28 April 2019
PETALING JAYA: Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Youth leader of PPBM, has questioned why the Tengku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, had not asked for the resignation of former prime minister Najib Razak while Najib was under pressure to leave two years ago.
Syed Saddiq said the rakyat had sided with Dr Mahathir Mohamad, despite Tunku Ismail’s call for the public to retain Najib in power before the general election last year.
“My question to TMJ (Tunku Ismail) is: why, when the whole world knew Malaysia as a kleptocracy, TMJ did not say ‘tukar Najib’ (replace Najib) but now he is asking to change a prime minister that has been given the mandate by the people?”
His comment was in response to a video recording of Tunku Ismail’s cheeky reply to a football supporter last week, that instead of changing the Johor football coach, it would be better to change the prime minister.
Syed Saddiq, who is Youth and Sports Minister, also mocked Tunku Ismail for calling it quits after taking over the helm of the Football Association of Malaysia last March.
“If taking care of FAM is so hard to the point of quitting when it was not even a year, imagine the responsibility of a prime minister that genuinely wants to restore (the name and state) of his beloved country,” he said in an online posting.
Tunku Ismail had suggested last year that he quit as FAM president because of the national team’s drop in world rankings.
23 April 2019
YOUTH and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Syed Abdul Rahman revealed today that the breakdown of his relationship with Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim was because the latter had made “uncomfortable demands” on him.
Syed Saddiq said one such demand was to cancel, at the last minute, the Manny Pacquiao vs Lucas Matthysse fight in Kuala Lumpur which took place on July 15 last year.
“There were specific demands and orders for it (the fight) to be cancelled, ask the organisers, ask Pacquiao himself,” Syed Saddiq said.
He said Sports Commissioner Zaiton Othman and himself had sought an audience with the crown prime, popularly known as TMJ, to explain that they could not cancel the fight.
“There were some things which happened. Some things which I simply could not defend. So then the situation didn’t go that well,” he said.
He explained that the cancellation of the fight would have caused a diplomatic crisis with the Philippines.
“The demands for the last minute cancellation would’ve caused a diplomatic issue because six ministers including the president of the Philippines came over (to watch the fight),” he said at a press conference at the Youth and Sports Ministry today.
“Tens of millions of dollars in investments would have been lost because it was aired to more than 100 channels live worldwide,” he said.
Syed Saddiq said his relationship with TMJ had not always been this frayed, adding that they were “especially close” to each other until he decided to contest in the 14th general election for the Muar parliamentary seat.
“He was someone who I was close to, especially close, before the elections. But he made specific demands before the elections which I could not fulfil.
“These demands are political in nature which made me feel immensely uncomfortable.”
Syed Saddiq also revealed that prior to the elections, TMJ had released a Facebook statement urging Johoreans and Malaysians to continue supporting the then Umno/BN government on the night he announced his candidacy for Muar MP.
“If you notice the day where I announced my candidacy in Muar was the day he released the open letter asking Johoreans and Malaysians to not change ship and to stick with Umno/BN.”
Syed Saddiq said that he had stuck firm to his beliefs and principles because he will lose himself as a politician.
“My duty and the reason why I joined politics was to clean up Malaysia and clean politics up and to ensure youth interests are upheld,” he said.
“While there are those that don’t agree, I still humbly respect him as the future ruler of Johor but the disagreements we have will be there. In the end the rakyat and people will forever be my priority,” he said.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT