Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has asserted that it is his duty to speak the truth after being cautioned about “straying into the political arena”.
He also explained further on his allegation that he is being monitored by the government, saying that it was more than merely keeping tabs on his social media posts.
“This is not a simple case of reading what is written on my Facebook page. It is the monitoring of my personal phones, e-mails, and private communication. I doubt that this ‘writer’ would appreciate being placed under the same scrutiny.
“If even I, as a member of the royal family can be spied on, what more the ordinary citizens of Malaysia?" the crown prince said in a Facebook post today.
He said that while it is Johor's policy to support those running the country, the truth must prevail.
“We must always be vigilant and speak out when a wrong has been committed,” he added.
Though he did not name the ‘writer’ mentioned in his post, it appears to be a response to veteran journalist Abdul Kadir Jasin.
The crown prince had claimed on Sunday that he and his father were being monitored by the government using Israeli-made surveillance and intelligence-gather technology.
Several government officials and agencies including Deputy Home Minister Azis Jamman, the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), and Inspector-general of police Mohamad Fuzi Harun had denied this.
Subsequently, Kadir wrote an article on his blog regarding an unnamed “prince and his father” saying that being monitored is not their immediate concern.
"The concern is about them straying into the political arena where they may get clobbered, their immunity questioned and their status lowered.
"Anybody who plays politics must be prepared to be treated like a politician, more so when he or she takes to the media – social and formal – to air partisan views," said the former New Straits Times editor-in-chief.
Tunku Ismail countered that it is of little concern to him whether he and his family are “whacked” or “clobbered”.
“What does matter to me are my people. My status comes from my service to the rakyat – and I consider speaking the truth as one of my duties.
“A man’s true status is not the title he holds, but how he is viewed by his people.
“My status can only be ‘lowered’ once I have failed in my service to them - and in that regard, I believe I have not,” he said.