If Johor leaves Malaysia, Borneo states Sarawak and Sabah may want to follow suit, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said, The Sunday Star reported today.
Responding to Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who warned that Johor had every right to secede from the country if any of the terms in the agreement between Johor and the Federation of Malaya were breached, Nur Jazlan said he respected the prince’s personal view.
However, the Pulai lawmaker said 60 years of effort to unite Malaysia should not be hampered by state-based sentiments, which could jeopardise the country’s harmony.
He said the country’s struggle to ensure continuous unity and development should not go in vain, and that Malaysia had proven its former colonisers wrong as the nation had stood united despite racial and cultural differences.
“We have managed to develop as a nation over the years despite our former colonisers predicting that we would fail because of our multi-ethnicity and multi-religious background.
“Living harmoniously is part of Malaysia’s pride. If such a thing happens (Johor secedes), even Sabah and Sarawak might want to follow Johor’s footsteps,” he was quoted as saying in the English daily's report.
It was reported on Friday that during an interview with sports website FourthOfficial.com, Tunku Ismail said his views might be seen as instigating state-based sentiments, but his main concern was the people of Johor.
“I am going to be the future sultan of this state and my main responsibility is towards the people of Johor. Malaysia is important to me, but Johor and JDT will always come first,” he was quoted as saying.
“People deserve to know, that the mess we have in the country right now, should in no way be associated with the Johor royal family. Over the years, we’ve always been strong and independent as well as resourceful. In fact, we only joined the Federation of Malaya, upon both parties agreeing to several basic terms.
“And if any of those terms are breached, we have every right to secede from this country. You can accuse me of instigating state-based sentiments, but to me, I’m merely doing my duty to the people of Johor, and reminding them of the history and heritage behind this great land.”
In June, Tunku Ismail’s younger brother Tunku Idris Sultan Ibrahim created a stir after he posted a warning that Johor may secede from Malaysia on his Instagram account. The posting has since been deleted. – October 18, 2015.
Source: The Malaysia Insider