KUALA LUMPUR – March 2, 2016: There has been growing calls for the authorities to take action against those who insulted the Sultan of Perak for defending Utusan Malaysia as not being a racist newspaper.
The Mole today, received complaints from readers who voiced disgust over some of the statements made against Raja Nazrin Muizzidin Shah.
One of the complainants wrote to The Mole via Whatsapp, “Can we lodge a police report please? This is not the first time he has done it. Before this, he also insulted the Quran and Muslims.”
The complainant was referring to a Facebook posting by entertainer Patrick Teoh.
“The headline most likely to make you scream, “You got to be f***ing kidding me!” Teoh wrote in response to an article which highlighted Raja Nazrin’s defence of Utusan Malaysia.
According to the law, offensive statement intended to insult the country’s Rulers is an indirect breach of the principles of Rukun Negara.
The offence is punishable under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 which carries a fine of not more than RM5,000 or imprisonment up to three years or both, upon conviction.
A check by The Mole also revealed several others disparaging remarks against the Sultan.
Facebooker Azhar Awang chided the Sultan, imploring that the people were not stupid and that they already hated the current leaders and that Raja Nazrin should not be “pouring fuel to the fire”.
“The people are not stupid ‘duhai’ (my dear) Sultan…please don’t be like those we currently have…don’t add more, the people has enough hatred as it is,” he wrote.
“He lived an easy life in his palace so what does he know about the people’s suffering,” wrote Tang Tai Seng.
Robert Khek wrote that Raja Nazrin has the right to speak whatever he wanted but at the end of the day, it is the people who know “the real deal”.
“That is your right to speak but we the people knows the truth,” he wrote.
Raja Nazrin had said that allegations claiming that Utusan Malaysia is a racist newspaper were made by certain quarters in order to sully its reputation.
He added that one of the agenda of those who made the allegation was to annul the country’s social contract that was agreed and established by Malaysia’s forefathers when they were fighting for the country’s independence.
“They are poking a hornets’ nest, they are agitating the people to play with fire,” said Raja Nazrin when he officiated the Utusan Business Awards 2015 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre yesterday.
Meanwhile, former Utusan Malaysia editor-in-chief Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin commonly known as Zam, seconded Raja Nazrin’s opinion regarding the newspaper’s impartiality.
Zam told The Mole that Raja Nazrin’s statement proved that he is a fair minded Sultan who is not swayed by politics.
“He strongly upholds the sanctity of the Federal Constitution with positive and clear thinking,” said Zam, “I have higher regards of him as compared to Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians.”
He also said that Utusan Malaysia has never been a racist newspaper because it has always been operating in line with the Federal Constitution.
Zam pointed out that the negative perception against Utusan began to worsen in 2008.
During that time, according to Zam, several newspapers have published a lot of provocative news that had subversively challenged the Federal Constitution.
He added that such news was intelligently written to indirectly tell the people that the newspapers were championing nationalistic views but in reality they were not.
“So when Utusan defended the Federal Constitution by countering the news, the people perceived that Utusan was an anti-nationalism newspaper.
“Then the opposition leaders, especially those from Pas, aggravated the situation when they openly declared that they will ‘pulaukan Utusan’ (boycott Utusan),” said Zam.
However, he also said that the government at that time was partly responsible of such negative perception against Utusan Malaysia.
“They allow these newspapers to publish such news and that is why the negative perception against Utusan still lingers even till today.
“But, like Raja Nazrin, I will vouch that Utusan is not a racist newspaper,” said Zam.