'This is not a cage of monkeys': Johor Sultan threatens to dissolve state assembly if power struggle continues

He also reiterated his call for politicians to focus on helping the public.

Matthias Ang | August 12, 2021, 05:45 PM

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The Sultan of Johor has warned that he will not hesitate to dissolve the Johor State Assembly, should the state's assemblymen continue to engage in a power struggle and threaten Johor's government.

Statement delivered at assembly with Muhyiddin in attendance

The statement was delivered on August 12, at the opening of the 14th Johor State Assembly, with Malaysia's Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, in attendance in his capacity as the assemblyman for Gambir.

The sultan said:

"I will not entertain any political games by assemblymen and risk destabilising my State and Government. If that occurs, then I will not hesitate to dissolve the State Assembly.

We don’t need politicians to represent the people if all they think about is themselves and not the interests and welfare of the rakyat."

He also called on assemblymen to "fully" utilise the current session to plan a course of action on helping the public and rebuilding the state's economy.

Emphasising that now was the time to work together, he added that there was no need for "unnecessary motions" to be brought up in the House with the public experiencing rising hunger and unemployment, and a struggle to survive Covid-19.

New Straits Times also quoted him as saying, "Do not mar this assembly with bad behaviour. This is a noble hall and not a hall of caged monkeys."

First time the state assembly has convened since a state of emergency was declared

The convening of Johor's State Assembly is the first time it has done so since a state of emergency was declared in Malaysia in January this year.

The last session had been held from Nov. 26 to Dec. 6 last year in which the state's Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) tabled the 2021 state budget, according to Bernama,

The sitting had initially been scheduled to be held for seven days, until August 22.

However, it has since been adjourned until the same date, so as to allow a Covid-19 risk assessment to be carried out.

Johor's Menteri Besar, Hasni Mohammad, said that the State Health Department was still fine-tuning the SOP (standard operating procedures) for the sitting.

As such, a one-week adjournment is necessary to allow the installation of transparent dividers, setting the number of attendees in the hall and fine-tuning procedures for before and after the sitting, he added.

Hasni said,"We don't want what happened in Parliament here. The (Parliament) sitting had to be stopped halfway after positive cases were detected among the MPs."

Nearly 100 cases have been linked to the "parliament cluster" with one death reported.

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Top image via Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar Facebook