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Johor sultan rebuffs RM2m offer for 'Tan Sri' title

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Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar of Johor has revealed that he had once rebuffed an "agent" who represented someone seeking the "Tan Sri" title and was willing to pay RM2 million.

The sultan was not amused, the New Straits Times reported.

"There were agents who came to see me and told me that I have Tan Sri quotas for sale and wanted to give me RM2 mllion for the title.

"I told the agent, who I do not wish to name because it would be embarrassing, to get lost. I do not sell titles," he told NST during an interview.

The sultan said he does not know nor cared about how monarchs of other states select the recipients of titles.

However, he acknowledged that the titles are awarded generously nationwide.

"In Malaysia, if I were to close my eyes and throw a pebble, it may hit the head of a Datuk and that same pebble may bounce off the head of another Datuk, and if luck has it, it may also hit a Tan Sri," he quipped.

He said titles from the Johor palace are the most difficult to obtain because candidates are vetted up to four times.

"Under my reign, it will be more difficult to obtain (the titles)," he said.

Strict vetting

Describing the process, all political parties send lists of names for consideration for titles, and they will be considered based on how long they have been members of the party and their contributions.

All candidates go through heavy vetting, the sultan said.

"We check their lifestyle and vet them with police."

He added that in Johor, those who feel they are not worthy of their titles can also return the medals.

He said he has no intention to revoke any titles but there has been situations where he was forced to do so, including from a Datuk who cheated others.

"That person is not qualified to have a title," he said.

On a separate matter, Sultan Ibrahim said he spends up to eight hours a day on his iPad reading news and readers comments.

"Sometimes, we get offended at the comments but that's fine. I will look a bit at those things and not too much into them.

"Some are sour grapes and others are jealous with what I do.

"I just want to say that in the six years of ruling Johor, the state has changed, but I hope my son will go through even more progress when he takes over," he said.

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