Sultan dismisses Dr M's remarks
He says former PM showed complete ignorance of Johor's history
The Sultan of Johor strongly rebuked former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad over his disapproval of the Bangsa Johor (people of Johor) concept.
The Sultan expressed his displeasure over the remarks made by Dr Mahathir that the concept, which some use to refer to those born in Johor, could disunite the people, reported The Star.
Dr Mahathir, when asked for his opinion about the concept at the 20th Perdana Dialogue Series themed "Federal-States Relations" on Wednesday, said that unity among Malaysians could slide if the people practised too much parochialism.
While Johor has the right to promote the idea of Bangsa Johor, Dr Mahathir said what should be pushed instead was for the people to embrace that they are all Malaysians rather than identifying themselves from the state they originate from.
But the Sultan dismissed Dr Mahathir's remarks yesterday.
"Tun Mahathir's uncalled-for remarks reflect his complete ignorance of Johor's history," said the Sultan.
"My great-grandfather Sultan Sir Ibrahim in 1920 made the clarion call Bangsa Johor to unite the various races in Johor under one flag for greater cooperation, harmony and peaceful existence.
"No race or individual was marginalised. He has been proven correct.
"The Bangsa Johor concept was initiated even before Tun Mahathir was born. He has no idea of what he is talking about."
The Sultan said yesterday that Dr Mahathir was not qualified to talk about unity.
"He is going around dividing the people including the Malays, while I am uniting Malaysians of all races including the Malays."
The Sultan said that Dr Mahathir should understand all states enjoyed their own unique pride, but that did not mean they were leaving the Federation.
"It is a figment of Dr Mahathir's imagination. He is stirring the hornet's nest and my advice to him is to keep his mouth shut," he added.
"He has quarrelled with many world leaders, including with our neighbour Singapore, and putting Malaysia in a spot.
"And now he talks about unity with an incredible straight face.
"Tun Mahathir is the root cause of the present problems in the country. He has no right to interfere in my state. I will not tolerate his antics."