SERDANG: Johor is not a foreign state, and the government has a right to choose the mentri besar as it won the state government in a democratic election, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"I believe Johor is part of this country.
"Unless it is a foreign country, I don't interfere in internal affairs of foreign countries," said Dr Mahathir.
He was replying to the statement by Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, stating that certain groups should stop meddling in matters of the state.
On Wednesday (April 10), the Sultan of Johor said, “On matters concerning Johor, don’t be a busybody in meddling into the state affairs, as this sovereign state still has a Sultan."
Following the resignation of Johor mentri besar Datuk Osman Sapian, there has been much discussion as to whether the Sultan of Johor has the absolute right to appoint a new mentri besar of his choice.
Dr Mahathir warned those who are trying to pit the government against Royalty that they would fail, as the government was elected by the people.
"There have been a lot of attempts to make the Rulers unhappy with the government. They single out Rome Statute and things like that.
"But it is not going to succeed. It will fail.
"It will fail because this government is elected by the people, and this is a democracy.
"They cannot just get rid of the government and substitute it, unless of course you want to drop democracy and become a kleptocracy or become an autocracy," said Dr Mahathir to the media after officially launching the Malaysia Autoshow 2019 organised by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute here today (April 11).
More than 170 exhibitors from seven countries are taking part in the largest annual autoshow in Asean. The exhibition will end on April 14.
Also present at the event was International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking.