The Johor sultan should realise that Arabic culture and norms are an integral part of Islam, said constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari.
“I think the sultan of Johor should consult the menteri besar or the mufti before shooting from the hip, or else he would embarrass everybody including himself.
“He needs to realise that he is the head of Islamic religion for the state, apart from being the state head.
“There is no question of turning the society into an Arab one; the fact remains that Arabic culture and norms have become an integral part of Islam,” the former law professor said in a statement today.
He was responding to the Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar who had called on Malays to be proud of the Malay culture and not try to emulate Arabic culture.
Abdul Aziz pointed out that the term sultan itself is Arabic and rooted in the Quran.
“Perhaps the sultan of Johor ought now to be thinking of coining a new term to replace the term sultan,” he said.
Noting that Johor was the only state to use the term ‘ahlul hal wal aqdi’ to denote the members of succession council in the Johor Constitution, he also pointed out that it is an Arabic term and that the sultan should also consider replacing it.
Jawi is also an aspect of Arabic culture which the sultan should think about, he said, adding that jawi is very much the culture of Johor as well.
Abdul Aziz also responded to the crown prince of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who had recalled the incidents during the 1992 constitutional crisis and reminded the government not to repeat such greed-driven episodes.
It was the prince’s grandfather who presented then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad with the opportunity to “whack the rulers”, Abdul Aziz remarked.
“Some of the rulers, in fact, complained that they have been embarrassed by the incident provoked by the late Sultan Iskandar, which started with the alleged beating of the Johor state hockey coach,” he said.