KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — In a scathing Facebook post, Johor’s crown prince poured scorn on the highly-anticipated “Nothing2Hide” forum here that was cancelled at the last minute today before a face-to-face confrontation between Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his vocal critic, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, over the prime minister’s controversial 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) project.
Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim said inviting someone who allegedly has “everything to hide” to such a dialogue session would obviously result in a no-show.
“How can you have a dialogue called “Nothing2Hide” featuring a person who has everything to hide? Obviously he won’t show up.
“For those who have been entrusted with the responsibility, do not blame the people for losing confidence and trust in you, but think of why they no longer have the confidence and trust in you,” the prince wrote this afternoon on the Johor Southern Tigers football team’s official Facebook page.
In his brief two-paragraph statement, the prince did not name anyone.
The Facebook post has garnered over 500 likes at the time of writing.
This morning’s dialogue was expected to end up becoming a face-off between Najib and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has been the prime minister’s harshest critic over the handling of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and other issues related to the former’s administration.
The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar ordered this morning for the event to be called off for the sake of “public order”, while the Prime Minister’s Office later attributed Najib’s absence at the forum to the police’s advice and instruction over security concerns.
Event organiser Malaysian Volunteer Lawyers Association (Sukaguam) had confirmed yesterday that Najib would attend the dialogue session with non-governmental organisations, but he did not show up.
Although Dr Mahathir had appeared at the same event, police stopped him from continuing his speech on the 1MDB scandal to the audience.
Critics have condemned the police for disrupting and cancelling the event, saying that the authorities were aiming to silence public discussions on government scandals and literally save Najib from a humiliating confrontation with Dr Mahathir over the 1MDB issue.
But SukaGuam’s president Datuk Khairul Anwar Rahmat said the police ordered the event cancelled due to the group’s inability to handle the large number of attendees, while the IGP denied this afternoon that the cancellation was politically motivated.
The IGP said police had received information at the eleventh hour that “two antagonistic camps” were planning to cause trouble, adding that the threat was serious enough to merit the cancellation.