World

Those trying to pit govt against royalty will fail: Mahathir

M'sian PM lambasts Umno for offering suggestions on the Johor Menteri Besar post, says royalty does not have a right to choose

SERDANG Johor is not a foreign state, and the government has a right to choose the Menteri Besar as it won the state government in a democratic election, said Prime Minister 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.

Following the resignation of Johor Menteri Besar Osman Sapian, there has been much discussion as to whether the Sultan of Johor has the absolute right to appoint a Menteri 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 2019yesterday.

NAMES

He also hit out at opposition party Umno for suggesting names for the Johor Menteri Besar post.

Umno lost the election and should stop suggesting names as "losers should keep quiet", he said. "It is the winning party that names the Menteri Besar, not the losers. Losers should keep quiet.

"Tan Sri Muhyiddin (Yassin) has other jobs to do. We will put up a candidate (to replace the Johor Menteri Besar)," he said.

Dr Mahathir was commenting on the suggestion by Johor Umno that Pakatan Harapan name Mr Muhyiddin - the Home Minister and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president - as the Menteri Besar of Johor, a post left vacant afterMr Osman resigned on Monday.

However, Dr Mahathir has said that the candidate must come from Bersatu, keeping with the Pakatan promise among its parties during the general election last May.

- THE STAR

WORLD