Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar today warned that the state could choose to secede from Malaysia if the federal government fails to fulfil its rights as spelt out under the Federation of Malaya Agreement.
In his speech at the opening of the first session of the 15th Johor state assembly sitting, Sultan Ibrahim accused the federal government of treating the state “like a stepchild”, saying there were “unfulfilled promises” that could provoke Johoreans into calling for a secession.
“If this trend continues, Johoreans may agitate towards secession from Malaysia. Perhaps Johor can be more developed if we stand on our own,” he said.
Among others, Sultan Ibrahim hit out at the decision of the Pakatan Harapan government in 2018 not to challenge the conclusion of the International Court of Justice in awarding Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore.
“The federal government did not consult Johor on this decision, even though this involved Johor sovereignty.”
He also cited what he described as an unfair allocation of funds despite Johor contributing almost RM13 billion annually to the federal coffers.
He said federal government facilities and services in the state were also poorly kept, naming among others Hospital Sultanah Aminah, the Sultan Iskandar Customs, the Immigration and Quarantine Complex, and the Urban Transformation Centre in Johor Bahru.
He added that promised upgrading works at the North-South Expressway and the Senai-Desaru Highway had not taken place.
“I feel that Johor is being treated like a stepchild, even though we are among the top contributors to the national economy,” he said.