Tunku Ismail Hits Back At Nazri And Proves Himself To Be The Leader Malaysia Deserves

Outspoken and willing to stand with the people, Tunku Ismail is definitely one royal leader we can all stand behind.

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TMJ warns citizens to beware of cowardly leaders

Image via Malaysiakini

Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has warned that cowardly leaders are dangerous and went on to stress the need for integrity in leadership.

Tunku Ismail's message was premised on the teachings of his grandfather - the late Sultan Iskandar - who taught him that the supreme quality of leadership is integrity, which he believed to be a rare commodity.

"He (Sultan Iskandar) said that a cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men and that one of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognise a problem before it becomes an emergency.

"He also taught me that great leaders muster the courage to fulfil his vision from passion, not position," the prince says in a posting on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page last night.

ERTI KEPIMPINANAlmarhum nenda saya selalu berpesan, sifat kepimpinan yang paling agung adalah integriti. Malang...

Posted by JOHOR Southern Tigers on Sunday, June 28, 2015

He also added that influence rather than authority was the key to successful leadership these days

Image via fourthofficial

Tunku Ismail stressed that his message was aimed at leaders of the Johor government and NGOs, which he hoped would lead and inspire by example as opposed to "managing and manipulating" the people.

"Inventories can be managed, but the people must be led by example and with integrity. Remember that the key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. If you have authority but command no influence, it is a sign that you are not worthy of being a leader," he said.

Acknowledging that things he had said in the past had annoyed or upset certain quarters, he made certain that his latest Facebook message was solely in the context of Johor, which he said was “close to my heart”.

17 June: Over 2,000 people gathered in support of Johor crown prince in pro-royalty rally

More than 2,000 people gathered in a peaceful assembly outside Istana Bukit Serene in Johor Bahru on 16 June to show their support for Tunku Ismail as well as to call for the resignation Nazri Abdul Aziz, who've been making rude statements about the royal in the past few days

At 3.45pm, crowds started to gather at the car park area adjacent to the Istana Bukit Serene’s main entrance. Many people were also seen at the gigantic Johor Royal Crown replica that adorns the istana’s main entrance.

The gathering, scheduled to start at 4pm, was organised by Gabungan NGO Melayu Johor (Gabung Johor), which is a Johor umbrella body that unites various Malay NGOs in the state. Also present were other NGOs, some from various races, joining the gathering. Some were from the charity organisations, lawyers guilds and also professional associations.

“Today’s gathering is due to the recent ‘uncalled for’ comments by the Tourism and Culture Minister (Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz). Please bear in mind that today’s gathering is not a political platform as it is more to do with concerned Johoreans who feel that a federal minister’s comments were hurtful to us,” said Gabung Johor representative Abdullah Mohd. Yusof when addressing the crowd.

The crowd erupted into cheers when Tunku Ismail, fondly known as TMJ, showed up to deliver a short speech. Assuring Johoreans that he will not stop speaking up on behalf of the people, he also remarked that he will not say much as "there are people in Putrajaya who wants to whack me".

"Thank you for all your support. I do not want to speak much, as there are people in Putrajaya who want to whack me," he told the crowd outside the palace gates here on Tuesday.

“As Ayahanda Tuanku (his father, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar) advised me, I am only a servant of the people,” he said to rousing cheers, followed by shouts of “Daulat Tuanku”.

At one point, he even bowed to the crowd. According to the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page, which often functions as Tunku Ismail's spokesperson, the gesture symbolises that he was a "servant" of the people of Johor.

A transcript of TMJ's short speech.

Image via JOHOR Southern Tigers' Facebook

Meanwhile, Nazri elected to continue commenting on his very public spat with the prince, saying that he is not bothered with being labelled "kurang ajar" (disrespectful) and maintaining his right to express his views. He also pointed out that the difference between him and the prince is that he was "elected by the people".

“The difference between us is that I was elected by the people. If I do not carry out my duties then the rakyat will punish me in due time. I have to face the people’s court every five years but God willing, I have been judged five times and I won,” he said to reporters when met during his official visit to Sekinchan here Tuesday.

Nazri also said he was not bothered with being called "kurang ajar" (disrespectful) towards the royalty.

“At the end of the day, my constituents are my only concern. That is why I am a wakil rakyat for five terms. We subscribe to democracy and people can say whatever they want about me. But don’t get mad when I rebuke because I too have the right to say my views. Be fair," he was quoted as saying.

16 June: The crown prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim has been quite vocal in regards to the political situation in Malaysia as of late.

The heir apparent, also known as Tunku Mahkota Johor (TMJ) to the people, came into the spotlight when he criticised PM Najib Razak's no-show at the Nothing2Hide forum on 5 June in a statement on the Johor football team's official Facebook page.

The JOHOR Southern Tigers Facebook page often serves as the official voice for Tunku Ismail, who is also the President of the Johor Football Association (PBNJ). The page has posted official statements from the prince as well as photos and videos of the prince's official and personal activities.

Tunku Ismail's criticism did not sit well with Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, who told the prince to stay out of politics or the government will "whack" him. He also warned the prince that he will lose respect if he continues to comment on politics.

"I think he should keep out of politics, otherwise he may be subjected to the same rule. We will whack him," warned Culture and Tourism Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz.

"Rulers and royal families are above the law (and therefore should not interfere in politics). If he (the crown prince) wants to be a politician, then say so. Then we can answer back. If you hold an important post as royalty in the state, and if you start to say things, if then we (the government) hit you back, don't get angry," he told a press conference at University Malaya on 12 June.

"If you start to meddle in politics, then we will question you, then there will be no more respect for the royalty. I hope you keep out of politics. We are the ones who are protecting the royalty," he added.

Those are fighting words indeed. In a seeming response to Nazri's 'gangster talk', a 17-second video was posted on Facebook where Tunku Ismail executed the calmest "Come at me, bro" gesture we've ever seen. No words needed.

DYAM Brigadier Jeneral Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Tunku Mahkota Johor-------------HRH Brigadier General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan IbrahimHidup Johor Demi Johor#JohorMestiSentiasaMenjadiJohor

Posted by JOHOR Southern Tigers on Saturday, 13 June 2015

The video, posted on 13 June at 7.12pm, has amassed more than 26,000 'Likes' and more than 7,500 shares at the time of writing.

Image via Kotaku

Nazri declined to comment on the video as the prince did not state to whom the "challenge" was directed at. He did, however, say this: "If the prince wants to say something, he should issue a statement."

Image via The Sun Daily

If it's a statement you want, then a statement you will get. In a Facebook post dubbed a "Message for Malaysians", Tunku Ismail had more than a few words to say in response to Nazri's criticism and threats.

In his statement, the prince pointed out that he was only expressing his opinion on the people's perception of the country's leaders, but even that garnered a "hostile response" from Nazri. He questioned that if he - a royal - got such a response, what will happen if the common people do the same?

Image via Malaysiakini

Of late, I just voiced out my opinion and a reminder that people who has been entrusted with the responsibility to not blame the people for losing trust and confidence in them, but think of why the people no longer have the confidence and trust in them. Apparently my gentle reminder has been met with a rather hostile response from a minister. If I got such a reply, then what chances does the rest of the rakyat have?

Reminding Nazri that he is "not a God from the heavens who lord above everybody", TMJ said that ministers exist to serve the people, not to provide them with power and wealth. He added that he would rather be "cursed for standing up for what is right" to ensure the well-being of the rakyat.

Image via mStar

You are a minister, not a God from the heavens who lord above everybody. Do not think the people of this country exist to provide you with position and wealth, but the position exists for you to serve the people. When I voice out, I do it as the leader of my rakyat, on behalf of Johoreans and Malaysians. All I did is to remind the leaders of the country that they have a responsibility to serve the people, and for this, I am attacked.

In the new world order, I envision a future that every person has a right to voice their opinions. However, that is not the case in Malaysia today, where ministers think they are untouchable. I am willing to be cursed for standing up for what is right, rather than be loved for defending what is wrong.

I am not a politician. I am only answerable to Allah, my Sultan and the people of Johor. I do not do the bidding of some puppet-master who pulls the strings. Johor only has place for those who want to serve the people, not for those who want to garner votes for their own interests.

There will come a time, when the Johorean people must decide what is best for us and our future generations. Decide and unite we will, as Bangsa Johor, to forge our future. United we stand strong, divided we fall. I stand for my rakyat, not to joust for power, not to topple the government, but to ensure the well-being of my people.

Furthermore, he said that politicians who cannot deal with criticism are just showing their "arrogance to the people" and while he has been blessed with a "comfortable life", he'd chosen to stand by the people's side instead of watching from the sidelines

Image via Blog Coklateyes

I never told anybody to step down or resign, only to remind politicians of their roles and responsibilities. If you cannot deal with that, it just shows your arrogance to the people.

Alhamdulillah, I have been blessed with a comfortable life, and I can just live my own life and be oblivious to the worries of my people, but here I am, standing firm by their side. So for those wanting to tarnish my image and make me public enemy number one, the people are smarter than that, and they can think for themselves.

As a conclusion to his statement, Tunku Ismail urged politicians focus on national issues as well as to carry out their duties with "sincerity and integrity" instead of using him to divert the people's attention from more pressing matters

Image via Orang Muda

Do not use me to divert the attention from national issues. This country needs politicians who are clean and transparent, who carry out their duties with sincerity and integrity.

At the time of writing, the post has gathered more than 150,000 'Likes' and shared over 77,000 times on Facebook! People from all over Malaysia have also left more than 18,000 comments voicing their support for the prince and lauding him for finally speaking up for ordinary Malaysians.

Well, he did none of those things. Instead of backing down, Nazri maintained his stand that monarchs should not interfere in politics, let alone take sides. He also explained that he wouldn't have criticised Tunku Ismail in the first place if the prince hadn't insinuated that Najib was involved in the 1MDB scandal.

“In the first place, no Muslim will ever claim to be God. I am a Muslim. My God is Allah.

“As the monarchs are protected by the law, it is difficult for us to retaliate without getting into trouble. It is alright for ordinary citizens to criticise politicians, as we can counter back. But the monarchs are above politics. They are protected under the law. When they criticise, it is difficult for us to react for fear of running foul of laws protecting them.

“And, as the crown prince will one day be the Sultan, it is best for him to remain above politics. He should not be seen as taking sides,” said Nazri.

His words were offensive by saying that Najib had ‘everything to hide’. It is detrimental. It is saying that the Prime Minister is guilty of all those allegations against him,” the Padang Rengas lawmaker was quoted as saying.

Nazri did not just take digs against the crown prince of Johor, he had a few choice words for former PM Tun Dr. Mahathir too:

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