Ismail Sabri: Don't be too rigid with the law, put interests of Johor first


KUALA LUMPUR: It would be meaningless if we are too rigid with the law but do not put the interests and harmony of the Johor people first, says opposition leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said that it was best if the Prime Minister could settle the issue over the appointment of the Johor Mentri Besar with the Sultan of Johor.

"For me, the most important part is harmony.         

"If we purely stick to the law without taking into consideration national harmony, it will be meaningless.

"The law is clear; the powers of the Prime Minister, the powers of the Rulers, but there must be discretion to ensure harmony in all situations.

"The most important thing is the people and the nation," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

On Wednesday (April 10), Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir said the role of appointing the new Johor mentri besar lay with the party that won the election, and not the Sultan of Johor because Malaysia practised constitutional and not absolute monarchy.

Dr Mahathir’s remarks followed Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar’s statement telling "certain quarters" to stay out of the state’s affairs.

Ismail said all parties should not be too rigid in interpreting the law.

"I believe there should also be harmony between the Sultan and the Prime Minister," said the Bera MP.