A prominent Muslim scholar in has shared his opinions about Malaysian
royalty not being above reproach and must be held accountable to the
public for their actions.
Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, the former mufti of Perlis who is currently a visiting fellow at Oxford University, had read a Daily Mirror report highlighting the British royal family’s travel bill which soared to
£6.1 million (RM30.5 million) last year. He praised the British public for keeping checks on their royal family’s spending
and ensuring they were accountable to taxpayers.
Mohd Asri proceeded to draw parallels from the British experience to the Islamic world. In an essay titled “Mereka Paling Mencegah Kezaliman Raja (They Most
Prohibit The Tyranny of Kings)”, he compared the freedom granted British society to criticise their Rulers
to Muslim tyrants who “punished” their subjects for questioning their
“See in the Muslim world when the aristocracy rake in all the riches from oil, timber, gas, land and public property without anyone being allowed to question it. In fact, those who do are punished,” he wrote.
The examples of tyrants that he used in his essay included those who had supported the rule of Libyan despot Muammar Gaddafi, Egypt’s dethroned President Hosni Mubarak, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. While he did not mention Malaysia specifically, he did comment on recent cases of bloggers being investigated for sedition for reportedly criticizing the Malaysian royals.