The sultan was quoted as saying in a report by The Star: “We have worked very well together. I would say it’s better than any other previous prime ministers.”
Dr Azmi said this was an indication that Sultan Ibrahim has confidence in Mr Anwar’s leadership in the federal government.
“I think this is a prime minister that Tuanku (Sultan Ibrahim) wants to work with,” said Dr Azmi.
“I think it will be a very interesting relationship and I think it will be good for the country because we have a king that really speaks out his mind but at the same time is willing to work alongside this prime minister,” said Dr Azmi.
He elaborated that having a king who is willing to speak on behalf of the people, and a leader like Mr Anwar who has shown that “he is keen to listen” are signs of “a strong partnership”.
Political analyst Awang Azman Awang Pawi of Universiti Malaya echoed similar sentiments, and said that it will be “intriguing” to see how the federal government reacts when it receives feedback on certain matters by Sultan Ibrahim after he is installed as YDPA.
He cited how for instance Sultan Ibrahim’s comments on low-cost housing in Johor as well as on MM2H recently has prompted the federal government to take action.
In response to Sultan Ibrahim, Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming had pledged that his ministry was determined to address the living conditions of the houses and pledged to resolve the waste disposal issue in two days.
In his recent Budget speech, Mr Anwar also announced that the government is willing to loosen restrictions for MM2H so that more foreigners can purchase homes in Malaysia, potentially increasing investment into the country
“This is a sign that the Anwar government takes Tuanku’s feedback very seriously,” said Assoc Prof Awang Azman.
“His Majesty has interest in these matters and when he becomes king, it is likely that his influence will be amplified further and he will speak out on issues impacting not just Johor but across the country,” he added.
KING TO STAY NEUTRAL AND ABOVE POLITICS
Sultan Ibrahim was elected during the Conference of the Rulers on Friday, in which all nine sultans in the country voted on who will be the next head of state, also known as Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA).
The decision follows the established order of Malaysia’s unique rotational monarch system in which the nine rulers take turns to be the YDPA for five-year cycles.
Malaysia’s Constitution also states that the YDPA must remain neutral and above politics. The monarch’s role in Malaysia is also more symbolic and ceremonial, and on key political decisions he acts on the advice of the prime minister.
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