JOHOR BARU: Johor DAP has issued an official apology to Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar over an online posting made by one of its members with an insulting tone towards Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim.
State DAP secretary Tan Hong Pin said the status posted on Facebook on Jan 4 by Kamarul Ariffin Harris Fadzillah, who is also Pontian councillor, was insolent and not in line with the party’s principles.
“The status posted on his personal Facebook account was rude and does not reflect a person who has respect for the royal institution.
“As a council member, he should be more aware of the words he uses and his behaviour,” Tan said in a statement yesterday.
Tan, who is also state Local Government, Science and Technology Committee chairman, added that any statement made by the party’s member should be expressed with the right diplomatic etiquette and voiced with integrity.
“The party stands by the principle that the Constitution should be abided by while also advocating freedom of speech.
“However, that should not be an excuse for anyone to voice out their opinions without being responsible for them,” he said adding that the councillor had since removed the post and issued an apology on social media.
In the now-deleted posting, Kamarul Ariffin questioned whether Tunku Ismail’s recent apology for any mistakes he had made last year was to divert attention from the conversion of Pulau Kukup to “Sultanate land”.
The councillor also asked for the land to be “returned to the people”.
Pulau Kukup, located off the coast of Pontian, recently came under the spotlight after a gazette dated Oct 25 about the state authorities cancelling its status as a protected national park went viral on social media.
A letter dated Dec 5, which carried the signature of Sultan Ibrahim, later made clear that Pulau Kukup would remain a national park despite its status being changed to “Sultanate land” under the Sultanate Land Enactment.
Meanwhile, Johor MCA Youth chief Ling Tian Soon has urged the state government to take action against the councillor.
Ling, who is also Ayer Hitam MCA division chief, said Kamarul Ariffin’s action not only challenged the royal institution but was also seen as questioning the decision made by the state government on the status of Pulau Kukup through its state executive meeting.
Ling said the state government had also not taken any rational action in defending the royal institution in Johor.
“I propose that the state government be more rational and wise in choosing its staff and ensure they have fulfilled the right criteria and are fit for the position,” he said in a statement.
Ling also urged the state government to fire Kamarul Ariffin or relieve him of his position as a council member as a warning to other councillors to always abide by Section 10 of the Local Government Act 1971 and Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.
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