Raja Permaisuri of Johor defends TMJ in spat with Putrajaya

The Raja Permaisuri of Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Raja Permaisuri of Johor, Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, has leapt to the defence of her son, Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, following his spat with Putrajaya.

Raja Zarith Sofiah said in a Facebook post she could not take seeing her son, popularly known as TMJ, being criticised.

This was especially so, she said, as one who had to bury one of her children.

“Then it isn’t wrong for me to feel distressed when one of my children is insulted and ridiculed by those who think they are smarter and have never done any wrong,” she wrote, adding that she prayed that God will guide such people.

In response, Tunku Ismail said that God will always protect the Johor Sultan.

“Don’t worry Mama. Everything is going to be alright. No matter how dark the storm may be, there will always be sunlight. I Promise you. Allah Peliharakan Sultan,” he tweeted.

The relationship between Putrajaya and the Johor royal family has grown tense recently.

Last month, the government withdrew from ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, citing “confusion arising politically and within society”.

The Johor palace and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad also disagreed over who had absolute discretion in appointing the new menteri besar following Osman Sapian’s resignation.

Recently, Tunku Ismail said in a video it was “better to change the prime minister” as he left a stadium in Larkin, Johor, following Johor Darul Ta’zim’s 0-1 defeat to Shandong Luneng in the AFC Champions League.

In the video, the vehicle ferrying him stops when a fan shouts “Change Mora”, in reference to the football club’s coach, Benjamin Mora.

Tunku Ismail, who was in the front passenger seat, then stuck his head out of the window and remarked: “Instead of changing Mora, it’s better to change the prime minister.”

In response, Mahathir said that Tunku Ismail’s post was not permanent, recalling how previously, a younger brother was appointed crown prince.

Mahathir added only the rakyat could change the prime minister.