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Only rulers can revoke titles, DAP man told after remarks on Mahathir

The Jelutong MP is also questioned about his statement that Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Muhyiddin Yassin want to 'destroy the country'.

Nur Hasliza Mohd Salleh
2 minute read
RSN Rayer and Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
RSN Rayer and Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Jelutong MP RSN Rayer has come under criticism by some over his call for the "Tun" title bestowed on Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be withdrawn following the former leader's comments on the royal institution. 

Speaking to MalaysiaNow, Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Saleh said it was not Rayer's place to make such a suggestion. 

"What right do we have to deny the titles bestowed by the Malay rulers?" he added.

Mahathir, who led the country twice for a total of 24 years, was awarded the Seri Maharaja Mangku Negara which carries the "Tun" title in 2003 after retiring as prime minister for the first time. 

It is an exclusive honour reserved for just 25 people at any given time. 

Lawyer Rafique Rashid agreed with Akmal, saying titles can only be revoked by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or by the Malay ruler who bestowed it. 

He also noted that Mahathir was being investigated by the police, and had promised his full cooperation in the matter of having allegedly insulted the Malay rulers. 

"Rayer should allow justice to take its course until Mahathir is proven guilty in court. 

"If titles and facilities are to be withdrawn, it must go through the judicial system," he added, recalling the legal principle of "innocent until proven guilty". 

Rayer had also brought up Mahathir's "Malay Proclamation" and the possibility of the veteran leader working together once again with Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin – the subject of speculation since he told MalaysiaNow in an exclusive interview that he was open to cooperating with the Pagoh MP. 

Muhyiddin himself responded by saying that he, too, was ready to work with Mahathir for the future of the Malays.

Rafique said the two leaders had only stated a desire to work together in order to unite the Malays, questioning Rayer's remark that they wanted to "destroy the country". 

"Will bringing the Malays together destroy the country?" he said. 

"Look what we achieved in history when the Malays united – we were able to defeat even the British and the Malayan Union.

"When the Malays united, we also gained independence. What destruction is there when the Malays unite?"

He said their calls for unity were also a call for the Malays to respect the Federal Constitution. 

"The constitution lays out the rights of the Malays. That is all that Mahathir is defending," he said. 

"Nothing that will lead to the country's destruction."