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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sorry if my Twitter message hurt anyone, says Nizar



Former Perak Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin is willing to apologise if his Twitter message that was highly critical of the RM520,000 purchase of the 'WWW 1' car number by the Johor sultan had offended anybody.

NONE"If there is any quarter that feels hurt with the Twitter message, I apologise," he told Malay daily SinarHarian yesterday.

The Bukit Gantang MP from PAS explained that the message was not intended to question the decision of Johor sultan in bidding for the nation's most expensive car number plate.

Instead, it was general statement from a citizen, he said.

"Some accused me of insulting the sultan. That is too much, because I don't have any intention to do so.

"That was only my view as an ordinary citizen who sees the scenario of this country, where they are many who still live in hard times and need attention," Nizar said.

Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar raised eyebrows when his name topped the list of successful bidders for the much-sought-after 'WWW 1' car number. 

The price of RM520,000 he bid to acquire the ‘WWW 1' plate number broke the record set by the bid for ‘MCA 1', which was sold for RM300,100 in 2010.

Although the sultan's bid sparked wide criticism in the cyberspace, a few politicians were bold enough to openly express their dissent, since criticising the royalty can be easily portrayed as disrespectful - which is taboo among conservative Malays.
Houses for the hardcore poor
However, Nizar, who has been accused by Umno of committing treason against the Perak Sultan during the Perak constitutional crisis in 2009, has posted several critical messages on his Twitteraccount.

He said the RM520,000 could have been spent to help the many poor Malays in Johor and build at least 20 houses for the hardcore poor.

In response, the Johor crown prince defended the bid by his father, the sultan, arguing that his family has never taken any money from the government.

Yesterday, Umno Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said joined the attack on Nizar and called on him to apologise to the sultan as hisTwitter message had embarrassed and created hatred against the royal family.

"There is no law that prohibits a ruler owning properties because it is a personal right. For me, Nizar is desperate and took the opportunity to create hatred against the ruler.

"If Nizar is not satisfied with the matter, and if he is brave, go and seek an audience with the sultan. I urge him to apologise. I believe he will not dare to do so," Azalina told Sinar Harian.

The former tourism minister also advised Nizar not to politicise the royal institution.

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