail had claimed that he and his father were being monitored over their vocal comments on social media.
He reportedly said there were cyber troopers “planted” on their personal and official Facebook pages, “waiting in case there is something that does not go down well with certain higher ups”.
Tunku Ismail, better known by the initials TMJ (Tunku Mahkota Johor), said it was “not nice” that people were still being spied on despite the change of government.
Kadir said the police had apparently taken the claim seriously enough so as to prompt a response from Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun who issued a statement saying that there is no monitoring of the Johor royal family’s social media accounts.
“He (Fuzi) is so serious with his denial that he said he is seeking an audience with the affected ruler,” he said.
Kadir further cited an instance where the New Straits Times had quoted one Tengku Mahkota as saying before the May 9 general election that the people must open their eyes and not be deceived by a 93-year-old individual who wanted to be prime minister.
The former New Straits Times editor-in-chief said the people knew who the prince was referring to.
“He asked the people to use their wisdom, saying he knew things that they did not, that this is the time to restore order to a system damaged by a 93-year-old individual who now wants to be the prime minister.
“So, I am not surprised if the people are now ‘monitoring’ the social media activities of this crown prince and his father to see if they continue to express partisan views instead of being royal and regal,” Kadir said.
Kadir, who blogged in his personal capacity, said having been a writer for 49 years and having adopted the digital medium as one of his platforms, he was not bothered about anybody monitoring him.
“In fact, for the sake of ego, I love people monitoring me. It means they read what I write.
“So, my advice to people who are active online is to start accepting the fact that ‘you are being monitored’.
“You may not be monitored by the police or the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). But depending on who you are, you may also be monitored by foreign and domestic intelligent agencies,” he said.
Kadir, who started his blog in 2006, said those who were active online might also be watched by foreign governments who believed that their postings reflect the point of views of the government or some powerful organisations.
“Or, more importantly, because you could be used as a bargaining chip in international espionage and negotiations.
“During the Cold War, it was very common for spy agencies to lure important political figures with beautiful women, wine and money.
“Once these sex-craved politicians were caught on film, they would be used as double-agents and puppets to topple or weaken their own governments,” he added.