‘Don’t in­ter­fere in Jo­hor mat­ters’

TH­ESE are Sul­tan Ibrahim Sul­tan Iskandar’s stern words to those who seek to di­vide the peo­ple of Jo­hor. He also speaks at length on claims that he had sold land, and on the rig­or­ous process of award­ing state ti­tles.

New Straits Times - - Front Page - RE­PORTS BY AH­MAD FAIRUZ OTH­MAN

SUL­TAN of Jo­hor Sul­tan Ibrahim Sul­tan Iskandar said out­siders should not in­ter­fere with Jo­hor mat­ters and that peo­ple who come to the state — whether out­siders or Jo­hore­ans who live out­side Jo­hor — to di­vide Bangsa Jo­hor are not wel­come.

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with the Me­dia Prima Bhd group at the Flint­stone Palace in Mers­ing re­cently, the ruler said he knows what is best for his peo­ple be­cause he looks at them not in the political sense but as peo­ple that he loves.

“My ad­vice for the peo­ple from out­side Jo­hor, whether they are in pol­i­tics or oth­er­wise, is do not in­ter­fere with Jo­hor’s mat­ters.

“To the out­siders who come and di­vide the peo­ple of Jo­hor or Jo­hore­ans who live in Kuala Lumpur and have political am­bi­tions and re­turn to di­vide the peo­ple, I say get lost, you are not wel­come here,” said Sul­tan Ibrahim.

He said this is be­cause when the political am­bi­tions of th­ese in­di­vid­u­als failed to ma­te­ri­alise, the ones who lose out would be the peo­ple.

Stay­ing true to his prin­ci­ples, the ruler also made veiled crit­i­cism against a for­mer top leader of the coun­try.

He did not mince his words when he made in­di­rect ref­er­ences to non-Jo­horean lead­ers, such as Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad, who lied about the so­called 700,000 Chi­nese na­tion­als he claimed would be brought to For­est City to be made Malaysian cit­i­zens.

Sul­tan Ibrahim said th­ese “out­siders” were mak­ing an is­sue of the land ti­tles for the four re­claimed is­lands that will make up For­est City.

He said those who believed the lies were akin to peo­ple who com­mit­ted trea­son.

“For Jo­hore­ans who are in­flu­enced, it is like they have com­mit­ted trea­son.

“All my hard work, my love, my ef­forts vis­it­ing all the dis­tricts ev­ery year, if this is what they show me, it is like they have dis­obeyed me,” he said.

Be­ing above pol­i­tics, the ruler said he wanted to see de­vel­op­ment tak­ing place in all par­lia­men­tary and state con­stituen­cies in Jo­hor, re­gard­less of who their elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives were.

Ad­dress­ing con­tro­ver­sies that have im­pli­cated him in the past, the ruler clar­i­fied the mis­con­cep­tions peo­ple have of him as a prop­erty owner.

Sul­tan Ibrahim dis­missed claims that he had sold state land, say­ing in­stead that he had bought a piece of land in Tan­jung Puteri at a premium so that the gov­ern­ment could make a profit.

“I sold land? If I tell you that I have bought land, you won’t be­lieve me.

“The Tan­jung Puteri land was val­ued at over RM100 mil­lion, but I paid my gov­ern­ment RM300 mil­lion. I over­paid, but no­body knew. Just ask the land of­fice,” said Sul­tan Ibrahim.

He also said he would be strict in the award­ing of datuk­ships or medals and warned that in Jo­hor, ti­tles and medals were not for sale.

“When my birth­day ap­proaches, many con­men claim to sell Jo­hor datuk­ships and some peo­ple be­lieve that Jo­hor ti­tles can be bought and sold. They are gullible, so it’s their own do­ing.

“My ad­vice is that you must re­mem­ber that Jo­hor datuk­ships, medals and ti­tles can­not be bought,” said Sul­tan Ibrahim with­out minc­ing his words.

The ruler said he is not be­yond be­ing crit­i­cised and would like to meet with his crit­ics so that they could have a face to face talk.

“Crit­i­cism is nor­mal and we must ac­cept crit­i­cism.

“If pos­si­ble, I want my crit­ics to meet me and we can sit at the same ta­ble and dis­cuss what­ever it is about me that is both­er­ing them.

“Maybe, they have an idea that they are un­able to con­vey and only know how to crit­i­cise.

“Some­times, we get of­fended at the com­ments but that’s fine. I do not read too much into it,” Sul­tan Ibrahim said. Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Rizal­man Ham­mim, Chuah Bee Kim and Halim Said


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