KUALA LUMPUR – The Sultan of Johor has always been strict in the awarding of datukship, warning that titles and medals from the state are not for sale.
Johor titles and medals were the most difficult to get, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar told an exclusive interview with the Media Prima Bhd group at Flintstone Palace in Mersing recently.
Candidates would have to undergo stringent vetting processes by the state government, Johor Council of the Royal Court, Johor royal family members, as well as background checks on their lifestyle, besides police security vetting.
He was reported to have mentioned that the stringent processes had been applied during the reign of his late father, stressing that it would be more difficult to obtain the titles during his reign.
True enough, only three datukships would be awarded in conjunction with his 59th birthday this year, announced the Johor Council of the Royal Court yesterday.
“In Johor, titles and medals are not for sale. There are no agents to obtain them,” the Sultan of Johor was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times (NST).
During the interview, Sultan Ibrahim also revealed that there were some agents who approached him and wanted to give him RM2 million to obtain the ‘Tan Sri’ title, said from his (Sultan) quota.
“I told the agent, who I do not wish to name because it would be embarrassing, to get lost. I do not sell titles,” the Sultan was also quoted as saying by the English daily.
Sultan Ibrahim also mentioned that it was easy to get the federal title ‘Tan Sri’ with 62 recipients last year alone.
“In Malaysia, if I were to close my eyes and throw a pebble, it may hit the head of a Datuk and that same pebble may bounce off the head of another Datuk, and if luck has it, it may also hit a Tan Sri,” the Johor Sultan had said.
Sultan Ibrahim also reiterated his call for outsiders and outstation Johoreans not to divide Bangsa Johor.
“To the outsiders who come and divide the people of Johor or Johoreans who live in Kuala Lumpur and have political ambitions and return to divide the people, I say get lost, you are not welcome here (Johor),” the Sultan was quoted by NST.
He was reported to have said that those who believed the lies were akin to people who committed treason.
The interview was led by Berita Harian (BH) group editor Datuk Mahfar Ali and the other team members included TV3 news and current affairs assistant editor Izwan Azir Saleh, NST Johor bureau chief Ahmad Fairuz Othman and BH Johor bureau chief Junita Mat Rasid. – BERNAMA