MALAYSIA: Wednesday morning (Nov 29), the Facebook page of Sultan Ibrahim ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar shared a photo of him and his wife, Raja Zarith Sofia Binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, together with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Madam Ho Ching at the National Stadium in Singapore during the Singapore National Day Parade in 1988, underlining the “long and enduring friendship” between Johor and Singapore. Mdm Ho also shared the post on her Facebook account shortly afterwards.

“The enduring and close friendship between Johor and Singapore has brought tangible socio-economic benefits and progress for both neighbours. HM Tuanku Sultan Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar has long advocated continued strong economic ties and good relations with Singapore,” the Facebook page admin wrote. The Facebook page added that this friendship was exemplified in the photo, noting that at the time it was taken, PM Lee was the Minister of Trade and Industry and the Second Minister of Defense of Singapore.

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The Sultan of Johor, 65, will ascend to the throne in Malaysia on Jan 31, 2024, having been “elected” by a council of state sovereigns last month as part of the rotating system of monarchs unique to Malaysia. He replaces Al-Sultan Abdullah ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah, the Sultan of Pahang, who ascended the throne in January 2019.

Singapore has historically had close ties with Johor, linked by causeways. Many Johor residents work in Singapore, making the daily commute, and conversely, many Singaporeans make quick trips across the causeway for eating and shopping trips. Other Singaporeans have invested in properties in the state, especially in Johor Bahru.

Crown Prince Tunku Ismail also had a recent reason to thank Singapore, as he and his family were close by when a mall shooting occurred in Bangkok on Oct 3.

He wrote in posts on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) that his family took refuge at the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok during the incident. He had asked his security team to get them to a safe place as the shooting occurred, telling them to bring them to the Malaysian Embassy.

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However, his driver suggested the Singapore Embassy, which was nearer, instead. “Alhamdulillah, we’re safe. Thanks to my security team and our friends from Singapore and Malaysia. I will forever be grateful to all of you,” he wrote.

Two people—a Chinese and Myanmar national— were killed, and five others were injured in the incident, which led to the arrest of a 14-year-old boy.

“This is the worst experience I’ve ever gone through. Protecting the lives of my children from a killer,” the Crown Prince wrote. /TISG

Read related: JB crown prince shares his “worst experience” during Bangkok mall shooting, thanks SG embassy for providing refuge