Sultan Ibrahim: Malaysia today ‘infected with virus of division’; says his priority is to 33 million Malaysians

Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar says his imminent appointment as Malaysia’s 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong is not a promotion but an additional responsibility that requires “sacrifice of both time and energy, as the head of state”.

The Sultan of Johor emphasised that his priority is not to safeguard the interests of the 222 elected representatives in Parliament, but rather, the 33 million people of Malaysia, adding that this will be his primary focus.

“I feel that the country today has been infected by a virus that I mentioned before in Pasir Gudang, which is the ‘virus of division’.

“This virus stems from political leaders who are willing to quarrel, insult, spread slander, and break the unity of the people in pursuit of power and personal interests,” Sultan Ibrahim said, during his royal address at the investiture ceremony in conjunction with his 65th birthday at Istana Besar in Johor Bahru, today.

Stressing on the need to strengthen unity and cohesion among the people, Sultan Ibrahim urged all leaders to compromise and show mutual respect to enhance the prosperity and wellbeing of Malaysians.

He added that during his tenure in Istana Negara, the state government should provide guidance to the Crown Prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail Ibrahim, as soon as he assumes the role of The Regent of Johor.

“Just as I was guided as the Regent when my late father became the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 1984 … The Regent will bear the responsibility to protect the state and the people of Johor, and exercise all the rights and powers of state governance, except as the head of Islam.

“Even though I will be in Istana Negara, it does not mean I am permanently moving to Kuala Lumpur. I will always come back to Johor because this is my hometown. I hope the people of Johor will not forget me and pretend not to know me after this,” said Sultan Ibrahim.

He also reminded government officials not to bring politics into the administration of the state government.

“Every decision made should be based on the interests of the people, and the government. They should not be driven by political interests. Carry out your duties and responsibilities honestly and faithfully. You all understand my way, so don’t waste time and don’t talk too much.

“I will also have ‘an eye and an ear’ in Johor to monitor what is happening here. Don’t be surprised if I suddenly appear in any of the districts,” he added.

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