Sultan Ibrahim: Johor side-lined by federal government

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ISKANDAR PUTERI: Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar said the state seems to have been side-lined by the federal government despite being one of the biggest contributors to Malaysia’s economy.

He said he is saddened by the condition of federal buildings in Johor like Sultanah Aminah Hospital, Sultan Ismail Hospital and the Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex, which have not been properly maintained.

“I urge the federal government to fulfil the promise to upgrade the North-South Expressway to six lanes and the Senai Desaru Expressway to four lanes.

“Look at the condition of federal roads like Jalan Johor Baru-Mersing, which is damaged and full of potholes. This could endanger road users.

“I feel as if Johor has been sidelined despite being a major contributor to the economy.

“Do not make the people of Johor demand that the state secede from Malaysia because maybe, Johor will be more developed if it is on its own,” the ruler said in his address at the opening of the First Session of the 15th State Assembly here today.

Sultan Ibrahim also said that since 2019, the amount of investments into Johor has declined and it was not because of Covid-19, but because of envy towards the state.

“This happens not because of Covid-19, but because of the virus of envy and jealousy towards Johor.

“There are investors who want to develop a solar energy field in Pengerang, but the federal government said there is no quota for it.

“There are investors who want to develop an energy centre and a deep sea port in Muar but there are ‘monkeys’ who are opposed to the project, even though it would provide jobs to the locals.”

He said if this continues, it will be hard to attract investments to the state.

Sultan Ibrahim also touched on Johor’s rights under the Federation of Malaya Agreement signed in 1948 and 1957, stressing that if any one of those terms is breached, Johor has the right to secede.

The ruler cited as an example Putrajaya’s lackadaisical attitude in 2018 towards Johor’s sovereignty, when the prime minister at the time decided to drop the review application for the Batu Puteh case at the International Court of Justice.

“The federal government did not consult Johor when making the decision, even though this involves Johor’s sovereignty,” said Sultan Ibrahim, adding that this was a clear breach of Johor’s rights as enshrined in the Federation of Malaya Agreement.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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