Indonesia's Defence Minister, Johor MB among six awarded titles in conjunction with Johor Ruler's birthday

JOHOR BARU: Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto (pic) and Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi are among six individuals who have been awarded titles in conjunction with Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar’s 65th birthday on Wednesday (Nov 22).

Prabowo, an ex-general, was awarded the Darjah Mahkota Johor Yang Amat Mulia Pangkat Pertama (SPMJ) which carries the title Datuk while Onn was awarded the Darjah Sultan Ibrahim Johor Yang Amat Disanjungi Pankat Pertama (SMIJ) which carries the title Datuk.

The other four award recipients of the Darjah Sultan Ibrahim Johor Yang Amat Disanjungi Pangkat Kedua (DMIJ), which also carries the Datuk title are Johor Police Chief Comm Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat, UTHM vice-chancellor Prof Dr Ruzairi Abdul Rahim, Johor deputy state secretary (administration) Ismail Abu and Johor’s chief Syariah Court Judge Muhammad Khaldun Mohamad Sharif.

The investiture ceremony was held at the Throne Hall of Istana Besar in Johor Baru.

When contacted, Johor Royal Court president Datuk Dr Abdul Rahim Ramli said that the Indonesian minister was supposed to come but was unable to at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances.

"He has personally conveyed his apologies to His Majesty," he said when contacted.

In his royal address, Sultan Ibrahim described his imminent appointment as the 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong not as a promotion, but as an additional responsibility that requires sacrifices of time and energy as the Head of State.

Sultan Ibrahim emphasised that his priority was not to safeguard the interests of the 222 elected representatives in Parliament but the 33 million people of Malaysia.

“This will be my primary focus.

"I feel that the country today has been infected by a virus that I mentioned before in Pasir Gudang, which is the virus of division.

"This virus stems from political leaders who are willing to quarrel, insult, spread slander, and break the unity of the people in pursuit of power and personal interests," said Sultan Ibrahim.

Stressing the need to strengthen unity and cohesion among the people, Sultan Ibrahim urged all leaders to compromise and show mutual respect to enhance the prosperity and well-being of the people.

Meanwhile Sultan Ibrahim also announced that he would appoint Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim as Regent during his tenure as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

He said that as stipulated by the Johor Constitution, he must hand over the reins of the state government to Tunku Ismail.

Sultan Ibrahim added that the state government should provide guidance to HRH Tunku Ismail as soon as he assumes the role of The Regent of Johor.

"Just as I was guided as the Regent when my late father became the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 1984.

"The Regent will bear the responsibility to protect the state and people of Johor, and exercise all the rights and powers of state governance, except as the Head of the Islamic Religion.

"Even though I reside at Istana Negara, it does not mean I am permanently moving to Kuala Lumpur.

"I will always come back to Johor because this is my hometown. I hope the people of Johor will not forget me and pretend not to know me after this," said His Majesty.

His Majesty also reminded government officials not to involve politics in the administration of the state government.

"Every decision made should be based on the interests of the people and the government, not driven by political interests.

"Carry out your duties and responsibilities honestly and faithfully. You all understand my way, so don't waste time and don't talk too much.

"I will also leave an eye and an ear in Johor to monitor what is happening here. Don't be surprised if I suddenly appear in any district," His Majesty warned.

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