The prime minister’s special adviser on media and communications A Kadir Jasin was yesterday summoned to the Bukit Aman police headquarters over comments he made on the installation of the Kedah sultan last year.
In his post on Oct 30 last year, Kadir questioned the expenses for the installation ceremony of Kedah’s Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah a week earlier and called for more transparency in the budget allocated to Malay rulers.
This is the second time the veteran journalist was questioned over his views on the royal institution after he was investigated for sedition over an article on the expenses incurred by the government for the personal expenditure of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.
Police reports against him included those lodged by PKR’s Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul, several Umno politicians and Malay right-wing group Perkasa.
“I asked the two police officers who questioned me how many complaints have been lodged against me, and they said 14,” he said in a blog post.
“This is the second time I have been probed in regard to my writing about the Malay rulers.
“I have no issues with being investigated because there are things you can learn when being questioned, and I can help shed some light to the police in the process,” he added.
Some parties who had lodged reports against Kadir also took offence with a line which touched on the lyrics of the official Kedah state song.
Kadir wrote: “The official song clearly states that the place of the king (sultan) is on the throne, and the king’s responsibility is to preserve the religion of our prophet (nabi).
“It does not say ‘extend their lives in the boardroom’ and ‘preserve his highness’ conglomerates’.”
In May last year, Kadir was questioned over an article in Sinar Harian calling for reforms in the royal institution.
Commenting on the appointment of Tommy Thomas as attorney-general, he said that the rulers should be confident and assured about their position, as they were “lavishly provided for.”
Kadir then listed what he claimed to be the expenses of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
He was subsequently probed by the police under the Sedition Act 1948 and for defamation.
He was also criticised by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim for questioning the expenses for the Agong.
“To make disparaging remarks without giving the Rulers the opportunity to clarify – that’s not healthy, especially when you use your position, and are seen to be close to people in the government,” Anwar had said.