‘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.
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