Johor, which is the birthplace of Umno, was among the states which fell to Pakatan Harapan in the last general election.
Turning the clock back to before the national polls, A Kadir Jasin recalled how the palace and its officials had insulted Bersatu and Harapan.
“They openly campaigned for former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and BN.
“Reading between the lines, when the people rejected Najib and BN, they also rejected their (royal) interference, and worse their daulat (sovereignty),” he added in a blog posting this afternoon.
Kadir, who is Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's media and communications advisor, raised this when reminding Bersatu leaders that they must be loyal to the party leadership and struggle.
According to him, those loyal to others are “traitors” and do not deserve to be members.
The Bersatu supreme council member said this issue surfaced during a meeting with party members in Johor last Saturday.
“It is no secret that Bersatu in Johor – like Umno in the past – is faced with the problem of divided loyalty due to the role of the palace. All states have rulers and it is incumbent upon politicians and the people to be loyal to the rulers as the head of state.
“But the task of governing is the right and responsibility of leaders elected by the people... The ruler is the head of state, not the head of administration. The head of administration is the menteri besar,” he added.
Kadir said his advice to Bersatu members is not to vote for leaders who are disloyal or fail to follow party instructions.
He pointed out that in all states, Bersatu is headed by the chairperson of the state chapters, and in Johor, this is Puteri Wangsa assemblyperson Mazlan Bujang.
“Like it or not, all Bersatu members and leaders, including the menteri besar, exco and assemblypersons, must accept him as their leader.
“Not accepting him (Mazlan as the leader) and disrespecting him is akin to disrespecting the (Bersatu) supreme council's decision.
“If they (who oppose this) remain stubborn and choose to bow to other powers, Bersatu members should not vote for them in the party elections at all levels.
“If they do not accept the leadership chosen by the party, but follow the instructions of outsiders, then it is appropriate that they are eliminated through the election,” he added.
'No immunity for rulers when crimes committed'
Shifting his focus to the subject of immunity for the rulers, Kadir said the Federal Constitution provides the monarchs with this privilege but it is only limited to official duties.
“The ruler's son does not have immunity. But a ruler's son may have immunity when elected as the regent, but this is only limited to official duties. They have no immunity when committing crimes such as assaulting a person or cheating a business partner,” he added.
On Aug 11, Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (photo) was bestowed with the powers as state regent on behalf of his father Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.
No explanation was given for Tunku Ismail's appointment as regent. A regent is usually appointed to fill in for a sick or absent monarch.
Meanwhile, Kadir also said a sultan was once brought to court on the charge of insulting a woman, who was said to be his business partner.
“The woman filed a civil suit in the special court for the rulers, but the case was thrown out because the judge ruled that a foreigner cannot drag a Malay ruler to court. The woman was a Singaporean,” he added, without providing additional details on the matter.
Kadir said this is the reason he had previously asked Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador to reopen the criminal cases involving members of the royalty.
“But I don't know if he has done this or not,” he added.
Kadir said he would now like to appeal to newly-minted MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya to investigate the activities of mining and exporting sand.
“I have been informed that sand is still being exported, especially to Singapore, in the guise of silicon. According to information, sand cannot be exported, but silicon can,” he added.
Noting how Latheefa had said that the majority of those detained for corruption are civil servants, Kadir expressed concern that there could be a “little Napolean” in the Johor enforcement authorities conspiring against the interest of the government.
“The Inland Revenue Board can also open an investigation paper on these sand miners and exporters. Who knows, they may have forgotten to declare their income,” he added.