After being told to keep quiet and stay out of politics by Malaysia’s Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz, the sultan of Johor simply uploaded a 17 second video of himself, sitting in a chair looking out into a garden. When the camera closes in on him, Tunku Ismail turns to the camera and makes a “come here” gesture with his left hand.
Not a single word was said, yet the defiance was not lost on his supporters.
Within 5 hours after the video of Tunku Ismail was uploaded on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook, the video has been viewed over 205,000 times and was shared just under 5,000 times.
Fans took to the page to express their support for the sultan, who enjoys a strong personal support from his people. However, there were detractors who continued to warn him against participating in Malaysian politics.
On Saturday, Datuk Nazri Aziz had publicly warned Tunku Ismail against involving himself in politics.
“He should keep out of politics because otherwise, he will be subject to the same rule and we will whack him,” said Datuk Seri Nazri. “Rulers and royal families are above the law. If you want to be a politician then say so, so we can hit you back for what you say.
“But if you hold an important post, as a royalty in a state and start saying things, if we hit you back, don’t get angry.”
He was responding to a post made by Tunku Ismail on 5th June, which had criticized Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak for failing to attend a dialogue session organized by an non-government organization.