“It is a figment of Mahathir’s imagination, he is stirring the hornet’s nest and my advice to him is to keep his mouth shut”, this was the direct rebuke slammed at the former premier by Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar as reported in The Star Online.
Mahathir irked Sultan Ibrahim by passing a remark that the Bangsa Johor concept raised by the state Crown Prince will divide Malaysians.
The former premier went on to say that it could also result in the breakup of the Federation, while maintaining that Johor has the right to promote the idea of Bangsa Johor.
Mahathir advocates it was more important to get people to embrace themselves as Malaysians, rather than identifying themselves with the state they originate from, told this at a conference held at Perdana Leadership Foundation.
In a swift response to Mahathir’s statement, Sultan Ibrahim yesterday said he was not qualified to talk about unity.
“He is going around dividing the people including the Malays, while I am uniting Malaysians of all races including the Malays.
“Mahathir had earned a reputation for being a confrontational person who had caused division, especially in his foreign relations policy.
“He has quarreled with many world leaders even with our neighbour Singapore.
“Now he talks about unity with an incredible straight face.
“He is the root cause of the present problems in the country. He has no right to interfere in my state. I will not tolerate his antics,” the Johor Sultan said.
The Johor Sultan added that Mahathir is ignorant of Johor’s history as the clarion call for Bangsa Johor was done in 1920 by his great-grandfather Sultan Sir Ibrahim.
“The Bangsa Johor concept was proven to unite all races under one flag for greater cooperation, harmony and peace.
“The concept was initiated even before Mahathir was born. He has no idea of what he is talking about,” said Johor Sultan.