KLANG: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s move to return his royal state awards to Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah is nothing more than an act of retaliation.
Klang Umno division chief Datuk Nasaruddin M. Zin said it was highly inappropriate of the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman, along with his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, to return the awards to the palace on Dec 7.
He believed that Dr Mahathir resorted to doing so after Sultan Sharafuddin had expressed his displeasure over the former’s offensive remarks against the Bugis community.
“Dr Mahathir is just being disrespectful and that should not be the case. He should humbly accept Sultan Sharafuddin’s remarks because as a Ruler, the Sultan has the right to comment on matters.
“The Sultan made the statement in the interest of peace and harmony in the country, as well as Selangor.
“Why did Dr Mahathir feel that it is okay for him to criticise others but not when he is the one who is being criticised?,” Nasaruddin told the New Straits Times.
Nasaruddin said it was evident that Dr Mahathir was demonstrating his displeasure with Sultan Sharafuddin.
“If that wasn’t the case, then Dr Mahathir should return all state awards conferred to him by other Rulers in the country. Why only return the Selangor awards?,” he asked.
Meanwhile, Selangor Umno liaison deputy chief Datuk Mat Nadzari Ahmad Dahlan said Dr Mahathir was being egoistic and arrogant.
“Dr Mahathir should ask for forgiveness from Sultan Sharafuddin. It is that simple and there is no need to drag or prolong this matter because the Ruler does not want to play politics.
“It is unwise to engage in a dispute with the palace. As a statesman, Dr Mahathir should be mature enough to understand the advice and the order of a Sultan,” said Mat Nadzari.
The Selangor Council of the Royal Court had earlier today confirmed that Dr Mahathir and his wife had returned their state royal awards. Council secretary Hanafisah Jais said Sultan Sharafuddin had accepted the return of the titles and agreed to it without objection.
Hanafisah added that the act to gazette the cancellation of the awards will be carried out in accordance with procedures and processes that have been set.