Only runners stung by King's 'don't run' joke, says PM

Ram Anand
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arrives at the opening of the first session of the 14th Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 17, 2018. ― Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V's remark to lawmakers to “not run” before his royal address was a “joke,” Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

The prime minister added that the only MPs perturbed by the remark would be those who who did just that.

“Siapa makan cili dia rasa pedas,” Dr Mahathir said, using a popular Malay idiom.

Sultan Muhammad V's remarks elicited laughter from lawmakers.

He made the remark one day after Barisan Nasional and PAS lawmakers staged a walkout after their protest over the appointment of the Dewan Rakyat speaker was not heeded, only to return later for their own swearing-in ceremony.

Dr Mahathir also said today that Parliament will provide space for politicians from both sides to air their opinions.

“There will be no restriction. They can talk about whatever they want to talk about,” he added.