Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has apologised to the Sultan of Johor and the people of Johor, for a statement made by him against the state.

Lim, who has been attributed to have said that the crime rate in Johor is higher than in Penang to a gathering of foreign correspondents in Singapore, however stressed that he has been misrepresented by the Barisan Nasional-controlled (BN) media and will pursue the matter in court.

Speaking at a special press conference called at his office in Komtar here today, Lim noted that Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar had said he was offended by the statement made by Lim against Johor.

“Out of respect to the Johor Sultan, I wish to fully apologise to the Johor Sultan and his subjects, the people of Johor,” he said, reading a prepared statement. “I have no intention whatsoever to discredit Johor or any other state.

– Extracted from, “Guan Eng apologises to Johor Sultan The Sun, 30 September 2011.

Lim Guan Eng was alleged to have said:

Penang was number one last year in terms of cutting crime by 27 per cent. For the first six months… also cut crime by another 25 per cent. Whereas in Johor, a Singaporean is likely to get kidnapped, won’t have that problem when you come to Penang.

What is wrong about the statement? Was Lim Guan Eng’s statement, which was made in private, critical of the Sultan of Johor, the people of Johor or the Johor state government? The Sultan of Johor noted that this statement was offensive. Why? Was this statement more offensive to the present Sultan of Johor than the behaviour of his father, the former Sultan of Johor, Sultan Iskandar Ismail? Was Lim Guan Eng’s statement more offensive than how the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) uses and abuse the monarchy on a regular basis?

Lim Guan Eng has made many stronger statements and accusations towards UMNO and have stood by it. Why is Lim Guan Eng afraid of the Sultan of Johor if he has not made any mistake as he claims?