Sultan Of The Year 2015 – Sultan Ibrahim Of The Kingdom Of Johor

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Dec 23 2015
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Christmas is just around the corner and stock markets have already started its yearly window dressing. Now is perhaps the best time for you to take some money off the table, if your portfolio is making good money. However, there’s one very prosperous country in ASEAN which disallows people from celebrating Christmas.

Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah

Oil-rich Brunei has banned public celebrations of Christmas, including sending festive greetings and the wearing of Santa Claus hats and clothes. Muslims seen celebrating Christmas and non-Muslims found to be organizing celebrations could face up to 5 years jail. The reason for the ban – it could threaten the country’s Muslim faith.


However, non-Muslims, making up about 35% of the 420,000 population can celebrate Christmas in their own communities on the condition that the celebrations are not disclosed to Muslims. Apparently, Brunei imams said that lighting candles, putting up Christmas trees, singing religious songs, sending Christmas greetings and putting up decorations are against the religious faith.

Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and The Beverly Hills Hotel

Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, one of the world’s richest men, is being called a hypocrite because he didn’t ban the same festival at hotels he owns in the United Kingdom (Dorchester Hotel) and the United States, including the Beverly Hills Hotel. But as the Brunei Sultan becomes increasingly extreme, one sultan demonstrates the opposite – Johor Sultan.


If there’s a prize for the best sultan of the year, the Sultan of Johor – Sultan Ibrahim – is easily the winner. Just when everybody was wondering if JAKIM, a powerful department of Islamic of Malaysia which takes pride in playing the role of the God, would follow Brunei’s step in banning Christmas festival, the Sultan of Ibrahim came to the rescue. Johor Sultan Ibrahim - Sitting on ChairJohor Sultan Ibrahim - Wearing Brown Spots Shirt

Recently, Sultan Ibrahim declared that there should be no issue if Muslims join their friends and neighbours of other faiths in celebrating their festivals. “This is what Bangsa Johor is about. It promotes closeness, tolerance and mutual respect for each other regardless of race and religion.” – said the sultan at a Deepavali gathering.


He hoped that more of such gatherings could be organized for other events such as Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Christmas, among others. In the same breath Sultan Ibrahim warned those who spread disunity to stay away from Johor, saying the state did not welcome such people. Interestingly, it was not the first time that the sultan had warned of such troublemakers.

UMNO Red Shirts Rally Charming Message - Police Beating Red ShirtsUMNO Red Shirts Rally - Sultan Ibrahim Johor Facebook Posting

During the Red Shirts rally sponsored by Najib Razak administration which ultimately turned into a racist and chaos demonstration, the Sultan Johor surprisingly ordered (Johorean) racists and haters taking part to leave his state immediately“This is not the Stone Age, do not be ungrateful, the Malays, Chinese and Indians, all played their part.”


Unlike 8 other sultans or rulers, Sultan Ibrahim possesses another charm that makes people particularly love and respects him. He would occasionally ditch the palace protocol and sat and dined with ordinary people at coffee shops and restaurants, not to mention treating them with free food and drink for the rest of the day.

Salam JumaatSultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, Sultan of Johor, having a meal at Restoran Ansari in Muar,…

Posted by Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar on Thursday, December 17, 2015


As the sultan and head of Islam in Johor, the monarch’s statements and actions carry a lot of weight. As the ruler of a state with second highest number of parliamentary seats (26) and third highest number of state seats (56), Prime Minister Najib Razak’s UMNO political party would think twice about picking a fight with the monarchy.


Sure, once in a while, Najib would send minions such as Minister Nazri Aziz to intimidate the family members of Johor Sultan, as in the case of a threat to “whack” the Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail; or by sending senior ministers to lick Sultan Ibrahim’s boots. But that’s as far as it goes. The sultan could easily see through all the tricks and games on UMNO’s book.

Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim Remark on PM Najib Chickening from Nothing2HideNazri Aziz Wanna Whack Johor Crown Prince

The kingdom of Johor was the only monarch that openly criticized the globally known RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and the shameful RM2.6 billion private donation scandal, thanks to PM Najib Razak. The twin scandals contributed to the falling of local currency, so much so that the Johor Queen – Oxford graduate Raja Zarith Sofiah – offered to help Malaysian students in the United Kingdom facing financial difficulties.


Realizing how much problems have UMNO created particularly in education, Sultan Ibrahim had spoken about the need to revive English-medium schools much like those in Singapore, throwing punches at UMNO politicians who are in “self-denial” and choose to play politics with education by being “heroes of their races”.

Holding Stacks of Malaysian Ringgit Malaysian School System - Primary School Students

Equating the English language to the U.S. dollar, the Sultan of Johor said “it’s accepted everywhere and used everywhere, even in countries where the people don’t speak English well”. He also insulted UMNO politicians who talk about nationalism but send their children to boarding schools in Australia and the United Kingdom instead.


His suggestion to bring back the old way of teaching just like in the 1950s and 1960s, where English was used as the medium instruction in schools and a pass in Bahasa Melayu and Mathematics (and perhaps Science, Chinese and Tamil) is compulsory, hasn’t invite any demonstration from ultra extremist UMNO screaming about Sultan Ibrahim having insulted the Malay, Islam and the King though (*grin*).

Johor Sultan Ibrahim - Wearing Brown ShirtJohor Sultan Ibrahim - Wearing Blue Shirt

Still, there’re some who don’t like the Johor Sultan’s courage and liberal opinions in championing quality education, fairness to all regardless of race and religion, protecting his subjects against racism, suppression and oppression. But Sultan Ibrahim is easily the coolest and bestest sultan Malaysians can ever had – for the year 2015.

Johor Sultan Ibrahim - Wearing Colourful ShirtJohor Sultan Ibrahim - Wearing Strip Shirt

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May be he is a changed man now.

10 years ago, while I was having a drink with a Singaporean friend in The Zon, when he saw a car with the plate TMJ ,he quickly called his girl friend who was a young and beautiful liquor promoter to hide in the toilet.

It was alleged that Zanariah was divorced ‘retrospectively’with some fraudulent documents in order to strip her the right to inheritance too.

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