Dr Mahathir Mohamad trained his guns on Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, challenging the Johor ruler to explain selling state land to foreign entities.
The former premier said this when quizzed on the Johor state government pointing the finger at him for Malaysia losing its claim over Pulau Batu Puteh or Pedra Branca to Singapore.
Mahathir, who is known for not biting his lip on matters concerning the rulers, claimed the size of the land sold to the Chinese and Singaporean entities was much larger than Pulau Batu Puteh.
“He can blame whoever he wants, but he is not a judge. He is a sultan.
“He can give his opinion. In our country, the sultan is free to do anything (as) he is above the law. He can say anything, but I cannot respond.
“But I want to know, why did he sell 1,370ha of land to the Chinese? That is a much bigger area than just a piece of rock,” he told reporters in Putrajaya.
His aide later clarified that Mahathir was referring to the Forest City project in Johor.
Earlier, the Pejuang chairperson attended an interview with a special panel reviewing Malaysia’s legal options in the Batu Puteh issue, including if there was misfeasance on his part during his second tenure as prime minister.
However, the nonagenarian walked out in protest of former attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali, whom he had accused of protecting his predecessor Najib Abdul Razak with regard to the 1MDB saga, chairing the panel.
Meanwhile, Mahathir also questioned another project in Johor located at Maharani, Muar, where he claimed the land was sold to Singapore.
“…Now, another land piece in Maharani wants to be sold to Singapore. At the rate we are going, there will be no Johor,” he added.
Earlier this month, Sultan Ibrahim expressed disappointment over the Pulau Batu Puteh issue.
According to the ruler, the Pakatan Harapan federal administration did not consult Johor when it decided in 2018 to withdraw Malaysia’s appeal against the International Court of Justice’s decision to award Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore.
Two days ago, Johor Menteri Besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi called for action against Harapan leaders responsible for causing the country to lose Pulau Batu Puteh.
Although he did not mention names, the menteri besar branded the person responsible as a traitor. – Malaysiakini