On March 23, Johor Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar accused Putrajaya of going against the Federal Constitution in a speech during his birthday celebration, which was later posted online. The Johor prince added that those who obstruct state rulers’ rights are law-breaking traitors.
This royal retaliation stemmed from the federal government’s decision to ratify ICERD (International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination). Sultan Ibrahim of Johor claimed that the ratification will affect the power of rulers, status of the Malays, and the sanctity of Islam.
Additionally, the Johor Sultan warned the federal government that ratifying the international convention would jeopardise the rights and sovereignty of the country and its citizens.
Sultan Ibrahim was clearly making a stand on the federal government’s actions. However, this is not the first time for Johor royalty to comment on the government.
Last October, Tunku Mahkota Johor (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim used Twitter to criticise Prime Minister Dr Tun Mahathir Mohamad for interfering with the development of Pulau Kupus, a mangrove island near Johor.
It appears TMJ called Tun M an outsider for meddling in Johor’s terrain, and said only the Sultan of Johor has jurisdiction to override the constitution. In response, Tun M said the federal government is not an outsider and is responsible for everything in Malaysia.
Back in 2015, the younger brother of TMJ, Tunku Idris Sultan Ibrahim used Instagram to post a reminder on how Johor joined the Federation of Malaysia and how the state can leave as they please.
Seemingly, some people share the same sentiment as the Johor royalties.
Under the Federal Constitution, can Johor leave Malaysia?