Will Nizar face the music for his Twitter remarks on Sultan of Johor? (Graphic by: Dayang Norazhar/The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR: The decision against 29-year-old engineer Chan Hon Keong who was found guilty for insulting the Sultan of Perak three years ago has led to demands that fomer Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin be meted the same treatment.
Commenting on the decision made by Sessions Court judge Ikmal Hishan Mohd Tajuddin against Chan last Friday, a blog posting at Panggung Opera stated anyone who has committed the same offence of undermining the royal institution, including Nizar, should be punished likewise.
The post stated: “Accordingly anyone who is rude and insulted the royal institution should receive similar punishment, such as Nizar who insulted the Johor Sultan on the car plate WWW 1 bid issue.”
Nizar in his defense last week had said he will apologise if the Sultan found his remarks offensive.
He said he did not intend to insult the Ruler but merely stated the amount paid for WWW 1 plate number purchased by the Sultan could be used in helping the Johoreans in need.
On Friday Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had reportedly challenged Pas to take disciplinary action against Nizar for his Twitter postings, saying Pas’ silence indicated that the party agreed with Nizar’s remarks.
Meanwhile Pas’ vice president Salahuddin Ayub reportedly distanced himself from Nizar's remarks and suggested the police to investigate the matter thoroughly.
However a blog post at SemutHitam80 stated Salahuddin’s response showed he is unfit to become the next Johor Mentri Besar due to his failure in defending the Sultan’s position that was undermined by his colleague in Pas.
The post read: “If he could not defend the Sultan, how are we going to entrust him to defend our royal institution?”
Johor Pas commissioner Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed when contacted by The Mole had declined to comment further on Nizar’s remarks, saying he did not want to worsen the situation.
“It (the remarks) had already uttered. Therefore I don’t think I should be making anymore statements,” Mahfodz said.
Another Johor Pakatan leader Dr Boo Cheng Hau of DAP also reserved his comment, saying the matter should be referred to the Johor Mentri Besar instead.
The president of Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) Sharifuddin Abdul Latiff in a letter to a news portal said the punishment against Chan showed how the Communications and Multimedia Act is being used to stifle free speech in Malaysia.
Despite mixed reactions on the punishment, a commentator in Malaysia Today said: “As a Malaysian Chinese, I agree the offender to be punished (though I may not agree on the maximum fine imposed, but I'm not one to judge that). As a Malaysian, one should know better than to insult the rulers.”