PETALING JAYA: A businessman charged with misusing the Kelantanese royal title attempted to stop the media from covering his case, claiming he did not want the news to spoil the coronation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V on Monday.
Tengku Iskandar Tengku Ahmad, 71, is accused of using the title “Yang Maha Mulia” without the consent of the Sultan of Kelantan on a letter of attorney dated Aug 31, 2014, which he signed as “Yang Maha Mulia Tengku Iskandar Tengku Ahmad Panglima Raja”.
He faces a second charge over the use of the Persatuan Kerabat Di-Raja DYMM Long Yunus Negeri Kelantan (Long Yunus Association) emblem on the letter head of a document to allow driver Chai Kok Leong, 51, to manage a Mercedes-Benz which also bore the same emblem.
After he had claimed trial to both charges, Tengku Iskandar’s lawyer Joshua Sambanthan applied for a gag order against media coverage.
He claimed his client was related to the Kelantanese royal line and did not want to create prejudice against the royal family, in light of the coronation next week.
Sessions Court judge Mohamed Mokhzani Mokhtar denied the application, ruling that no substantive grounds had been given.
The charge sheet stated the emblem on the car implied that it was used for welfare affairs of the Royal household, even though the Long Yunus Association had been deregistered by the Registrar of Societies in 2011.
Both offences were alleged to have been committed at DU Tyre Sdn Bhd’s office on Jalan SS21/1A, Damansara Utama, here on Aug 31, 2014.
Tengku Iskandar claimed that the offences were fairly small and not of public interest.
The first offence under Section 3(1)(a) of the Kelantan Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Enactment 1977 is punishable by up to RM1,000 fine; while the second offence under Section 48(1) of the Societies Act 1966 is punishable by up to five years’ jail and a maximum RM15,000 fine, or both.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin objected to the gag order application as the court was meant to be open to the public when it did not involve matters related to the Official Secrets Act, the Child Protection Act or Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
The judge set bail at RM4,000 and fixed July 24 for next mention.
After the hearing, Tengku Iskandar’s son-in-law Zakaria Ibrahim, 51, showed reporters a chart of the family tree going back more than 200 years, claiming it would be tendered as evidence to show a link to the ancient Kelantanese Royal Long Yunus.