MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Shall we all move to Johor?

The Sultan's statements indicate that he is a ruler concerned only with the welfare of his people.
Members of the Johor royal family emerged during this tumultuous year as the country’s most popular and beloved royals, and it is no longer just the Johoreans who feel this devotion. The daring and progressive statements from the Sultan and the Crown Prince have ignited the love of Malaysians across the country. One can imagine citizens of other states wishing that their sultans were as steadfast and fearless in defending their interests.
Hardly a day goes by without some statement from Sultan Ibrahim or Tunku Ismail, fondly known as TMJ, and with each statement, the chorus praising Johor’s royals grows ever louder. The Sultan and TMJ have made it a practice to challenge the country’s institutions, to keep them honest, while never really involving themselves in the graceless brouhaha of Malaysian politics.
This dedicated commitment to the dignity of both the royal institution and the people has already sparked conversations about “moving to Johor” among netizens, and the state is sure to welcome skilled Malaysians even as it prepares to develop the Iskandar area into a true 21st Century megapolis.
What truly sets Sultan Ismail and his family apart from other royal families is that they have chosen to take the direct common sense approach when it comes to speaking about the ills plaguing the country, and the rakyat wholeheartedly agree, judging by the rapturous sounds of applause. Here is a sultan who has told racists to get out of his state, a prince who dares take on a minister over questions of the government’s integrity, a family that is unafraid of the consequences of criticising powerful politicians in order to keep them honest.
The Sultan’s statements indicate that he is a ruler concerned only with the welfare of his people. There was, for instance, his call for a single-stream school system based on the old system, with equal emphases on English and Bahasa, so that the competitiveness of Malaysians abroad and at home could be ensured. The Sultan seems acutely aware of the problem brought on by the sidelining of both English and Bahasa in the current system. Yes, it is safe to say that even Bahasa is being sidelined in some schools because there are Malaysians out there who cannot speak our national language. But more importantly, English is integral in nurturing students to be competitive for the global marketplace.
Sultan Ibrahim is creating a brave new role for Malaysia’s royals. He has no real political power, but he is clearly cognisant of the fact that a royal ruler’s true power lies in his people, and his common sense approach to issues has clearly captured their imagination and, in many cases, their adoration. This role lies somewhere between politics and populism, the ruler as a champion of the people in the spirit of noblesse oblige and as a watchful guardian against attempts by the government to disrupt the lives of the public.
Johor’s royals will undoubtedly be the topic of more conversation in 2016, and as long as the Sultan and his family continue with their gospel of “Bangsa Johor,” the talk of moving to Johor will only grow louder. The Sultan has come to represent the standard of what a true ruler should be. Who knows, maybe 2016 will be “Tahun Pindah ke Johor.”

1 comment:

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