Dr M: TMJ free to voice his opinions

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks to reporters at a press conference in parliament April 9, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks to reporters at a press conference in parliament April 9, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said that the Crown Prince of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim is free to voice out his opinions as long as it is within the law.

He said the government considered Tunku Ismail, popularly known as TMJ, and his views as being on the same level as any ordinary Malaysians.

“He can speak as they do, as long as it does not break the law. If he makes any statements that are seditious, we will take action against him,” Dr Mahathir said during a press conference at the Dewan Rakyat.

He reminded TMJ that he is not above the law, nor is anyone else in the country for that matter.

When asked if he would advise Tunku Ismail to join politics, Dr Mahathir merely brushed the query aside.

“He can make that choice himself, if he wants to be political he can be.

“There is nothing to prevent any Malaysian citizen from expressing his opinion. And he is a citizen, nothing more than that,” he said.

The crown prince is a notable critic of the Pakatan Harapan government, who most recently spoke of Johor Mentri Besar Osman Sapian’s resignation by saying it is the absolute authority of his father Sultan Ibrahim to choose the Mentri Besar.

Similarly, Dr Mahathir has a history of being at odds with the Malay Rulers, particularly during his first tenure as prime minister from 1981 to 2003.