Why the rush?

Sultan Johor, Tunku Mahkota Johor, MB Johor, DUN Johor Speaker and the ADUNs

On Monday, MB Johor Dato’ Seri Mohamad Khaled Nordin pushed through in Dewan Undangan Negeri Johor for an amended Johor Housing and Real Property (JHPA) Enactment 2014 to be passed, amidst controversy drawn for a law which so many opined contradicted the principles of power of separation between Ruler and Executive.

Today, it has been reported that Sultan Johor felt that there was no need to rush for the enactment to be signed.

The Rakyat Post story:

Johor Sultan: ‘No hurry to sign enactment’

Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has assured he will not interfere in state matters and this include matters related to housing and land. — Bernama file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 12:

Insisting that he only has the best interest of the people at heart, Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar assured he will not interfere in state matters.

The Sultan said this would include matters related to housing and land.

While the ruler has maintained silence since controversy erupted over the Johor Housing and Property Board 2014 enactment, Sultan Ibrahim told a local English daily today that all he wants is for his subjects to understand the enactment and be happy about it.

In an interview with The New Straits Times, the Sultan said he had put forth the suggestion of having a roadshow where state government representatives would go around Johor to explain what was in the enactment.

Sultan Ibrahim said he had also suggested for Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin to go on the roadshow himself and explain the provisions.

While the state legislative assembly on Monday had passed the enactment with several amendments, the Sultan has yet to sign it.

When asked by the daily on when he would grant his consent, Sultan Ibrahim said, “There is no hurry to sign the enactment.”

This, he said, was because he wanted the people to understand the provisions within the enactment first before he signed it.

“My priority is my subjects. They have always been and will always be (my priority),” he was quoted as saying.

He added that he has no qualms in inking the enactment once his subjects are happy about it.

It was rumoured yesterday that Sultan Ibrahim would not put his signature on the enactment, however, the ruler dismissed it and asked people not to listen to rumours.

On Monday, after much criticism from various quarters, the Johor state legislative assembly passed the controversial housing enactment.

It was supported by 38 Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen, while 18 Opposition representatives were against it.

The bill was passed after it was debated by 8 assemblymen — 5 from BN and 3 from the Opposition.

It also saw 8 clauses being amended, involving 10 subsections.

The amendments included the limitation or removal of the Sultan of Johor’s executive powers in the enactment.

Another amendment saw the Sultan no longer having the power to determine the allowances of board members.

The appointment of the board’s directors, which prior to this was subject to the approval of the Sultan, has been amended to the approval of the Sultan, on the advice of the Menteri Besar.

Also on Monday, Johor Council of Royal Court president Datuk Abdul Rahim Ramli pointed out that Sultan Ibrahim had never interfered in politics.

The council also assured there would be no abuse of power on his part, reported national news agency Bernama.

“Sultan Johor Sultan Ibrahim is a credible ruler who listens to advice in carrying out his duties. Tuanku is well-versed with the provisions of the Johor State Constitution 1895 and other laws and rulings, and the limits of his power and privileges,” Abdul Rahim was quoted as saying.

**********************

It is baffling why Johor State Government rushed to have the enactment passed. Speaking to media after the enactment was passed, MB Johor Khaled quipped that “People outside Johor do not understand”.

That is probably meant for many persons which include Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak, former Law Minister Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim PhD. and Deputy Agriculture Minister Dato’ Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.

The opposition of the proposed JPHA is very strong

What is interesting, the opposition for the enactment which has been seen as contradicting the principle of separation of power in the Constitutional Monarchy democratic system this nation adopted came from former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam.

This is first time in almost 30 years both came together on the same page.

So now that Johoreans shoudl understand better than those who live in Johor, why is there a need for Sultan Johor to suggest that MB Johor Khaled, his Excos and senior Johor Civil Service officers go all over Johor and meet the rakyat to explain on an enactment which was passed in a rush?

Lido Boulevard beachfront project, by Tan Sri Vincent Tan

Shouldn’t the roadshow be done well before the enactment be put into the DUN Johor for tabling, debate and vote?

MB Khaled also said in the same media conference that the new Johor Housing and Property Board would be incorporated by next year and started operations.

What is interesting, the pro-Opposition online news portals are speculating that the JPHA has got something to do with Sultan Johor’s personal business interests.

Kinibiz graphics on series of events involving big land and corporate deals in Johor

Needless to say, this would be a story that would be gossiped in the grassroots from this point. Considering Ramadhan is around the neighbourhood and Hari Raya Aidil Fitri is less that seven weeks away, the season where the Malays converge and gossip even more intense, then the perspective would spiraled into something chronic.

Shareholders of SIPP Energy Sdn. Bhd.

Shareholders of SIPP Energy Sdn. Bhd.

Many people would seriously be baffled and eventually doubt MB Johor Khaled’s role to advise Sultan Johor and manage the State Government and administration or a spokesman on behalf for Sultan Johor on specific subliminal agenda.

A lot at stake here. Even though Johor is perceived to be BN’s fixed deposit in Semenanjung, the fact is that Johoreans translate their frustration through the ballot boxes. BN’s control in DUN Johor slide from 6 Opposition ADUNs in 12GE to 18 Opposition ADUNs in 13GE.

A lot at stake here.

Published in: on June 12, 2014 at 14:30  Comments (19)  

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19 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. How can malays ever trust their rulers and be loyal subjects when you have HRH Johore to disppoint all of us.terribly. We should not give our support to a ruler who sells tanah melayu . to foreigners. Ever, Especially to Chinese. Theyw ill overwhelm Johore in no town. Malay in the city are being pushed to the fringes. We cannot afford to own offices or house in city now except if you are ready to be a slummie. HRH Johore sold beratus ekar to Chinese nationals when his own rakyat cannot afford to have own land and build a small crappy house of their own.

    The Malays must not be subservient to greedy rulers because the rulers really dont care for us.

    • Well, whose fault is it when the Johor “rakyat” don’t have a good education (and, no, the SPM, SPTM or a diploma doesn’t cut it any more) – which means that they can’t get good jobs which pay well and which require high-end skills?

      Or whose fault is it that the Johor economy, since 1957 or 1965, has not gone “upmarket” into high-tech manufacturing, high value-added agriculture and high-end services, which would have provided good jobs (with good salaries) to the Johor “rakyat”?

      Surely not the Johor state government which has been relying on the ‘fixed deposits” since 1957?

      And it’s not as if the powers-that-be in Johor knew exactly what was going on.

      Heck, any Johorean with an ounce of common sense could see the development and transformation of neighbouring Singapore!

      And they didn’t bother to ask why the same couldn’t be done in Johor?

    • Oops, sorry – mangled verbiage there!

      I meant to write “And it’s not as if the powers-that-be in Johor didn’t know exactly what was going on”.

    • “HRH Johore sold beratus ekar to Chinese nationals” – his land or state land? Or land alienated by the State to him, then he sold to Chinese?

      If you give an example, it’d be an eye-opener for us not living in Johor.

  2. 1. Sultan Ibrahim said he had also suggested for Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin to go on the roadshow himself and explain the provisions.

    Why need “personally”? Is that an advice? Would Khaled take it as an advice? Or would he start to personally go on the road at 5 am to morrow morning and every morning?

    2. Anyone places much on what Rahim Ramli says? He’d say the grass is golden in colour if he thinks that’s what the Sultan wants him to say. The Sultan does not need to say it on so many issues, he’d do it – at the higher level it’s not called bodekking, it’s so-called pre-empting or “thinking the bosses mind” and acting on it. He’s not in that post for umpteen years for just smiling, bowing and yessing. “Patek yang amat ta’at setia tidak terhingga”.

    3. If there is no issue on the constitutional monarchy situation, no problem, that’s their business. But when so much is being grumbled in the state, on sand export etc, it’s the rakyat business.

  3. Why the rush ?.

    it’s either Khalid has lost controlled of what happening in Johor , and needs some other ways of controlling ,with the Sultan involve in.

    Or the Sultan want a feasible way to all his interest, looking at all his dealing with involved investor that are known.

    Siapa yang hendak didahulukan ,RAKYAT atau sebaliknya , are big question that Johrean (especially Malay) are asking ,and the answer doesn’t look favoring them in any way .

  4. I think generally people won’t mind the Sultan engaging in business, though that still raises questions on his constitutional monarchy status.

    But the people mind a lot if he does it using his power and influence. Giving him the power, like in he original draft of the Johore housing board enactment, was daft. Good that it was amended.

    But now he still has the power to appoint etc, though “under the advice of the Menteri Besar”. And Tun Dr Mahathir is right in wondering if, in practice, it would be a reverse role between the Sultan and the Menteri Besar.

    In Johor, it has to be a Menteri Besar with balls running the state. The word means having the guts, the bravery and the willingness to face the Sultan and explain to him in the most tactful and polite manner on what the State Government can and cannot agree to his “wishes”.

    The MB must not be a party – even be responsible – to the giving away of State land, powers and prerogatives without catering to the rights and interests of the Rakyat, especially the less economically advanced Malays. For a long time already, especially since independence, land no longer belongs to the Ruler, but to the State and alienation of every inch of State land must be done on the proper basis – with the interest of the Malays being fully taken into account.

    So are business opportunities. The housing development enactment is
    surely designed to regulate the industry to ensure the Malays also benefit from the huge development in Iskandar etc, in terms of house ownership and opportunities for businesses, including construction contracts etc.

    So, let us keep harping on the need for the Menteri Besar to ensure that the intent of the enactment will be strongly reflected in its implementation. That, in the first instance, the appointments made to Board will be people the MB, i.e the democratically elected State Government, wants, and not otherwise.

    • “The MB must not be a party – even be responsible – to the giving away of State land, powers and prerogatives without catering to the rights and interests of the Rakyat, especially the less economically advanced Malays.” –

      Whatever the circumstances, the Menteri Besar IS RESPONSIBLE for the alienation of State land. Nobody else is. Therefore, it is the duty and the responsibility of the MB to ensure no State land is alienated to those not deserving.

      It is also his duty to provide for land that for the development of houses that the less economically advanced Malays can afford to buy, be they in the Iskandar project or elsewhere. Do not let that area become known as a Chinese city and such. And it is utterly ridiculous to have allowed a signboard written in Chinese there – is this China? It’s shameful to the Johor MB and whoever was in charge of Housing among the Exco.

      As the housing enactment just passed by the Johor DUN is aimed at regulating the housing industry, Iskandar and the like must be made to have Malay representation in terms of ownership, businesses (including construction contracts) and residence. They simply cannot be, and must not be allowed to be, a new Chinese township in Johor.

      There must be a balance between attracting foreign investment and development in the state and the need to have Malays, the majority population and the community that has been ruling the state for centuries in the past.

      And the Menteri Besar is responsible, despite the existence of a newly created Housing Board whatever.

      • What about the “less economically advanced” Chinese and Indians who are Johoreans and who are the subjects of HRH?

        Are they too not worthy of consideration in terms of affordable housing etc?

        Or good jobs, for that matter? Instead of having to grub for a living in Singapore?

        But, see, that may have never crossed your mind.

        Because, like what Tun Dr M posted on his blog, it’s all about the permanently disadvantaged.

        So, what’s next? Imposing hiring quotas (X per cent this race, Y per cent that race and Z per cent for everyone else, so long as X > Y+Z)?

        That’s a slippery slope, for sure.

      • Testing

  5. If after standing firm and beradab sopan santun with the Sultan and, having explained in the most tactful and polite manner on what the MB i.e the State Government can or cannot agree to the Sultan’s wishes, relations sour, assent to enactments passed by the State Assembly from here on is denied, a constitutional crisis might appear, like it did at the Federal level during Tun Dr Mahathir’s time n the past.

    Then, the Menteri Besar must discuss with the Prime Minister on action to be taken. Surely UMNO, with 3.5 million members and a long list of highly qualified Supreme Council and lower level officials – many with PhDs and Masters degrees – can think out solutions to the problem. It’d be an utter shame otherwise. It just cannot be “unsolved” and allowed to continue bothering and harassing the Johor rakyat’s minds endlessly.

    Johore is a well educated state, generally. Even the FELDA settlers are quite well informed. At PRU13, BN lost 12 additional seats to the Opposition – from 6, they got 18 ADUNs now. Surely that’s disconcerting to the UMNO leadership and to those Malays who support UMNO and would like the state to continue as a “Fixed Deposit” to BN.

    No two-way about it. If Khaled Nordin is not prepared to play a strict, no-nonsense but beradab sopan santun role with respect to the Sultan’s “wishes” – expressed by him personally or through the likes of the long-retired State Secretary and Chairman of the Ruler’s Council, Rahim Ramli – then Khaled should make way to another Johor UMNO strongman, to the full extent of the meaning of the word “strongman” this time.

    If ever it comes to a constitutional crisis and Najib is not prepared to do like Tun Mahathir did at the Federal level, the UMNO Supreme Council must seriously consider what action to be taken next. The situation must be brought to normal in the state of Johor. The principle of the separation of powers and the practice of constitutional monarchy must be observed fully and at all times.

  6. One Johor based blogger posted of Tengku Jalil expressing concerned on the welfare of police.

    Yet he is in buusiness with Peter Lim to control the security of Iskandar.

    Sultan has a masterplan cooking bigger than merely just making quick money ith cina man

    • Ambil tindakan, Dato Khaled, ambi tindakan.

      Tentukan jangan dengor nasihat Sultan atau orng Sultan dan letak mereka yang boleh di gosok kepala oleh Sultan di Lembaga Pengarah Lembaga Perumahan.

      Minta Pngrah nya laporkan kpd MB segala apa yang berlaku bagi mengelakkan campur tangan Raja dalam pentadbiran Lembaga Perumahan itu.

      Dan tentukan Lembaga itu majukan kepentingan Melayu dalam mengimplementasi dasar dasar perumahan.

    • Sorry, it is not Tengku Jalil. The Johor prince who joined forces with Peter Lim’s Soverus Group to offer security services to Iskandar initially, before leaping to Penang and KL is Tunku Abdul Rahman. Jalil is more interested in other stuff, judging by the recent media coverage (Malay media especially).

    • Ooh, I am all ears!

      Can you please expound on this “master plan(sic)” for the benefit of those of us who are not privy to these deep, dark machinations and stratagems?

      And does the provision of private security services in Iskandar Malaysia have some sinister connotations?

      Note the word “private”. Fully licensed, in other words.

      Presumably, it may be one of the things that foreign investors in Iskandar Malaysia are concerned about. Security issues, I mean.

      But I am sure that Miti and Mida are already aware of this concern.

      And I am sure that they must be fed-up answering questions about security issues in Johor (and especially in Iskandar Malaysia).

      • Testing

  7. Like what I commented on Life of Annie, can’t wait to see DAP’s “red belt” along southern Johor come GE14

  8. Mb must prove it by action. Take back control of JCorp & KPRJ from the king’s men. It is an open secret that these 2 GLCs do not take orders from Khaled. Ask anyone at Nusajaya….

  9. Tuanku Sultan Johor is already the richest sultan why the need to engage in so much more business. After all you cannot take it with you !


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