KUALA LUMPUR, June 7 — Datuk A. Kadir Jasin defended his disclosure that the government spent RM257 million for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s expenditure over 16 months, telling critics he was showing how royals need no assurances beyond what the Federal Constitution provides.
Responding specifically to Pakatan Harapan de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s criticism, Kadir also rejected the allegation that he was using his proximity to the government to “disparage” the Malay Rulers.
Kadir is the official spokesman of the Council of Eminent Persons that advises the Cabinet, but in his blog entry today, the former New Straits Times group chief editor maintained that he was speaking in his personal capacity.
“Regarding what Anwar implied to be ‘factual errors’, feel free to dispute these and provide the correct facts. If I am wrong, I will issue a correction and apologise,” he wrote.
He also rejected Anwar’s accusation that the former was disputing the necessity of the Malay Rulers in the entry.
The former deputy prime minister said yesterday that it was unhealthy to openly dispute the Malay Rulers, adding that the Pakatan Harapan pact has worked hard to convince the royalty to back the coalition.
“I did not dispute. I was only saying the Rulers do not need any safeguards or assurances since their positions are already guaranteed by the Constitution,” he said.
He told Anwar that he was not looking to start an exchange over the matter and invited his detractors to evaluate his articles on the matter.
Kadir’s previous blog entry touched on the Agong and the federal government’s reported disagreement over the nomination of a non-Malay candidate to be the Attorney-General.
However, Sultan Muhammad V gave royal assent for Tommy Thomas to replace Tan Sri Apandi Ali in the role on Tuesday, after Anwar visited him the night before.