Pro­mot­ing har­mony and unity

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - DAULAT TUANKU SULTAN JOHOR - By KATh­LeeN ANN KILI kili@ thes­tar. com. my

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.

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