Almutawakkil Alallah Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail
Allah Selamatkan Sultan are the last three words from the Johor State Anthem known as the Lagu Bangsa Johor. The loyal Citizens in Johor usually pray for the well-being of H.R.H. the Sultan, the Royal family, government servants, the rakyat and for peace and harmony in the State in one go after Friday prayers every week. UMNO was given birth on the steps of the Johor Palace. As such, the rakyat feels like they have a special relationship and bond with H.R.H. the Sultan.
Yesterday His Highness’ decree delivered by the Tunku Mahkota, Tunku Ibrahim Ismail on his behalf at the opening of the State Assembly, rejected the proposed third bridge linking Johor to Singapore.
In the first place, the topic of the originally proposed Crooked Bridge has been a sore point in the souring relationship between Malaysia and Singapore mainly because of the cancellation of the project by the former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi on the false pretext that the cancellation was in the best interest and wishes of the Johor people. This was an outright lie because the Johor leaders were never consulted nor asked to seek feedback from the people they represented. I specifically remember not long after Dato Sri Najib Razak, the then Deputy Prime Minister, inspected the CIQ, he was asked whether the project was on track in a press conference and his answer was something to the effect that the government was going ahead with it and will not turn back on their decision. A week later, it was reversed and the decision was announced by Abdullah Badawi himself blind-siding Najib entirely, almost turning him into a liar. Naturally, being the Deputy, he had to concur with his Prime Minister.
The people of Johor became weary of Federal decisions made on the State of Johor in their name ever since the infamous “lie” by the former Prime Minister and this was compounded by the decision regarding Johor yet again by the same person, this time on the Joint Committee with the Singapore Government on the Iskandar Region.
We are wondering why the Johor Government, which is supposed to be the Custodian of the State and her people, remained silent when Abdullah lied about Johorians wanting the Crooked Bridge to be cancelled and we still wonder why the Johor Government are mute and is evidently agreeable to the Joint Committee with Singapore on matters regarding our Sovereignty in Iskandar. Do we not have qualified consultants who are equal to the task, perhaps those who’ve developed Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang or even Putrajaya that we have to include our “not so friendly neighbour” to participate in this development? If Singapore wanted to develop Sentosa Island or even Jurong which is closer to Johor for instance, would they opt to form a Joint Committee with the Johor State Government? I think not.
I’ll just cut through the chase and say it straight up. We are fed up with our State representatives in the Assembly and the Johor State Government for not speaking their minds until it is too late. The idea of a third bridge linking us with Singapore was a rude shock when we were expecting an announcement of the revival of the Crooked Bridge instead. When I was asked about it once before, I was a little apprehensive about demanding for its revival in view of the economic outlook and wasn't sure whether the Prime Minister had the resources in his hands to afford such an endeavor not to mention the opportunity cost for it's resurrection. However, if we can afford to build a much longer bridge from Pengerang albeit with shared costs with our “nemesis” as announced by the Government, we can damned well afford the shorter bridge over the waters and within the territories of the Pulai UMNO Division as originally planned.
Surely being the head of the State Government, the Menteri Besar would know how the general public feels about it and he should be honest enough to convey the message to the Prime Minister instead of going along and taking for granted the support that we are currently enjoying from the people. Yes, Johor UMNO cured the disease from spreading by pressuring the former Prime Minster out of office. Let’s not have to do it again and save Johor from losing more seats to the opposition because of the lack of preventive measures taken by the Menteri Besar and the BN State Assemblymen who are there to serve the interest of the People, not the leaders in Putrajaya, least of all Singapore.
We, the Barisan Nasional are holding on by a thread in the other States and drowning in the affluent towns and cities in the Peninsula. Are we sure we can afford to gamble with the support from our stronghold in Johor by kowtowing and addressing the needs of our kiasu friends?
ARE YOU REALLY FEELING THE PULSE AND LISTENING TO THE HEARTBEAT OF THE PEOPLE?
Dato’ Sri Najib, the man I have always prayed for to be Prime Minister of Malaysia ever since I was twelve, should take a long hard look at Johor and have a dialogue with local leaders to get honest feedback and in his very own words during one of his rallies, “ feel the pulse and heartbeat of the Rakyat, “ because he sure is not getting those vibes from the State Government and the UMNO division chiefs who try to remain in his good books not knowing that by doing so and not giving him the true picture, they are hurting him and his aspirations to lift the country to greater heights.
The State leaders should be sincere to the Prime Minister by telling him of the real situation on the ground. Granted, perhaps this idea mooted by Dato’ Sri Najib is capital in the macro aspect because it will bring long term benefits to the East Coast not to mention allowing the rich Singaporeans to stretch the legs of their Ferraris and Porsches along the other length of the Peninsula. The Johor leaders should do their job earnestly and save H.R.H. Sultan Iskandar from having to intervene after having felt the heartache of his subjects, most of whom voted for the BN Ruling Government.
During the lapse in judgment of our State leaders in advising the Prime Minister of the weakening pulse and heartbeat of the Rakyat of Johor, we would like to offer our most humble gratitude to His Royal Highness Almutawakil Al-Allah Al-Sultan Iskandar Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail Ibrahim for alerting the national leadership of the same and wish His Royal Highness the very best of health under the protection and guidance of Allah The Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
ALLAH SELAMATKAN SULTAN! DAULAT TUANKU!