KUALA LUMPUR: Like any other Malaysian citizen, Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim is not above the law, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
However, Dr Mahathir said that Tunku Ismail was free to criticise the Pakatan Harapan government as long as no laws were broken.
"But if there are statements that are deemed seditious, we will take action against him. He is not above the law.
"In fact, nobody in Malaysia is above the law," Dr Mahathir said to reporters during a press conference at the Parliament lobby on Tuesday (April 9).
Asked if Tunku Ismail should enter the political arena so he could criticise the government, Dr Mahathir said it was up to the Johor Crown Prince himself.
"He can make that choice himself. He wants to be political, he can. But there is nothing to prevent any citizen of Malaysia from expressing his opinion.
"He is a citizen of Malaysia, nothing more than that," Dr Mahathir said.
Dr Mahathir's remarks came following the confirmation of Datuk Osman Sapian's resignation as the Johor mentri besar.
Prior to the announcement, Tunku Ismail said: "I hope the new mentri besar is not a 'yes man' of Putrajaya. The welfare of the people and well being of the state must always be a priority".
Tunku Ismail has been particularly vocal against Pakatan, with the most recent being his opposition against the government's move to accede to the Rome Statute.
He claimed that the government had failed to consult the Conference of Rulers when it agreed to accede to the Rome Statute and that the government had undermined the rulers' position.
Last Friday, Dr Mahathir announced Malaysia's withdrawal from the Rome Statute, blaming confusion created by one particular person "who wants to be free to beat up people and things like that".