Johor royals not being monitored by Malaysian government: Deputy Home Minister

Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim earlier said that government officials had informed him that surveillance devices were being used to monitor him and his father.
Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim earlier said that government officials had informed him that surveillance devices were being used to monitor him and his father.PHOTO: ST FILE

PETALING JAYA - The Malaysian government is not monitoring members of the Johor royal family using covert surveillance systems as alleged by Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim, said the Deputy Home Minister Azis Jamman.

"As far as I know, no such orders were given either from the leadership or any parties in the Pakatan Harapan government," said Datuk Azis, as quoted in a report published in the Sinar Harian on Monday (Sept 10).

"If Tunku Ismail is telling the truth, he should inform and provide information on the matter to us or the police," he told the Malay daily.

On Saturday, Tunku Ismail had posted on Facebook that he had been approached by an individual to buy a surveillance device, which he described in his post as "Israeli-made" and "used to spy on people and gather intel".

The prince said government officials had informed him that such devices were being used to monitor him and his father, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, and that there were cybertroopers watching their social media pages.

Mr Azis told Sinar Harian that the government is prepared to investigate the matter if such espionage attempts existed in Malaysia.

The prince also stated in his post that government officials had informed him that the surveillance device was used by national agencies such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the police intelligence agency Special Branch, the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Prime Minister's Office.

National police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun denied that the Johor royals were being monitored in a statement on Monday, reported The Star.

"In response to the Tunku Mahkota Johor's (Johor Crown Prince) Facebook statement titled 'My Father and I Being Monitored', the police wish to assure the Johor palace that this is not taking place," said Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi.

"I will seek an audience with His Majesty the Johor Sultan to brief him over this matter," the police chief said.

The MCMC also issued a statement on Monday saying it does not carry out mass monitoring of any social media or e-mails.

"Any investigations into social media postings and enforcement action are carried out as a result of complaints or requests by law enforcement agencies," the Internet regulator's acting chairman Mohd Ali Mohamad Nor said in the statement.

Datuk Mohd Ali stressed that the government upholds the right to freedom of speech and privacy within the confines of the law and MCMC will assist if there is a breach of the law.

Meanwhile, Sinar Harian also reported that Johor police had not, as yet, received any reports on the claims made by Tunku Ismail.

"We have not received any reports lodged by the Johor palace on this matter," said Johor police chief commissioner Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd.