JOHOR BARU, June 24 — Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has criticised a state DAP leader for proposing street demonstrations to pressure the government to resolve the country’s cost of living crisis.
The sultan said that street demonstrations were an irresponsible reaction to the problem and there were more constructive methods to resolve the issue.
“Have we not learned enough from the bloody street protests of the past? Have they forgotten the riots of 1969, also more recently, the Bersih riots?
“It never achieved anything, except chaos, destruction and a black mark on our nation’s history!
“Protesting on the streets is not the Malaysian way... There will be no winners when this happens. There will only be losers, and who knows how long it will take the for scars to heal,” he told the Royal Press Office (RPO) in remarks that were also posted online.
The 63-year-old sultan’s comments were in response to Johor DAP vice-chief Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali who on Wednesday urged Malaysians to demonstrate in Kuala Lumpur against the government’s handling of the crisis.
Today, the sultan said the country has laws that must be respected and upheld.
“Do not spew seditious statements when there are many other constructive avenues to channel your suggestions and views,” he said, adding that street protests would affect the economy that was still recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council demanded that the federal government reveal its plans for targeted subsidies and tackling the rising cost of living within 24 hours.
This comes as the government announced the removal of the ceiling price for chicken and chicken eggs, as well as subsidies for cooking oil in bottles of 2kg, 3kg and 5kg, from July 1.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced later the same day that the subsidy for cooking oil in plastic packets will still be maintained by the government, and only that for bottled cooking oil will be removed.
He also announced a new round of cash aid as part of additional Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) funds to combat rising prices, with the Phase 2 payment involving an allocation of RM1.11 billion and each BKM recipient will get up to RM400 depending on their respective BKM qualification category.