PETALING JAYA: A palace official has dismissed any notion that an audience granted today to an Umno delegation by the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, was out of the ordinary.
Umno leaders said they had been invited, along with state government and political party leaders, to the Ruler’s open house on Thursday, but had been unable to attend, and requested another audience.
A palace official, who declined to be named, told FMT that the Umno leaders had wanted to have an audience with the Sultan for the Hari Raya festivities and Sultan Ibrahim asked them to come today.
“There is nothing peculiar about this visit. On Thursday, PKR leaders had come for the Sultan’s open house. Tuanku also accorded them the same courtesy and was a gracious host. He treats all visitors the same.”
Sultan Ibrahim’s Hari Raya open house was attended by state government leaders and Pakatan Harapan MPs and party leaders.
A Johor Umno division chief confirmed that the group was granted an audience at the party’s request.
He told FMT that many Umno leaders could not attend the Ruler’s open house on Thursday and Umno vice-president Khaled Nordin, a former menteri besar, had requested an audience today.
“It was just a simple breakfast, around 30 of us. All the division chiefs attended, together with the state Youth and Wanita chief as well as senior leaders like (former Johor Bahru MP) Shahrir Samad and (former Pulai MP) Nur Jazlan Mohamed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Johor Umno Youth refuted a report by an online portal that the party received a special invite from Sultan Ibrahim to his open house.
Its chief Mohd Hairi Mad Shah said it was the party which sought an audience with the Sultan in conjunction with Hari Raya.
“But the occasion has been sullied by the lies of the news portal which based its report on unreliable sources who did not tell the real story,” he said.
Hairi said any NGO or political party could request an audience with the Sultan through official channels.