Malaysians on tenterhooks after Johor Regent takes on Selangor Sultan in public domain

The football drama in Malaysia has reached fever-pitch, with the spotlight now on the Johor and Selangor palaces.

It is understood members of royal households from other states – and ordinary Malaysians – are also paying close attention to the latest development, following what has been described as an “unprecedented episode” involving the Regent of Johor, Tunku Ismail Ibrahim (main image), and the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

Tunku Ismail, on Instagram Stories yesterday, took issue with Sultan Sharafuddin’s June 26 statement. This was after the Selangor Sultan expressed “anger” at the Malaysian Football League (MFL) for handing out tough penalties against Selangor FC.

The Red Giants had decided not to play in the Super League curtain raiser against Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) last month after its appeal for the match to be postponed was turned down by MFL.

Selangor FC had requested for the match to be postponed after its star player, Faisal Halim, suffered horrific injuries in an acid attack at a shopping mall in Kota Damansara, Selangor, on May 5 – shocking the nation and grabbing headlines worldwide. Police have yet to identify the culprits, and the motive of the attack remains unclear.

MFL yesterday reduced Selangor’s fine from RM100,000 to RM60,000, while compensation payments for losses incurred by MFL and JDT, remain. Selangor’s three-point deduction for the 2024-2025 Super League season has also been cancelled. The ban on spectators in the upcoming Super League match against JDT at the Petaling Jaya City Council Stadium has also been lifted.

“From now on, any club that doesn’t pay wages, breaks the league’s rules, should ask their Sultan to write an ‘angry’ letter. Teams that commit infractions can instruct MFL to revoke penalties handed to them by asking their Sultans to issue letters. This will start a precedent where other Sultans will question why Selangor’s penalties were reduced, but not for our state (team),” Tunku Ismail posted on Instagram.

Tunku Ismail, the owner of JDT, said his club had been fined hundreds of thousands of ringgit since 2013, while he himself, was banned for six months, but the Johor Sultan (Sultan Ibrahim) never issued letters or made statements.

“(In this incident), the issue of Datukship was raised,” Tunku Ismail said, responding to Sultan Sharafuddin’s statement, where the latter highlighted awarding the Dato’ Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (DSIS) title to Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president, Datuk Hamidin Amin.

“MFL made the U-turn without an appeal letter (from Selangor FC). Those who have been criticising MFL should now praise them. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the real Tokong of Malaysian football.”

It remains unclear if the Selangor palace will respond to the Johor Regent’s comments.

Sultan Sharafuddin, the patron of Selangor FC, last month expressed disappointment with MFL for not postponing his club’s match with the Southern Tigers.