Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar during the opening of the Johor legislative assembly sitting in Iskandar Puteri June 16, 2022. — Bernama pic
By Ben Tan
Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 1:57 PM MYT
ISKANDAR PUTERI, June 16 — Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar of Johor told Putrajaya to respect the state-federal accords that established the Federation of Malaysia.
Speaking at the opening of the Johor legislative assembly sitting here today, the state Ruler expressed his disappointment with some decisions by the federal government that he said appeared to ignored the state’s will.
“All parties must remember not to make decisions at will as the power of the state is enshrined in the agreement,” he said.
He said he was disappointed with the federal government’s decision to quash the appeal of the Pulau Batu Puteh (Pedra Branca) claim in 2018.
“The then prime minister made his own decision by ordering the Attorney General to take leave when the Cabinet had not been formed,” Sultan Ibrahim said, referring to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Johor was also not consulted at all when the decision involved its land and sovereignty. Therefore, I want the government to take stern action against those who violate state authority.
“In fact, if the state power has been violated, then the federal agreement can be considered void by itself and Johor is no longer part of the federation,” he said.
He also castigated the federal government for failing to maintain or upgrade existing public facilities in Johor and make them more efficient.
His laundry list of poor-maintained facilities included buildings like Hospital Sultanah Aminah, Hospital Sultan Ismail, and the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex in Bangunan Sultan Iskandar bordering Singapore.
He also reminded the federal government of its promised lane expansion of the North-South Expressway and the Senai-Desaru Highway and the repair of potholes on federal roads.
“I feel as if Johor is being ignored even though Johor is the main contributor to the country’s economy.
“Don’t force the people of Johor to leave Malaysia. Perhaps Johor can be more developed if it stands on its own,” Sultan Ibrahim said.
He also said that in Johor, the minimum age for those who wish to run for public office as an assemblyman is 21 and not 18 despite the federal gazettement of the amended law lowering the eligibility.
He said this is because he had yet to consent to the amendment of the state enactment.
“In my opinion, the proposal to lower the minimum age limit is not in line with the direction of the government which wants high quality leaders with proper knowledge.
“Nevertheless, I still support the right to vote given to those aged 18 and above,” he added.
The 63-year-old state monarch also reminded the Johor state government to make changes that benefit Johoreans.
“Johor will no longer give out land ownership to the federal government, but instead any federal project will only be given reserved land,” he said.
Earlier today, Sultan Ibrahim surprised assemblymen and others covering the legislative sitting by announcing his son and heir Tunku Ismail Ibrahim as Johor regent with immediate effect as he wished “to rest a while”.