Friday May 11, 2012
Sultan forgives trespassers
By NELSON BENJAMIN and MOHD FARHAAN SHAH
JOHOR BARU: Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has forgiven the individuals involved in the brawl with bodyguards of the royal entourage but he wants foreigners to respect the local laws and culture and not behave like hooligans.
“We welcome foreigners to the state but they must respect our laws and culture,” he told a press conference yesterday at Istana Pasir Pelangi.
“They cannot behave like hooligans and use vulgarities. Even locals must respect the laws wherever they go.”
In detailing what happened between the bodyguards and four foreigners British, German and French expatriates on Saturday, the Sultan said he wanted to set the record straight as there were many versions of the incident.
“For me, the matter has been settled and I welcome them back,” he said, adding that his three-day diving expedition at Pulau Rawa was marred by the fracas.
Sultan Ibrahim, who regretted what had happened on the last day of his trip, said he was in his yacht and only found out about the brawl early the next day.
It was reported in The Star that four foreigners were involved in a brawl with bodyguards after they had trespassed into a power boat belonging to the Sultan. “They even tried to strangle one of my crew,” the Sultan said.
He said the foreigners were actually staying at the neighbouring Alang's Rawa Resort and were a nuisance to other guests at the resort when they went around banging on room doors in the wee hours of the morning.
“I believe they may have been fighting among themselves earlier as there was broken glass in their room and one of them even injured his leg when he jumped into the sea from my boat and scraped himself against corals,” he added.
“My doctor treated the injured foreigner but I am quite upset how the issue was blown up by the foreign media.”
Two foreigners involved in the brawl were treated at a hospital in Singapore and lodged reports with the police and their respective embassies in the republic.
Singapore's The Straits Times quoted a 28-year-old Briton as saying they were assaulted by the bodyguards after they were invited by the royal family for drinks.
Both the British High Commission and German Embassy are following the matter with Malaysian authorities. Nine police reports have been lodged so far.