Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah says he only rebuked Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his remark on Bugis pirates three weeks after the event as he wanted to have all the facts first.
In an interview with The Star, Sultan Sharafuddin said he had heard about Mahathir’s remark while on the way to perform the umrah.
“I did not want to react blindly. I waited until I returned and spoke to different people who were there and who knew what actually happened. I only spoke after that,” he was quoted as saying.
He said however that the former prime minister had yet to apologise for his words, adding that Mahathir “never apologises”.
In October, Mahathir stirred controversy when he referred to Prime Minister Najib Razak as a “descendant of Bugis pirates” at the “Love Malaysia, End Kleptocracy” rally at Padang Timur.
His remark received strong criticism from the Bugis Malay Solidarity Association of Malaysia and the Indonesian Makassar Bugis Youth Association, among others.
On Nov 2, Sultan Sharafuddin said he viewed Mahathir’s speech with the utmost seriousness, anger and disappointment.
“Based on the video clip of the speech which has gone viral on social media, the allegation by Tun Dr Mahathir clearly insulted and bracketed the Bugis as a people who originated from pirates, robbers and criminals.
“The members of the Selangor Royal Council believe the speech was very extreme and could incite feelings of hatred and a negative perception of the Bugis people to the extent of causing disorder.
“This allegation indirectly insulted the ancestral roots of the Selangor sultanate which was founded by the Bugis,” he said.
He said Mahathir, as a former prime minister who had led the country for 22 years, should be more careful with his statements.
Mahathir was also criticised by Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, who told the New Straits Times on Nov 24 that he too had felt slighted by the remark.
“I am of Bugis descent. The Sultan of Selangor is of Bugis descent. Many Johoreans are of Bugis descent. My ancestry can be traced to Riau-Lingga, where there are many Bugis people. What will the Bugis feel?” he said.
Mahathir himself has maintained that he never said anything against the ethnic group, only against Najib, who had many times proclaimed that he was Bugis.
Sultan Sharafuddin denied that he had been influenced by people who were “anti-Mahathir”, adding that the Pakatan Harapan chairman had “an inferiority complex and a deep hatred within him”.
“He is just angry and his anger will burn the whole country,” the ruler was quoted as saying.
He added that neither he nor his family voted as the royal house of Selangor was “above politics”.
“My grandfather and my father practised this. And so do I and my sons,” he told the daily.
“It is wrong to think that I am influenced by one party or the other in my decision-making. My only concern is the well-being of my rakyat and that is the main influence over me.”-FMT