Johor Sultan: Chinese not “pendatang”

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The sultan of Johor has expression appreciation of the role played by the Chinese community in the development of the state since the time of the Johor sultanate in the 16th century.

In a statement marking the Lunar New Year, the royal press office said Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar esteemed the Chinese community for its hard work and resilience in modernising Johor and wished to recognise its “significant and formidable” contributions.

Sultan Ibrahim said the Chinese were guests invited to Johor by the royal family to help develop the state.

“My forefathers had the foresight to forge a unique relationship with the Chinese. They are not ‘pendatang’ (immigrants). They were invited to Johor to open our land and cultivate plantations.


“They are Bangsa Johor just like the Malays, Indians and others, who are all Malaysians,” he said.

Sultan Ibrahim said it was Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim who first invited the Chinese from China to Johor in 1844 to help open large-scale gambier and pepper farms.

By 1850 the state had become the country’s largest producer of pepper and gambier, with thriving downstream activities such as leather tanning and fabric dyeing.

“The Johor sultanate and the Chinese have a special relationship. They have played a pivotal role in the development of Johor. We appreciate their contributions.”