Racial politics not welcome in Johor, ruler warns Mahathir

The Sultan of Johor has criticised Dr Mahathir Mohamad for trying to play “racial politics” in an attempt to drive away mainland China investments from the state, The Star reported in an exclusive interview with the state monarch, published today.

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar accused the former prime minister of “creating fear, using race to fulfil political motives”.

“He’s playing the politics of fear and race, which have no place in Johor as I do not believe in racial politics.

“He is insulting these rich Chinese property investors.
They are not hard up for Malaysian citizenship. Many of them have properties in other countries including Australia and the United Kingdom.

“He’s not stupid, he’s just selfish and opportunistic,” Sultan Ibrahim told The Star, citing Mahathir’s allegations about Putrajaya intending to give Malaysian citizenship to 700,000 mainland Chinese intending to stay in Johor Baru (JB).

The monarch said Mahathir had also crossed the line with his “lies” on the issue of land being sold to the Chinese.

“He is saying that huge tracts of land have been sold to the Chinese, giving the impression that Johor is surrendering land to the Chinese and that we are giving up our sovereignty.

“He is even comparing how we gave up Singapore to the British,” Sultan Ibrahim was quoted as saying by the daily.

The ruler was referring to reports over the past few months, where Mahathir had been attacking the Forest City development project in Johor, saying that “already thousands of units have been completed and sold to mainland Chinese.”

Aside from saying that land was being sold to fo­­reigners, Mahathir had also said that there would be mass immigration to take up residence in new enclaves in the state.

“Let me ask him this, Forest City is to be built on reclamation land and most of these units are condominiums. In simple language, these units are up in the air. They are strata units.

“I would like to ask Mahathir if these foreign buyers can just take their apartments back home or carry off an inch of the reclaimed land,” Sultan Ibrahim said, according to The Star.

Referring to Mahathir quoting the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg on the 1MDB issue as well as the development projects attracting mainland Chinese investors to Johor, the ruler said it was something the former PM had detested before.

“He used to hate the western press but now he is quoting everything from the western press. He has forgotten many things he has done.

“I find that Mahathir and his allies are only talking negative things, most of which are a figment of his imagination and evil thoughts.

“I feel sad for him because he had to lower himself to this point. It is okay to disagree but please do not concoct things,” The Star quoted Sultan Ibrahim as saying.-16/1/2017

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