JOHOR BARU: Sultan of Johor Sultan Iskandar has taken the state government to task for failing to maintain the cleanliness of the rivers.
Opening the first sitting of the 11th State Assembly at Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim here yesterday, the Sultan cited Sungai Skudai and Sungai Tebrau as examples of rivers that have been badly polluted.
He said he was saddened and disgusted by the condition of the rivers.
We dont have to go any further to find a dirty river.
I have sailed up and down Sungai Skudai and I know and I can tell that it is dirty and very smelly.
Another river is the Sungai Tebrau, and I want something to be done about this, he said.
Sultan Iskandar said he wanted all assemblymen to be responsible for the cleanliness of the rivers in their areas.
It is also part of your duty.
Dont be lazy, and please go and check the condition of the rivers, he added.
Sultan Iskandar also criticised the Malays for taking hygiene matters for granted.
Have the Malays forgotten that Islam emphasises cleanliness in whatever we are doing?
Dont the Malays see the rationale behind the requirement to cleanse themselves each time they want to pray? he said while instructing the State Religious Department to stress on the matter when preparing sermons for Friday prayers.
Touching on drug abuse, Sultan Iskandar urged the Government and relevant agencies to beef up their efforts to wipe out drugs which he described as the root of all social problems in the country.
Drugs are the number one destroyer of our people, particularly the Malays.
I am very sad when I think about this and I hope everyone will join forces so there will be no more drugs, he said.
The one-week sitting will start on Monday.