PETALING JAYA: Veteran journalist A Kadir Jasin took a veiled dig at the Johor palace today, saying the people’s rejection of former prime minister Najib Razak and Barisan Nasional (BN) in last year’s general election was also a snub to royal interference.
In a blog post following a meeting with PPBM leaders in the state, Kadir who is Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s special adviser on media and communications also said party leaders and members must be loyal to the party.
He said in Johor, it was no secret that PPBM, like Umno before it, was facing issues of loyalty due to the role of the palace.
“In all states with rulers, political leaders and the people must be loyal to their ruler as the head of state.
“But the duty of administering the state is the right and responsibility of leaders chosen by the people through elections,” he said, adding that rulers are heads of state but not the administration.
He urged PPBM members to reject leaders who are disloyal to the party and do not follow its directions.
In Johor, he added, the party’s chief is Puteri Wangsa assemblyman Mazlan Bujang, who previously served as a state executive councillor.
Mazlan was dropped from the state administration following a reshuffle when Sahruddin Jamal was appointed as menteri besar. The reshuffle was seen as consent to a demand from the Johor palace, which insisted that it has a say in the state exco line-up.
Mazlan was later appointed as Johor PPBM chief in a departure from the norm where the menteri besar is the state chief.
Kadir said PPBM members should remember that in the run-up to the general election last year, one of the palaces and a prominent figure from that palace had openly mocked the party as well as Pakatan Harapan (PH).
“In fact, they openly campaigned for former prime minister Najib Razak and Barisan Nasional.”
He said the people’s rejection of Najib and BN was also a rejection of palace interference.
He also said while the federal and state constitutions provide immunity to rulers, this is limited to the scope of carrying out official duties.
“Children of rulers are not immune but they could become immune if they are appointed regent, though this is also limited to official duties only.
“They are not immune if they commit crimes like assaulting people or cheating business partners.”
Kadir said when Abdul Hamid Bador was appointed as inspector-general of police, he had asked him to reopen criminal cases involving members of the royal family.
“But I do not know if he did it or not. Now I am asking Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Latheefa Koya to investigate sand mining and export activities.”