PUTRAJAYA, May 6 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today denied that the government under his leadership has problems in its relations with the palace, especially the Johor royalty.
“No, I don’t see any (problem). I even meet them, and the Sultan of Johor drove me to the airport,” he told a media conference in a special interview in conjunction with the first anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, had himself driven Dr Mahathir to the Senai International Airport in a classic Proton Saga car after the prime minister had an audience with the ruler at Istana Bukit Serene on Jan 10 this year.
Dr Mahathir was responding to a question on whether the federal government faced problems in its relations with the institution of the rulers, including members of the royalty.
He was also asked to comment on a statement by the Tunku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, better known as TMJ, that the good his father, the Sultan of Johor, had done has been forgotten.
“I don’t want to comment on the sultan. If I say anything that is not good it is not nice because he is the sultan,” he said.
Tunku Ismail had claimed that the Johor royal family is a victim of “character assassination” and is being unfairly criticised over the land involved in the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) project.
Last Saturday, the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, expressed his disappointment over a claim that the rise in the cost of the RTS project is due to the land he owns in Bukit Chagar in Johor Bahru.
It was reported that the land in question was transferred to the sultan two days after he consented to the RTS realignment.
The sultan reportedly said later that he was never informed that the land he owns will be involved in the RTS project and offered to surrender the land to the government for free.
On the alleged “unhappiness” over the appointment of Mazlan Bujang as the Johor chief of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) to succeed former Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian, Dr Mahathir said none of the party members had approached him on the matter.
“They have not come to me. The last time I saw the exco (members) of Johor, they were not making any complaint,” said Dr Mahathir who is Bersatu chairman.
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