Palace: Johor Rulers have never taken from people

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JOHOR BARU — The Johor Sultanate has “never taken from the people” and has instead donated its entire state government allocations to assist Johoreans since 1899, the state palace said in a Facebook posting yesterday.

The statement comes in the wake of revelations that RM256.9 million had been allocated for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s facilities and amenities for a 16-month period recently.

In a post on the Johor football team’s Facebook page yesterday, the palace said the initiative to donate the Rulers’ income to assist the people started during Sultan Sir Ibrahim Sultan Abu Bakar’s reign in 1899.

“The initiative was later continued and adjusted during the reign of Sultan Iskandar Ismail, where the allocated funds were channelled to a foundation now known as the Sultan Iskandar Foundation,” the statement said.

“And when Sultan Iskandar became the 8th Yang di-Pertuan Agong from 1984 to 1989, all his allowances from the federal government were donated to the foundation.”

The statement said the foundation not only assisted the poor but also funded education, disaster relief and computer literacy projects.

“All revenue and income of the Sultanate of Johor come from plantation management, several other business interests, including in property, since the time of the late Sultan Sir Ibrahim to date,” the statement read.

It said the current Ruler, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, has his own foundation aimed at providing aid in areas of education, welfare, student scholarships, medical, senior citizens and those with disabilities.

“The funds for the foundation are contributed from all the royal allowances received by the Sultan.”

In 2015, during an interview with The Star, Sultan Ibrahim was reported to have defended his wide business interests, saying he cannot rely on his RM27,000 salary alone.

He told the newspaper that since Malaysia practised a constitutional monarch system, he had to earn his living like everyone else.

In the interview, the now 59-year-old Ruler said the Johor royal family’s involvement in business was not new as this had been the case since the time of his great-grandfather.

Sultan Ibrahim said it was healthy for royalty to be involved in legitimate businesses instead of dubious dealings that could tarnish the royal institution.

Veteran newsman Datuk A. Kadir Jasin had said in his June 5 blog post the federal government had allocated RM256.9 million from January last year to April this year for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s facilities and amenities.

Meanwhile, the Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim will be giving away supermarket vouchers to the hardcore poor in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

In an announcement on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page on Tuesday night, Tunku Ismail said he would be awarding the vouchers to the 500 poorest families in every district in the state.