Should Johor be treated as a Federal partner? Here's what TMJ has to say

Regent pushes for local control, meritocracy

KOUSALYA SELVAM
KOUSALYA SELVAM
11 Jun 2024 05:42pm
Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim - Photo by Bernama
Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim - Photo by Bernama
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SHAH ALAM - Johor Regent Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has called for a reform in the federal government, insisting that Johor be treated as a partner.

"The Federal Government system must change because Johor does not belong to Malaysia. We are partners, so you must start treating us like partners," he said during a podcast at the Johor youth meet-up programme on Sunday.

He stated that Johor provides around RM48 billion in tax revenue to the Federal Government but only receives RM1.4 billion in return through the annual budget.

He hoped that at least 20-30 per cent of the state's revenue would return to Johor in the future.

"That's RM48-49 billion a year, and they give us back RM1.4 billion. How are we supposed to take care of the people of Johor with RM1.4 billion a year?

"That's why we have bad roads and poor education and health facilities," he added.

Tunku Ismail also stressed that Johor cannot remain a 'beggar' and should have its own political party.

He sounded his vision for the future development of the state's educational and infrastructure sectors, emphasising the importance of local management and merit-based appointments.

"In my opinion, moving forward, when we are looking to improve schools or other facilities, it should be the Johor government that makes the decisions on which companies to involve.

"Let the state of Johor take care of its own interests. Those in Putrajaya or outsiders do not understand what the people of Johor need, nor do they grasp our sentiments.

"Therefore, I want to see the development of the state entrusted to the people of Johor, to Johor-based companies—not only in schools but also in hospitals and other infrastructures," he said.

Tunku Ismail also highlighted his role and commitment to enhancing the educational syllabus in collaboration with the Singaporean government.

"We are currently working on an educational exchange programme with the Singaporean government, involving teacher training and pilot projects in three schools.

"We will first evaluate the results, and if they are positive, we can expand this syllabus to all schools in Johor.

"The reason behind this is that I want to ensure that the development of the state is carried out by qualified individuals, not based on seniority but on merit," he said.

The Johor Regent called for a strong push for local empowerment and a meritocratic approach to development, aiming to ensure that the state's growth is managed by those who truly understand and are invested in its future.