IN an exclusive interview with the Sunday Times Singapore, Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar who will assume the throne as Malaysia’s 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) has vowed to “eradicate corruption in Malaysia as one of his key priorities during his term of office which begins next year”.
He was also quoted in The Star on Dec 11 by pledging “to hunt all the corrupt people” and that he aspired to “make sure I bring results”. Very strong words indeed by Sultan Ibrahim whose installation is slated for Jan 31 next year.
As to who are his immediate target/s has fuelled speculation among netizens. For sure, the YDPA would not waste time going after the small fries in the civil service. The onus will be on the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to prove its worth in netting ‘big sharks’ during Sultan Ibrahim’s five-year reign.
The big question
Who then could the target/s be? The plurality in the word ‘all’ indicate it could be more than just one individual. With Sultan Ibrahim already expressing his determination, this means that more pairs of legs will be shivering after living in inexplicable luxuries.
Could the targets then be one or more former premiers whether convicted and jailed or still without a criminal charge against them despite all the talks about fighting corruption?
For one, it is unlikely to be disgraced former prime minister (PM) Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak who has been convicted of corruption in the SRC International case and is currently spending 12 years behind bars at the Kajang Prison.
Najib’s predecessor and fifth premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is also a very unlikely case as he is already suffering from dementia.
Eighth premier and former Johor menteri besar Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in an earlier article in the Singapore Straits Times had already said he would not hesitate to sue anyone who insinuate him to be corrupt.
He is now the second PM to face corruption charges in addition to two other instances of money laundering. Surely, the Agong is unlikely to interfere with the legal process.
So far, no corruption cases have been linked to ninth premier Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Unless the future Agong is aware of corruption cases involving the six-term Bera MP, it is also unlikely that Ismail Sabri is in his list.
Who could it be?
What about Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who holds the record as Malaysia’s longest serving premier over two stints of 22 years and 22 months? Thus far, neither the nonagenarian nor any of his children has been charged in court despite all the allegations of cronyism and nepotism made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s (PMX).
So, whether Sultan Ibrahim was referring to Dr Mahathir among the many is something which ordinary Malaysians will be mulling over in the months to come.
The only obvious hint that appears to be quite revealing was when the Johor Crown Prince (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim recently remarked that Anwar had good intentions but was playing “too safe” for his liking.
Although this may be TMJ’s personal opinion about Anwar having to execute some politically inexpedient decisions when his father becomes the next Agong, it may be the best indication so far of what to expect.
Nobody would want to make any other wild speculation than to just watch the news as the next episode unfolds but what matters most is that the future Agong has said that he is more concerned about the welfare of the rakyat than the politicians – something that he has proven at the state level by endearing himself to Johorians by being a staunch proponent of Bangsa Johor.
After all, it is the politicians who continue to harp on the 3R (race, religion and royalty) sentiments to tear apart the social fabrics of the country. If not because of some of these rabble rousers, the country would not have gone through May 13 bloodbath which has become very clear that it was a political clash between the political parties.
Elsewhere, Malaysians of different races continued to live peacefully and remain courteous to each other. Besides hoping to see the future Agong leading the charge against corruption, Malaysians can look forward to being called Bangsa Malaysia under the reign of Sultan Ibrahim. – Dec 14, 2023