Former New Straits Times Press editor-in-chief A Kadir Jasin has resigned his post as the communications chief for the Council of Eminent Persons to prevent “confusion” among the public between his role in the council, saying he did not want his personal views to be in conflict with that of the Council. “This is solely my decision to avoid further confusion among the public regarding my role in the council and the views I expressed in my blog and weekly column in the Sinar Harian newspaper,” Kadir wrote on his blog today.
“To avoid embarrassment to the Council and any possible conflict of interest on my part, I offered my resignation and it was accepted by the Chairman, Daim Zainuddin,” he said in a blog posting today. Kadir stepped down earlier today in the wake of criticisms and a police investigation over his comments questioning expenses incurred by the royal family. His resignation comes two days after Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun announced that Kadir, who is also a part of PPBM’s Supreme Council, would be investigated for sedition, over remarks by him seen as critical of Malay rulers. A recent blog posting in which he revealed that some RM257 million had been spent for the upkeep and personal expenditure of the Agong in the last 16 months, was criticised by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim. Kadir had said the huge amount spent by the government showed that the Malay Rulers needed no reassurance that their position was secure. This followed Anwar’s recent audiences with Malay rulers, which he claimed was part of his efforts to reassure the Malay rulers about Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration.
Kadir today said his decision to quit the post as head of media and communications in the Council was “to avoid further confusion among members of the public regarding my role in the Council”.
He said he had always maintained that the views he expressed in his blog and as a columnist in a Malay daily were not representative of the Council. Kadir said he had been writing in his “personal capacity as a blogger” and that the views expressed had “nothing to do whatsoever with whatever position” he might hold. “I have been diligently stating in the preamble of my blog post that whatever views expressed therein were entirely mine. “I was writing in my personal capacity as a blogger and had nothing to do whatsoever with whatever position I might hold,” he said, adding that he would continue to speak out “with the nib of my pen”. “However, that did not stop journalists and others, quoting from the blog, from stating that I am the head of media and communications of the Council of Eminent Persons,” he added. Kadir thanked Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Daim for their “trust and confidence” in him.
“I will continue to serve our beloved country and its people in the best way that I know how, which is with the nib of my pen.” – June 9, 2018.