Tuesday, May 18

Sultan of Johor upset over Pulau Rawa resort incident

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JOHOR BAHARU: The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim has expressed his displeasure despite having forgiven the four foreigners who were involved in a brawl with bodyguards of the Johor royal entourage at a resort on Pulau Rawa, last Friday night.

“I’m angry. The incident should not have happened. They were intoxicated and had disturbed the other visitors on the island,” the Sultan told reporters at Istana Pasir Pelangi, here yesterday.

He said this when commenting on a press report yesterday on the fracas at Pulau Rawa last week involving four foreign tourists and bodyguards of the Johor royal entourage.

The four foreign tourists who were working in Singapore had arrived at a resort on the island at about 11pm before getting drunk and disturbing the royal guests who were having a function and staying at the resort next door.

Some of the tourists had behaved rudely and uttered vulgar words at the royal family and guests which subsequently led to a brawl.

One of them was also reported to have swum and trespassed on the boat belonging to the Sultan of Johor which was then moored at the jetty, before turning aggressive and choking the vessel’s crew who tried to stop him.

This resulted in the crew calling for help from the palace guards, following which the foreigner jumped into the sea and injured himself upon stepping on a coral.

“I was informed of the incident at about 7.30am and feel sad over the incident … (but) I have forgotten about it and I forgive them.

“I forgive them, no problem, please come back and be my guest,” the Sultan said.

At the same time, according to the Sultan, several parties including the owner of the resort had lodged police reports on the incident and he left it to the police to investigate the case.

“Let the police do their job, I can’t say anything (because) I may be biased. Let the police investigate the incident,” the Sultan said.

The Ruler also described the case as having been exaggerated by the Singapore press which had made inaccurate reports.

“Don’t exaggerate minor things, if I want to exaggerate, the people concerned would have been arrested that day for trespassing and climbing onto my boat and behaving aggressively against my crew,” the Sultan said.

At the same time, the Sultan welcomed the presence of tourists on resort islands in the state which were famous for their beauty and uniqueness. He advised the foreign tourists to “Enjoy yourself, relax and behave.”

The Johor police have meanwhile set up a special team to investigate the fracas.

Johor Chief Police Officer, Datuk Mokhtar Mohd Sharif said police had opened up an investigation paper and the investigation would be carried out under Section 452 of the Penal Code (House-trespass after preparation made for causing hurt to any person).

“So far, statements from nine witnesses have been recorded to assist in the investigation,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said that until today, police had received nine police reports on the incident made by Malaysian witnesses who were
on the island at the time of the incident.

He said, however, the police had not received other police reports including from the victims or others related to the incident so far. — Bernama