Sultan: I believe in leadership by example
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.