Promoting harmony and unity
THE “Bangsa Johor” spirit has been making waves with more and more Johoreans rallying support and coming together as one big family, as encouraged by Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.
The show of love and loyalty towards their beloved Ruler has also been evident, especially lately on social media platforms.
The overwhelming support for his subjects come with no surprise as Sultan Ibrahim has always been described as a friendly and caring Ruler.
In the recent Chingay celebrations, the thousands participating in the procession could be heard chanting “Daulat Tuanku” and “Johor, Johor, Johor” as they passed through the main stage, where Sultan Ibrahim was seated.
Duta Muafakat Johor president Lua Cheong Hong said that Sultan Ibrahim showed true leadership as he does not only verbally promoted respect and tolerence towards the different cultures and traditions.
“He respects all cultures and traditions of his subject and therefore he has all the support from all Johoreans and it was evident during the Chingay celebrations this year,” he said.
He added that the Sultan played a key role in fostering unity among the people, especially in recent years where a burst of misled and false information spread through various channels, including the social media.
“Some gullible individuals will fall for such information or even confuse the whole nation, this is why we need a leader to lead and educate the people to be aware and not to believe just anything that is speculated, especially on the Internet.
“For example, Tuanku understood the necessity to ban vape in Johor, as vaping is detrimental to health and could influence the younger generation,” he said.
Lua said that the Duta Muafakat programme is an initiative to relise Johor’s vision to be a continuous united state where people from all backgrounds live in harmony with respect for each other’s differences.
“Although the organisation started just last year, we have been able to garner support from 700 multiracial members and started coordinating events via social media, which has attracted more youths to join the initiative,” he added.
Not only did he make history by being the first Sultan to attend the Chingay ceremony, he also made it to the Thaipusam festival in the small town of Renggam in January.
The crowd made a beeline for the entrance of the temple and despite the people jostling each other to catch a glimpse of the ruler, Sultan Ibrahim walked calmly, taking his time to meet his subjects.
Johor Human Resources and Unity committee chairman R. Vidyanathan said that Sultan Ibrahim has always made an impact among Johoreans as he makes an effort to meet them during events such as the annual Kembara Mahkota Johor.
Besides that, the state government has also come up with several programmes to further promote unity, including Kembara Muafakat Johor, Karnival Muafakat Belia, Hari Muafakat Johor, Pesta Drama Muafakat Johor and Melestarikan Muafakat Johor.
It has also become a common practice, especially among state officials, to greet the people with a welcoming “Salam Muafakat Johor” catch phrase.
“The ‘ Muafakat Johor’ initiative is synonymous with the ‘ Bangsa Johor’ hype, which has been receiving good response from Johoreans as Sultan Ibrahim has been placing importance on the matter.
“We will continue planning more unity- related programmes in efforts to ensure that the spirit of Bangsa Johor remains among the people,” he added.
In a recent meet with religious leaders, Sultan Ibrahim had also urged non- Muslim religious leaders to help keep the people united and create a stronger and better Bangsa Johor.
He was quoted as saying that the responsibility of a religious leader is to unite the people and ensure that they have mutual respect for one another although they are from different religious backgrounds.
“Islam teaches us not to look down on other faiths but to respect them. You ( religious leaders) have your own territory, and I want to see that there is respect among one another. I do not want to see disunity created by religion,” he said.
Sultan Ibrahim had also ordered those who want to practise racism and hatred in Johor to leave the state and urged authorities not to be bias, but to take harsh measures against those promoting racism and creating racial disharmony.
“Anyone who creates disharmony and spread hatred here by promoting racism will have to deal with me personally,” he warned in a post on his official Facebook page. Constantly emphasising unity, Sultan Ibrahim has forged an impression not only on Johoreans, but also people from all over the country.
Netizens across Malaysia also have been rallying their support and commended the Ruler for speaking out for his subjects even in regards to political issues that affect the nation.
In the recent chingay celebrations, the thousands participating in the procession could be heard chanting ‘ daulat Tuanku’ and ‘ Johor, Johor, Johor’ as they passed through the main stage.
Johor ruler sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum sultan Iskandar greeting the people gathered during Thaipusam at sri Murugan Temple in renggam on Jan 24 this year.