KOTA BARU, MALAYSIA - As speculation of a royal rift swirled around the Kelantan palace, the Tengku Temenggong of Kelantan Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Sultan Ismail Petra downplayed talk of any wrangle with his older brother, the Regent.
Everything in the royal household was fine, he said.
"I have no problem with my brother. Everything in the Kelantan palace is also all right and okay," he told reporters outside the Syariah High Court here yesterday.
However, only a day earlier, a letter sent to state secretary Datuk Mohd Aiseri Alias on Tuesday had been released to the press.
The letter issued several directives said to be ordered by the Sultan. The directives sought to revoke orders and awards given by the Regent.
Tengku Muhammad Fakhry, the 31-year-old prince who is the third in line for the Kelantan throne, admitted that he had signed and sent the letter but stressed that he was only acting on his father's wish.
The younger prince has also gone to court to challenge his brother's decision to exclude him from the Kelantan Succession Council.
"I confirm that I signed the letter but I was only carrying out my father's wish. And I assure you my father is well. If you do not believe me, you can always seek an audience to see him," Tengku Muhammad Fakhry added.
The Sultan of Kelantan is currently undergoing treatment at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore after suffering a heart ailment in May.
The letter, a copy of which was also sent to Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, had ordered the revocation of all decisions made by the Regent regarding the state's Royal Succession Council.
The Regent had on Sept 16 last year revoked his younger brother's membership from the council.
The council's role is to confirm the succession to the Kelantan throne. It determines whether there is a vacancy for the throne by reason of prolonged absence of the reigning sovereign.
The letter claimed that the Sultan had consented to none of the actions and decisions made by Tengku Muhammad Faris after his appointment as the Regent on May 25 last year.
The letter also claimed that the Sultan had never consented to any degradation, conferment or revocation of any award and "and thus everything, from the membership in the Royal Succession Council to the list of datukships conferred by the palace must revert to the status quo as at May 24, 2009."
It also ordered the revocation of the datukship or its equivalent conferred on eight individuals including Mohd Aiseri, state Police Chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi and Kelantan palace comptroller Datuk Abdul Halim Hamad.
The letter also gave a one-month deadline for the state secretary and the state authority to act on the Sultan's order and instructed all confirmation of the necessary actions to be faxed to a number in the Klang Valley.
It said all actions must be concluded and the necessary documents gazetted and their documents of confirmations faxed to be number given on or before 9am of Jan 31.