In her column, Raja Zarith whose father was the late Sultan Idris Shah of Perak, was talking about corruption.
She admitted that she had always shied away from writing about corruption simply because she did not feel "qualified enough or clever enough to be able to differentiate between what is corrupt practice and what isn't".
"I suppose my hesitance to address the “mine field” of corruption stems from my own ignorance about the subject, as well as my unwillingness to face the fact that my late father may be labelled as corrupt once he had accepted one “gift” too many. When does a gift remain as a gift and is not seen as bribery?
The English saying that “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones” is one that is always on my mind. My conscience silences me when I am part of a conversation where gossip about this or that corrupt government official or this or that politician abound with great details about how they procured their wealth. I confess I am a coward and my fear is that if I were to point fingers at someone and label him as corrupt, someone else could do the same to me and say, “And what about you?”
I'll be direct here and say that no...that was not a corrupt practice. That was a gift. I shall not assume or impute motive in the Menteri Besar by saying that he had an ulterior motive in giving the land. Simply because he was the Menteri Besar, the most powerful elected member of the State executive. He did not need to resort to giving land to the Sultan to curry favour. And the Sultan did not need to get the Menteri Besar to present him with a piece of land. Wasn't he the Ruler of the land?
I must laud Raja Zarith for her forthrightness, candour and courage in raising this issue. It takes a lot to come forward and give a personal take and question one's own father first with regards to an issue as hot as corruption.
I find the princess a very down-to-earth unpretentious and caring person. She is also intelligent and smart.
So, don't believe her when she said she is "not clever". She was just being understated and modest.
Raja Zarith takes her role as the consort of the Tengku Mahkota Johor very seriously and makes frequent visits to the kampung to meet the rakyat.
During the big floods in Johor, well.... forget the publicity-crazy politicians. I know for a fact, that Raja Zarith got down and dirty to help the flood victims and nary a bother for publicity.
I am no royalist. Hardly. But I am not prejudiced or jaundiced in my view of people, royalty or non-royalty. I take them as they are.
Let's put it this way -- if Raja Zarith was an arrogant snooty royal, I wouldn't bother to even mention her.
I know that this princess speaks from her heart.