Sul­tan: I be­lieve in lead­er­ship by ex­am­ple

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - DAULAT TUANKU SULTAN JOHOR - By WONG ChUN WAI and NELSON BEN­JAMIN

THE Sul­tan of Jo­hor Sul­tan Ibrahim Ibni Al­marhum Sul­tan Iskan­dar said he is tak­ing a “hands- on ap­proach” be­cause he wants to ac­cel­er­ate de­vel­op­ment and to cut bu­reau­cratic red tape that of­ten ham­per quick de­ci­sions.

“I can sit idly in the palace and play polo but I will be ter­ri­bly use­less to the peo­ple,” he said.

Tuanku said in the past few years, he had no­ticed a grow­ing sense of pride and unity among Jo­hore­ans be­cause they felt that they pushed the dy­nam­ics of the state.

“While other states feel there is some de­spair over race re­la­tions and a nos­tal­gia of the past when things were said to be bet­ter, Jo­hore­ans feel a stronger sense of unity be­cause we have put things right here, es­pe­cially with Bangsa Jo­hor.

“I be­lieve in lead­er­ship by ex­am­ple and my calls to Jo­hore­ans to cel­e­brate the fes­ti­vals of all races are tes­ti­mony to that. In Jo­hor, the Bangsa Jo­hor is one re­gard­less of race and re­li­gion.

“I’m a strong ad­vo­cate of mod­er­a­tion. I com­mend The Star for ini­ti­at­ing this cam­paign. Keep it go­ing; you have my sup­port.”

He said as the Sul­tan, “my pri­or­ity is putting things right and do­ing the right thing”.

“I have guid­ing prin­ci­ples, which have been passed down the gen­er­a­tions to en­sure the ad­min­is­tra­tion of the state,” he added.

His Royal High­ness said he made it a point to travel around the state, lis­ten­ing and talk­ing to the peo­ple be­cause he wanted to hear from the peo­ple di­rectly. He stressed that district of­fi­cials would not know about his vis­its, as he loved ar­riv­ing unan­nounced ei­ther in a vil­lage or at a gerai ( stall).

“The prob­lem with some politi­cians is that they talk too much when they should be lis­ten­ing more. Just shut up and lis­ten to the rakyat, that’s my ad­vice,” he added.

He said from the cost of liv­ing to the need to clean up Jo­hor and mak­ing Jo­hor Baru safer, he had been com­pil­ing all the views.

He pointed out that the state now had “a new CPO ( Chief Po­lice Of­fi­cer) who is ac­tion- ori­ented” and that he hoped that newly minted CPO Datuk Wan Ab­dul Na­j­mud­din Mohd would make the streets of Jo­hor safer, adding the peo­ple must also play their part.

“We can say we want to be the se­cond city of Malaysia with a fan­tas­tic de­vel­op­ment but that means noth­ing if the peo­ple and for­eign­ers do not feel safe in JB. I want the peo­ple to start feel­ing safe in the streets. There is no point in show­ing me the sta­tis­tics of crime re­duc­tion if peo­ple feel oth­er­wise.

“So my chal­lenge to the po­lice is to clean up the streets as it is an es­sen­tial part of mak­ing JB a class city,” he said, adding that this could only be suc­cess­ful if the peo­ple also played their part and helped the au­thor­i­ties weed out crime. He added that more close cir­cuit cam­eras would be in­stalled to en­sure bet­ter mon­i­tor­ing of the city.

An­other “clean up” act, he said, was for the JB City Coun­cil to make the city clean and prop­erly main­tained.

“I’m tired of lis­ten­ing to peo­ple telling me how clean Sin­ga­pore is but the minute they cross over to JB, they see the con­trast.

“I’m sure Jo­hore­ans want to hold their heads high up and they must see the im­por­tance of mak­ing JB a clean city,” he said, adding that there is a RM2.5bil pro­ject to clean up and re­vi­talise the Jo­hor Baru river into a tourist desti­na­tion with river front cafes and her­itage ar­eas.

His Royal High­ness said he be­lieved his “in­volve­ment” had been pos­i­tively re­ceived by the peo­ple as “the peo­ple are tired of the blame game of­ten used by politi­cians and bu­reau­crats as they just want things to get done quickly”.

“I’ll play that role with no apolo­gies. I don’t be­lieve in niceties. I want quick ac­tion for the good of the peo­ple and the state. That’s all,” he said.

On the beau­ti­fi­ca­tion projects, Sul­tan Ibrahim stressed that the foun­tain area out­side the Is­tana Bukit Serene in Danga Bay was a hit among vis­i­tors and he was now in the midst of con­struct­ing a gar­den with maze, which would be opened to the pub­lic.

“We also plan to build a mosque which is to be named the Tunku Lak­samana Mosque in mem­ory of my son,” he said, adding that all th­ese were his gifts to the peo­ple.

The prob­lem with some politi­cians is that they talk too much when they should be lis­ten­ing more. Just shut up and lis­ten to the rakyat, that’s my ad­vice. There is no point in show­ing me the sta­tis­tics of crime re­duc­tion if peo­ple feel oth­er­wise. I don’t be­lieve in niceties. I want quick ac­tion for the good of the peo­ple and the state. That’s all.

sul­tan ibrahim car­ry­ing a baby while meet­ing his sub­jects in Mers­ing. The peo­ple had gath­ered at his palace in Fe­bru­ary to view his new Mack truck.

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