Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar today hit out at a daily for questioning the Johor Housing and Real Property Board bill, tabled three years ago in 2014, while calling for the original proposal in the bill, which had since been revised, to be restored.
In a speech read out by crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim at the state assembly meeting this morning, he referred to a newspaper which questioned the sultan’s powers in the enactment.
“There are also shallow-minded media practitioners who question the ruler’s authority given in the enactment.
“To me, such newspapers are worthless and only good for wrapping ‘nasi lemak’,” he said.
Although he did not name the newspaper in question, Malay daily Utusan Malaysia had run an editorial piece on the issue at the time.
The front-page article had been accompanied by a picture of Sultan Ibrahim, under the headline “Wajarkah?” (Is it right?)
Among others, it questioned the enactment which would give the Johor sultan the power to hire and fire board members and oversee its accounts.
The bill came under fire from critics who said that it went against Malaysia’s constitutional monarchy system.
It was eventually passed with 10 amendments, including a provision for the sultan to act on the advice of the menteri besar.
In his speech today, Sultan Ibrahim said the ruler’s authority had been enshrined since 1895, when the state constitution was enacted.
“That power must be maintained to balance the political power and interests of the people and state of Johor.
“Therefore, I want the enactment reverted to the original proposal.”
Sultan Ibrahim also spoke on the recent corruption case involving former state executive councillor for housing and local government, Abd Latif Bandi.
Latif was charged on April 19 with 33 counts of graft with regard to Bumiputera housing.
“Look what happened just recently when a politician was charged with corruption on the power abuse over the issue of Bumiputera housing in Johor.
“MACC’s investigation of Johor civil servants should not be seen as undermining the state government. Instead, it should be viewed as a strength because integrity cannot be compromised.”