Analysis: Johor crown prince’s upcoming Regent stint a chance to show leadership, refine governance skills

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JOHOR BAHRU: Johor's crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim’s upcoming stint as Regent of the state will be a good opportunity for him to demonstrate his leadership aptitude and ability to rule, say analysts.

Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar announced on Wednesday (Nov 22) that he will “hand over the reins of the state government” to Tunku Ismail who will serve as Regent while he becomes Malaysia’s Yang di-Pertuan Agong for a five-year term from January next year.

Political analyst James Chin, who is a Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Tasmania, told CNA that in his upcoming capacity as Regent, which will be the longest period he serves in that capacity so far, Tunku Ismail will “want to prove that he is up for the job (of being ruler one day)”.

“He has to prove that he is capable of defending Johor’s interests but more importantly he is a strong supporter of Bangsa Johor, which is the legacy of his forefathers,” he added. 

Bangsa Johor is an identity and concept fostered among Johoreans by the royal family, in which it said that all the different races have played a key role in developing the state. 

Political analyst Dr Azmi Hassan of the Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research said Tunku Ismail, in his stint as Regent, will have the opportunity to refine and put in practice “skills, knowledge and know-how” to govern Johor.

“It will be similar to how his father Sultan Ibrahim served as Regent between 1984-1989, when his predecessor Sultan Iskandar was fulfilling his responsibilities as king,” he added. 

In his speech at the Istana Besar Johor Bahru during an investiture ceremony to mark his 65th birthday, Sultan Ibrahim said the state government should “provide guidance” to Tunku Ismail when he assumes the role. 

"The Regent will bear the responsibility to protect the state and people of Johor, and exercise all the rights and powers of state governance, except as the head of the Islamic Religion,” said Sultan Ibrahim. 

"Even though I reside at Istana Negara, it does not mean I am permanently moving to Kuala Lumpur. I will always come back to Johor because this is my hometown. I hope the people of Johor will not fo...

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