After new exco line-up, Johor Sultan calls for end to federal-state dispute

Ben Tan
The Johor Sultan poses for pictures with the new Johor exco line-up at Istana Bukit Serene in Johor Baru April 22, 2019. — Picture via Facebook/OfficialSultanIbrahim

JOHOR BARU, April 25 — Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar said today he wants the parties involved in the recent disagreement between the Johor and federal governments to put aside their differences for the well-being of the people.

“For that reason, if there is any dispute or misunderstanding, especially those involving the relationship between the Johor and the federal government, I suggest that we dismiss any differences. Instead, it is best to meet and discuss with each other for the benefit of all, especially the people.

“Together we pray for the prosperity and progress of the state of Johor,” said Sultan Ibrahim in an official statement today, that was posted on his official Facebook page.

In his statement, Sultan Ibrahim also explained that Johor has just appointed a newly-minted mentri besar as well as state executive council line-up.

With that, he hopes that focus will be given to Johor’s development and advancement.

“The new leadership must unite and strengthen efforts so that the welfare and interests of the people of Johor continues to improve.

“At the same time, I hope all parties can give their full cooperation in order for Johor’s administration and management to run smoothly,” said Sultan Ibrahim.

The 60-year-old state monarch’s comment came at a time when the relationship between Johor and Putrajaya is tense over the powers that the state ruler and state constitution have.

It was sparked after the resignation of Johor’s former mentri besar Datuk Osman Sapian on April 8 for what was believed to be his failure to toe the party line when dealing with the Johor palace.

The appointment the state’s new Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal about two weeks ago, followed by this week’s selection of the Johor state executive council that was not fully endorsed by the top leadership in Putrajaya, also added to the tense relationship between the Johor and federal governments.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also penned a personal blog entry that appeared to centre on the dispute in Johor, saying state constitutions that predate the Federal Constitution were effectively voided by the latter.

He said this meant state rulers should adhere to the winning party’s candidates for appointments rather than dictate their choices.

Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who has been vocal in support of the state’s sovereignty and rights, responded by posting excerpts from the Federal Constitution to suggest otherwise.

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