Amazing show of unity by Johoreans for their Sultan
IT amazes me to see unity among Johoreans when it comes to matters pertaining to the Sultan of Johor and the state monarchy.
This was evident during last Sunday's massive gathering where an estimated 30,000 people of all races, religions and age groups turned-up peacefully at Istana Pasir Pelangi in Johor Baru to pledge their support and loyalty to the monarch.
Politicians, members of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), guilds as well as those from various associations from the state were also present.
Such a display of support for the Johor royalty shows that the monarchy here has overwhelming public support from all walks of life.
Slightly more than a week earlier, I was told that the organisers only estimated about 5,000 people to turn-up, and these figure rose to 6,000 to 8,000 by mid-week.
But to have about 30,000 supporters on the day itself, who I may add are mainly Johoreans, gather on a hot and sunny afternoon shows that the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has the people's hearts close to him.
For Johor, the monarch is not merely symbolic, but has substantively contributed to the stability and harmony of the state.
From being a leader to safeguarding his subjects and also being the head of Islam in the state, Sultan Ibrahim is also a figurehead in the relationship between the rakyat and the state government.
However, the gathering was more of what the rakyat wanted as a sincere show of support for the Sultan.
Pulai member of parliament, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, who led a delegation of supporters on Sunday, saw this as the will of the people.
Nur Jazlan, who has been notable in his support for the Sultan and the palace over the years, is no stranger to Johoreans, especially those residing in Johor Baru.
To him, it was what the people wanted and he also saw to it to provide the necessary transport for the Sultan's supporters and to also lead them in rallying their support.
"We welcomed people of all race, religions, age and also political backgrounds to join us.
"The gathering has proven that the people of Johor fully support the institution of the monarchy because it is the backbone of the Federal constitution," said Nur Jazlan.
And what the Federal lawmaker said was true as there were 312 Malay NGOs, 62 Chinese NGOs and 30 Indian NGOs taking part in the gathering.
The event, which was organised within seven days, will come as a comfort for Sultan Ibrahim who had to fend off criticism over his personal purchase of the WWW 1 registration number.
It is the Sultan's right to do so and also register it on a Proton Satria Neo.
And we need to bear in mind that the ruler's successful RM520,000 bid was from his own money and also done through the right channels within the Road Transport Department (RTD).
At the end of the day, the money is put in the government's coffers, which will eventually trickle down to the rakyat in many forms of aid.
This act itself should be praised by the rakyat as it shows that Sultan Ibrahim is a ruler who is keen to keep the trust and confidence of the people.
And from the gathering last Sunday, it is not surprising that Johoreans, irrespective of race or religion, will go all out in support of their Sultan, as their forefathers have been doing over the years.