Nizar in trouble over WWW 1 (RM520,000)

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May 30: For twitting his opinion on the recent purchase of a car registration number by the Sultan of Johor at the dizzying price of half-a-million ringgit, the former Perak Menteri Besar is now faced with a police probe for sedition.

Johor police has even formed a task force to investigate Nizar Jamaluddin, who had earlier said that the RM520,000 ringgit paid by the Johor ruler for the car number ‘WWW1’ would have been better used to help the poor in the state.

Nizar had since explained that his Twitter posting was only a citizen’s lamentation, and not to hurt anyone.

“That is merely my view as a citizen who observes the situation in this country, where many still live in poverty and need attention,” Nizar, the Perak PAS deputy commissioner said.

But for the Johor police, the investigation on Nizar was to ensure “justice done”.

“We will investigate the matter transparently and professionally. Let us carry out our job without any undue pressure to ensure justice is done to both parties,” Mokhtar Shariff , the state police chief, told.

Johor has one of the highest crime rates in the country, and often came out in the top three states with most number of crimes, alongside other more urban states in the Klang Valley such as Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. In the past, negative remarks about the state’s high crime rate had riled up local police and ruling politicians.

On Monday, the Road Transport Department (JPJ) published the results of the bidding for popular car registration numbers under the series ‘WWW’.

While the Johor sultan topped the list and broke all previous JPJ records, the current Yang DiPertuan Agong was also named in the list, settling for the number ‘WWW5’ for a steep RM220,000.

The amount paid by the Johor monarch was the most expensive ever paid by anyone in the country’s history, though it is not immediately known who would foot the bills for the numbers bidded by the two monarchs.

However, in a strong defence of the purchase by Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, the son of the Johor sultan, he said that the royal family “does not take any money from the government”, and that government allowance to them had been channeled to Yayasan Johor to help the poor. He however did not mention how the RM520,000 would be settled.

“Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticise, wait. Before you quit, try. When you don’t know what is the real story or what will happen in the future, do your research before you open your mouth,” twitted the crown prince in his stinging response directed at Nizar.