IN WHAT APPEARS TO BE A BREAKTHROUGH RECONCILIATION WITH DR MAHATHIR, JOHOR SULTAN – WIDELY TOUTED TO BE THE NEXT AGONG – TAKES PM FOR A DRIVE – EVEN AS DR M REVEALS THEY HAVE AGREED TO MAINTAIN ‘OPEN & FRANK COMMUNICATION’ WITH EACH OTHER

KULAI— It was a nostalgic moment when Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar personally drove Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Senai International Airport this afternoon in a first model of the Proton Saga.

Sultan Ibrahim took Mahathir on a 20km journey from Istana Bukit Serene to the airport in the Proton Saga with the registration number ‘Proton 1’.

“The driving was good and there was no breakdown,” Mahathir said in jest, when asked about the journey during a media conference later.

He said the blue Proton Saga was gifted to Sultan Ibrahim’s late father Sultan Iskandar Sultan Ismail in 1985 during his first tenure as the country’s fourth prime minister.

Dr Mahathir and Sultan Ibrahim are known to be keen car enthusiasts.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir had an hour-long audience with Sultan Ibrahim at Istana Bukit Serene in Johor Baru.

The Proton Saga is Malaysia’s first national car. It was Proton’s flagship model and the company’s longest running nameplate, having been produced with several variations for over 31 years.

The Proton Saga had cost RM17,000 when it was first launched.

Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar personally drives Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Senai International Airport from Istana Bukit Serene in Johor Baru January 10, 2019. — Picture by Ben Tan
Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar personally drives Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Senai International Airport from Istana Bukit Serene in Johor Baru January 10, 2019. — Picture by Ben Tan

After first audience in 20 years, Dr M says will maintain frank ties with Johor ruler

KULAI — Putrajaya will continue to maintain a positive relationship with the Johor royal palace, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said from the outcome of his hour-long meeting with Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar today, both sides have agreed to continue to communicate with each other in a frank and open manner.

“I discussed on the people’s view on Tuanku (Sultan Ibrahim) and he accepted it in a positive manner. We agreed that in the future if there is a problem I can communicate with him.

He was accompanied by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian.

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar (left) and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had a meeting for the first time in about 20 years. — Picture courtesy of the Royal Press Office
Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar (left) and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had a meeting for the first time in about 20 years. — Picture courtesy of the Royal Press Office

Today was the first time that Dr Mahathir, representing the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, met Johor’s ruler since he took power in the general election last May.

On the meeting, Dr Mahathir said he last met with Sultan Ibrahim about 20 years ago after he just resigned as prime minister.

The 93-year-old Langkawi MP also said the issue of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s position was not raised during the meeting with Sultan Ibrahim.

“The appointment (of Agong) relates to the Council of Rulers and has nothing to do with me,” said Dr Mahathir.

He added that there was also no political issues or matters related to the Johor state administration raised in the private meeting.

“We talked normally, as one would usually do. There were a lot of problems raised, but I will not talk about it,” said Dr Mahathir.

MALAY MAIL

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