Sultan has no say in new Johor exco, says Dr M

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the launch of the National Orang Asli Convention at the International Convention Centre in Putrajaya today.

PUTRAJAYA: The sultan of Johor has no influence in choosing the line-up for the new state executive council, says Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The prime minister, speaking to reporters after launching the National Orang Asli Convention here today, was responding to questions on whether the ruler has any say in the shuffle of exco line-up following the change in menteri besar.

When asked if the new line-up is Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) decision, Mahathir said: “I suppose so. It is Johor PH.”

This comes amid expectations that Johor’s new exco line-up will be announced today.

Yesterday, Johor PH chairman Muhyiddin Yassin said the new exco line-up had been submitted to Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar during an audience at Istana Pasir Pelangi.

Dr Sahruddin Jamal was recently appointed as Johor menteri besar, replacing Osman Sapian.

Speculation over the influence of the Johor palace in the change of menteri besar and exco line-up followed remarks by crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim that the sultan had been mulling a change in the state’s leadership for months.

On the call by a DAP Youth leader to replace the race-based admission system for the government’s matriculation programme, Mahathir said his administration would look into the matter.

“We will study the problem,” he said when asked to comment on DAP Youth’s university affairs committee chief Leong Yu Sheng’s statement this morning.

Leong had called for the replacement of the 90:10 Bumiputera to non-Bumiputera quota system with a needs-based system, saying every student deserved the right to education regardless of race.

Earlier, Mahathir launched the convention which is being attended by over 1,000 people including Orang Asli leaders, representatives from NGOs, academics and government officials.

The convention, which will see the discussion of seven core issues related to the community, is a step towards the creation of a National Orang Asli Development Plan.

Also present today was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy.