Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad conceded that Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim’s remarks would affect the opposition coalition with regard to capturing the state in the general election.
However, the former premier claimed that it would have a positive effect and boost Harapan’s standing among the people.
“It would affect,” he said when quizzed on the matter at the sidelines of an event in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.
After a brief pause, he added: “It would affect in a way that would make Pakatan Harapan more popular.”
In a Facebook posting last night, Tunku Ismail launched a thinly-veiled attack on Mahathir and warned Johoreans not to be duped by a “forked-tongue” individual.
However, an overwhelming number of netizens disagreed with the crown prince, which prompted Johor DAP chief Liew Chin Tong to remark that support for the palace is not transferable to BN.
Meanwhile, Mahathir also referred to the comments on social media.
“You have seen the comments. See the comments on Instagram, on YouTube – those are the comments of the rakyat.
“I am also a rakyat, but I don’t want to comment,” he said.
“I won’t forget the year 1992. Back then I was a small and naughty kid in school.
“My teachers will say, ‘Do not play a fool, you are royalty, if I were to report you to Mahathir, you are done for ‘,” he said.
Umno supreme council member Reezal Merican Naina Merican has lauded Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim as a “rational voice” and urged all Malaysians to heed his advice.
Reezal also criticised netizens who had rebutted the crown prince’s lengthy commentary on Facebook.
Tunku Ismail had launched a thinly veiled attack on Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad and urged Johoreans not to change a ship’s engine simply because the skipper was problematic, in an apparent reference to the current political scene.
“The rational voice of an influential person such as the Tunku Mahkota Johor should not be sidelined.
“The attitude of some netizens who criticised Tunku’s heartfelt message is regretted,” he said in a statement today.
Reezal said Tunku Ismail’s comment should not be construed as a form of political interference, but should instead be respected and appreciated.
He added that the Johor crown prince’s view was based on his concern about the country’s direction.
“The appropriate etiquette is for the people to accept Tunku Ismail’s criticism and views as a guide for their political decision.
“Personally (I see) the opinion (by Tunku Ismail) as not only for Johoreans but also all Malaysians,” he said.
Reezal said the effort to make Malaysia great should not be grounded in vengeance or the politics of an individual who has a “forked tongue.”
Tunku Ismail in his comment piece had referred to a leader with a “forked tongue,” but did not name Mahathir directly.
TMJ’s comment came amid an attempt by Harapan, led by Mahathir, to make inroads in Johor and other key battleground states.
The Parliament was dissolved yesterday and an election must be called within 60 days.