SHAH ALAM: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says despite curbing the powers of the Rulers, he and the late Sultan of Johor were best friends.
“One of my best friends was the late Sultan of Johor and you know, I changed the law with regard to assault by any Sultan on anybody, but he was my friend until the last (breath),” Dr Mahathir said during a press conference after the “Save Malaysia” congress here Sunday.
“For as long as I know, I got along fine with all the Sultans despite the legislation that I introduced,” he said when asked about a statement by Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim that the Rulers have a better relationship with the current Federal Government.
When Dr Mahathir was prime minister, he introduced legislation to curb royal powers after two alleged incidents of assault involving Johor royalty.
On Thursday, the Johor Crown Prince had said that he remembered the 1992 constitutional crisis when his family was ill-treated by the then Federal Government.
Tunku Ismail said his mother was even stopped by Malaysian Customs in Johor on their way home from Singapore, adding that she was told to step out of the car because they wanted to inspect it.
The alleged assaults involving Johor royalty were the starting point in the constitutional crisis that escalated into a special parliamentary session in December 1992 that saw passing of a unanimous resolution to curb the powers of the Rulers.
This eventually led to the 1993 amendments to the Federal Constitution, which stripped the royals of their legal immunity.