Bumiputera Malaysia

Bumiputera Malaysia

By a Malaysian for his country

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sultan Johor makes a fool of himself

The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Iskandar al-Marhum Sultan Ismail had publicly said that former prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad should start acting like a pensioner and stop criticising the government. "If one has already been pensioned, just behave like a pensioner, what is the use of making more noise?", said the Sultan in his Hari Raya speech.

The Sultan of Johor is making a fool of himself. He must have forgotten that Tun. Dr. Mahathir had helped him so many times before. The eldest son of Sultan Ismail, Sultan Iskandar was named Tunku Mahmood Iskandar. However, as all other Sultans of Johor with the name "Mahmood" met with an uneasy end, he dropped his first name upon succeeding his father on May 10, 1981.

Sultan Iskandar is a controversial figure in Malaysia. Appointed Tunku Mahkota or Crown Prince in 1959, he was dismissed from that post in 1961 by his father after being found guilty of assault in the Malaysian courts and sentenced to imprisonment. However, Sultan Ismail relented on his deathbed and restored Tunku Mahmood Iskandar to the succession ten days before the former died.

Sultan Iskandar of Johor, a controversial figure in Malaysia

While he was Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia), Sultan Iskandar created further controversy by assaulting and killed a golf caddy. The golf caddy laughed when the Sultan missed a golf stroke, and he was murdered on the spot. The brother of the caddy, a Royal Malaysian soldier, who was badly injured, subsequently ran amok in Kuala Lumpur causing a security scare. The soldier was later arrested and sent to a mental hospital. Tun Dr. Mahathir helped the sultan and nothing happened to the ruler of Johor.

And then, the Johor sultan assaulted a hockey coach and teacher, Mr Douglas Gomez and this sparked a constitutional crisis between the Malaysian government and the Malay Rulers which culminated in the removal of the legal immunity from prosecution of all the rulers in March 1993.

Sultan Iskandar, however, continues to be immune from prosecution for his previous offences as the law which provides for the rulers to be stripped of their legal immunity was not made retroactive (eg. having a backdating effect).

If not because of Tun. Dr. Mahathir, the Sultan is probably spending his lifetime in the jail now instead of being able to speak in the public asking Tun not to make anymore noise. Indeed, "Melayu mudah lupa" (Malays forget easily).