KUALA LUMPUR: Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin has assured sceptics that he is not under the control of the state’s Ruler.
Khaled said Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar had never interfered with his administration.
“My job is not to control the Sultan but to advice him. If we don’t have good relations, it will be difficult for me as Mentri Besar to even seek an audience, what more to advice.
“The Tuanku is very concerned about state matters but he has never interfered since I took over the job,” he said in an interview with The Star and Mstar.
Khaled said he had no problems advising the Ruler – adding that his good relations with the Sultan enabled him to do so without fear or favour.
Declaring himself as Sultan Ibrahim’s loyal subject, he said the Ruler also respected him as the Mentri Besar.
Khaled said he was aware of talk that he was not able to advise the Sultan and such talk heightened during the Johor Housing and Real Property Board Bill 2014 controversy.
The original Bill had proposed that the Sultan be empowered to appoint board members except for those already specified and to decide on their renumeration, power to order investigation into the accounts and businesses of the board.
It was passed by the state legislative assembly on June 8 after 10 amendments were made to the original draft. Under the 10 amendments to the final, the Johor Sultan will now act on the advice of the Mentri Besar.
Several parties had voiced their concern over the Bill, fearing that it would not be the Mentri Besar advising the Ruler but the other way around.
Khaled admitted that Sultan Ibrahim was disappointed with the negative perception about the Ruler’s powers in the board.
“The Tuanku knows his role and whatever decision made must be on the advice of the Mentri Besar.
“Even if it is not stated in the Bill, the rule is that it must be read together with the state Constitution which clearly states that the Sultan acts on the advice of the Mentri Besar,” he stressed.
He also refuted claims that the Sultan had refused to sign the Bill, saying the Ruler wanted Khaled to explain to the people so that they would fully understand that it was not designed to give him total power.
“I don’t know where some people get the idea that Tuanku will not sign the Bill. The Bill will be signed after I personally go on a roadshow to explain to the people,” he added.
Khaled said the target was for the Bill to be signed before the year-end and for the board to be set up by early next year.
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