By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin has said he still wants to meet the Sultan of Johor to explain his May 28 tweets, a day after the state ruler had rebuked the PAS leader for criticising his decision to bid for a coveted car registration number.
Nizar, a vocal PAS leader, had earned the Johor palace’s wrath last month for tweeting remarks seen as critical of the monarch’s RM520,000 bid for the coveted WWW 1 car registration number.
The former Perak mentri besar sent an official letter to the Sultan of Johor’s private secretary today requesting an audience with Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.
“The purpose of requesting an audience with His Royal Highness the Sultan of Johor is to explain the confusion which has occurred.
“A few friends will join me in the discussion with His Royal Highness the Sultan of Johor if my request for an audience is approved,” Nizar said in his letter.
“If there are parties who question my actions, it is alright; what is important is that I would be very grateful if given room to explain the real situation and this is also a process of justice for everyone,” the PAS leader was also quoted by Sinar Harian as saying earlier today.
Sultan Ibrahim personally ticked off Nizar yesterday for daring to voice criticism against the royal house and advised the former Perak mentri besar not to “act smart” about things he did not know.
“Has he forgotten our Malay customs or is he indeed ignorant and shallow minded?
“He should not act smart if he has no knowledge of what is happening and make statements when he does not know the truth,” the Sultan of Johor was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper at the opening of the Johor state assembly meeting in Nusajaya.
Sultan Ibrahim said he has always used the proper channels and that it was unnecessary to publicise all that he has done for charity.
The Ruler’s successful bid of RM520,000 for the WWW 1 number is a record in the country, and beat out almost 10,000 other bidders including the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Under fire from Johor’s Tengku Mahkota Tunku Ismail Idris and several right-wing Malay groups last month for his apparent criticism of Sultan Ibrahim, Nizar has apologised for his remarks and said he would seek an audience with the Ruler to explain his May 28 tweets.
“RM520k bolih dibelanjakan membantu rakyat melayu Johor yg masih ramai miskin serta memerlukan bantuan utk kprluan hidup, bina 20 rumah PPRT!” (RM520,000 can be spent on poor Malays in Johor who need help to survive, and build 20 Program Pembangunan Rakyat Termiskin homes!)” Nizar had said on the micro-blogging site.
But Nizar, who is being investigated for sedition over his statement, shifted the blame to Umno-owned newspaper group Utusan Malaysia’s tabloid Kosmo, saying he was “highly influenced” by their coverage of the Sultan’s bid since April.
The Bukit Gantang MP also said he would sue Utusan Malaysia and TV3 for “falsely accusing me of saying that the Sultan used public funds.”