TMJ wants education quality raised as it is key to problem solving

KUALA LUMPUR: Next to football, Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim is setting his eyes on enhancing education which he believes is key to solving national issues.

Tunku Ismail, who went on air on Hot FM's Bekpes Hot segment this morning, said football would remain his passion.

"My most important mission for me, as the Tengku Mahkota of Johor, is to heighten the education quality and its syllabus in the state. This is for Johor and the Johor people.

"That is my priority and will be my biggest mission. It is more crucial than football and everything else.

"Education will be my main mission because that is the problem solver to what we are facing in our country," he said in an exclusive interview with radio announcers Johan, AG, Farah Fauzana and Khairy Jamaluddin.

Tunku Ismail, who is the owner of Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) Football Club, did not dismiss the possibility of forming a women's football team.

He said this when asked by Farah Fauzana if there could be one in the future.

"For example, in the past we did not have a futsal team and recently, we formed one. Insyallah, in the future, when our budget has improved, we can have a women's football team," he said.

To this, Farah Fauzana said she would not be offering herself as a player but would be ready to be a water girl.

Tunku Ismail also fielded questions from Khairy, who is a member of the JDT board of directors as well as Johor youth adviser.

Khairy asked Tunku Ismail on how he kept his superstar football players level headed and avoid the potential "diva" mentality in them.

"I am quite strict in terms of their performance because they are not taking small pays. Because of that, they should always maintain their professionalism in their duties.

"I am very demanding when it comes to that but also generous in terms of protecting their welfare. It brings a positive response when we know how to take care of the people who work for us and they know how to reciprocate," he added.

Tunku Ismail also said it had been a long time coming for JDT as it was faced with scepticism when it was first set up in 2013.

Back then, Tunku Ismail said he did not know a single football player in the country and admitted it was a tough start for him.

However, he was relentless and the following year, he got to know more players and began recruiting them into JDT.

"At first no one wanted to join JDT because they had no confidence in it. They feared it was only my temporary hobby and they would not get paid and would face other problems.

"It was difficult to convince players to get into JDT at the beginning," he said, adding that he only began to feel satisfied with JDT's performance in 2020.

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