In a recent interview, Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim said that as the future Sultan of Johor, his responsibilities will always go to the state first and its people before Malaysia. He asserted that Johor has a right to secede from Malaysia if it finds a breach to the terms agreed upon its membership of the Federation of Malaya.
“In fact, we only joined the Federation of Malaya, upon both parties agreeing to several basic terms. And if any one of those terms are breached, we have every right to secede from this country,” Mr Tunku Ismail told FourthOfficial the Malaysian website.
“You can accuse me of instigating state-based sentiments, but to me, I’m merely doing my duty to the people of Johor, and reminding them of the history and heritage behind this great land.”
Mr Tunku Ismail said the royal family is not linked with “the mess” currently affecting Malaysia, adding that it has always been strong, independent and resourceful.
The crown prince is not alone. In June, Mr Tunku Ismail’s brother also said on photo-sharing platform Instagram that the southern state may secede from Malaysia.
In the post, Mr Tunku Idris Ibrahim issued a reminder that the Johor government had joined the Malay federation in 1946 on several conditions.
Among the conditions listed included making Islam the religion of the state, the state’s absolute right over water and land issues, and the state royal house to have its own armed forces.
The call for Johor’s separation from Malaysia has been a hot topic online, with social media posts depicting pictures of imaginary Johor currencies going viral earlier this month.