Johor’s TMJ: No place for communal hatred if nation is to move forward

“TMJ for PM!”

These were among the many comments responding to a video featuring the Johor Crown Prince (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim who asserted that to reach a destination there was no place for intra-communal hatred.

A 2:11 video uploaded by @norazah177 on TikTok shows TMJ sharing his military training experiences in India with what appears to be students (there were no details as to when and where TMJ was speaking).

The owner of Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) Football Club was quoting his commanding officer who shared those words of wisdom with him.

Many commenters were effusive in praising TMJ for underlining the importance of national unity and for highlighting the need for quality intellectual thought.

In the video, the Tunku Ismail shared how members of his regiment from different faiths would honour each other’s religious festivities by donning white head coverings as a sign of respect.

He recounted how Muslims would honour their Hindu and Buddhist brethren by gathering outside temple grounds during major festivals wearing the white headscarves whilst religious ceremonies were being conducted.

This show of solidarity and mutual respect was then mirrored by the Hindu and Buddhist military personnel during Muslim festivities. This story generated much positive applause from the gathered audience.

The video has since garnered over 14,000 views and generated much positive feedback:

Netizen PK noted: “If only Malaysian politicians have this attitude, we will be far better off than we are today where racial polarisation is being encouraged.”

ShantiDas remarked: “Intelligent speech and best practice to unite our Malaysians to bring towards a united, heathy and strong nation. Syabas.”

Angelia Faustina230 echoed TMJ’s sentiments when she pointed out that her own family’s multi-cultural make up comprising of Malays, Chinese, Indians and Sikhs who all identified themselves as “One Malaysia”.

Fresh off from firing warning shots at Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s unity government in a recent podcast hosted by former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin and ex-UMNO information chief Shahril Hamdan, TMJ seems to be highlighting the need to rid the country of divisive rhetoric favoured by certain political factions.

In the podcast from late last month, TMJ also stressed the importance of executing decisions promptly, highlighting that good intentions alone are not sufficient for effective governance.

“We cannot please everyone, and we must make decisions that are in the best interest of the country,” he said without pinpointing specific issues or decisions by the unity government. Perhaps he was alluding to the unity government’s attempts to woo ultra-nationalist and neoconservatives into its fold.

He had warned Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that his administration will face tough questions when his father, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar ascends the throne as the country’s monarch early next year.

Given TMJ’s comments, perhaps it is not just the unity government that needs to be fearful but all politicians who seek to divide and conquer.

TMJ’s comments in the video bode well for Malaysians hoping for greater national unity and an end to politicians creating racial and religious schisms.

Daulat Tuanku, indeed. – Nov 6, 2023

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