Syed Saddiq Claims TMJ Has Been Meddling In the Country's Politics And Business Affairs
Relations between Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman have been deteriorating ever since the 14th General Election
The reason for this - according to Syed Saddiq - are "certain demands" that the Johor Crown Prince has made both before and after the 14th General Elections last year.
One such demand was a request for the cancellation of Manny Pacquiao's fight against Lucas Matthysse in July 2018, the Youth and Sports Minister claims.
The request made me uncomfortable, but I had to relay my decision that I could not oblige. I have to hold onto my principles. There were specific requests and decrees for it to be cancelled.
"Ask the organiser. Ask Pacquiao himself and ask (then-sports commissioner) Datuk Zaiton (Othman) as myself and her had to make an audience with TMJ to be courteous and explain things," the Sports Minister was quoted as saying by Malay Mail.
He, however, did not explain why the Johor Crown Prince wanted the fight cancelled.
According to Syed Saddiq, Tunku Ismail Ibrahim's alleged attempts to cancel the Manny Pacquiao fight would have caused a diplomatic crisis between Malaysia and the Philippines government
"The request for a last-minute cancellation would have become a diplomatic issue, because six ministers, including the Philippine president, had come.
"Tens of millions of dollars in investment would go up in smoke because the bout was to be aired live over 100 channels worldwide," he was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.
The Muar MP admitted that while his relations with TMJ had been better prior to GE14, their relations strained due to demands that were political in nature, and made him "immensely uncomfortable"
"He was someone whom I was close to, especially before the 14th General Election.
"But before the election, there were some specific demands that he made that I couldn't fulfil. The demands were political in nature and made me immensely uncomfortable," the Youth and Sports Minister was quoted as saying by The Star Online.
He revealed this when asked about his deteriorating relationship with the Crown Prince of his home state and how he is trying to deal with the criticism.
"If you notice, the day I announced my candidacy in Muar was the day he released an open letter asking for Johoreans and Malaysians to not 'change ships' and stay with Umno-BN," Syed Saddiq said, adding that after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th General Election, he had met Tunku Ismail twice when again requests were made.
Syed Saddiq said that while he respects TMJ as a member of the Royalty, his priority would always be towards the rakyat and that he is not going to lose who he is in order to appeal to specific groups
Being young, I personally believe that if I do not stick to politik khidmat then I'll lose myself very early on and for the sake of what? To appeal to specific groups?
"The very reason I joined politics was to clean up politics, clean up Malaysia and to ensure that youth interests will be represented.
"I still humbly respect him (Tunku Ismail) as the future sultan of Johor but the disagreements we have will be there. In the end, the rakyat will forever be my priority," the Youth and Sports Minister told reporters on Tuesday, 23 April, at a press conference in conjunction with Pakatan Harapan’s first year in power.