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27 Mei 2014

Royal tour to promote wellbeing

(Streets Johor, News Straits Times - 26th May 2014)

RULER’S INITIATIVE: The annual Kembara Mahkota Johor promises plenty of healthy surprises

JOHOR BAHRU: THE 17th edition of the Kembara Mahkota Johor (KMJ) will see new elements in the much-awaited event which will include lots of sport activities and free ice cream.

KMJ is the brain-child of Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar when he was the crown prince.

Since 2001, when it was first launched, KMJ bridged the gap between the ruler and his people.

Sultan Ibrahim will be travelling in a left-hand drive, custom-made Prevost Marathon coach during KMJ, from June 21 to 24.

The state-of-the-art coach is fitted with a bed, a lounge, water-closets and shower facilities, as well as a kitchen, and entertainment unit.

Sultan Ibrahim said he purchased three coaches, so that he and his family could spend their nights in the villages, to be closer to his subjects during KMJ, and participate in the night activities.

Sultan Ibrahim said in past KMJs, he was unable to join the people especially at night, which included cooking gotong-royong style.

This time around, he will be spending more time with the villagers, especially the old folk whom he fondly refers as Wak.

Wak is an endearment used on older men, which means uncle.

He said he loved listening to their stories and experiences.

The rulers said after KMJ, he will be driving the coach, on Thursdays, to a village in one of the 10 districts, chosen randomly, to perform Friday prayers with his subjects and spend a night at the village.

In an exclusive interview with Streets, Sultan Ibrahim said he looked forward to KMJ, which is special to him because during these trips, he gets to meet his subjects without much protocol.

"I get to listen to what they are feeling, their needs and suggestions on how things could be better.

"If I invite them to visit me, it would be a hassle for them. They may also be uncomfortable. Not wanting to trouble them, I choose to visit them on their own turf.

"In olden days, my ancestors went horseback, or rode on elephants to be with the people. I want to emulate them. I want to make sure that my subjects are fine and their welfare taken care off.

"Travelling like this, I can ensure that everything is in order, and facilities are there for them."

Sultan Ibrahim, who recently lost almost 20kg after embarking on a strict exercise regime and watching his diet, said KMJ's theme this year is "Health".

"There is no wealth without health. So, I want to promote a healthy lifestyle.

"During this KMJ, there will be lots of sport activities, and medical check-ups. There will also be delicious but healthy food," Sultan Ibrahim said, adding but that there is something special in store for the children.

A custom-made Flintstones ice-cream truck will be serving a special blend of ice cream called Johor Soft Ice, at every stop Sultan Ibrahim makes on his KMJ tour.

"The ice cream truck, with its cheery jingles, caught my attention when I was in London, England, recently. I saw children faces light up with happiness as they skipped towards the truck to get their ice creams. Looking at the happiness it brought, I decided to get one and bring the joy here to the children of Johor, but the twist here is the ice-creams are free and healthy," he said, when met at Istana Pasir Pelangi here on Thursday.

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar inside the customised coach which which he will be driving to meet his rakyat during Kembara Mahkota Johor. Pic by Zain Ahmed

23 Mei 2014

Bas mewah, van ais krim elemen baharu KMJ

(Berita Harian, 23 Mei 2014)

Johor Bahru: Kembara Mahkota Johor (KMJ) 2014 mencipta kelainan tersendiri, apabila menggunakan tiga bas mewah Prevost Marathon Coach, termasuk sebuah akan dipandu Sultan Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar.

KMJ edisi ke-17 dijangka berlangsung mulai 22 hingga 25 Jun ini, dijadual menjelajah semua daerah di Johor, dalam usaha baginda mengerat hubungan dengan rakyat, sambil meninjau sendiri permasalahan penduduk luar bandar.

Sultan Ibrahim bertitah, ekspedisi bertemakan kesihatan itu, akan turut disertai keluarga baginda selain pemimpin negeri dan ketua jabatan kerajaan untuk bersama-sama bertemu rakyat.


Solat Jumaat bersama penduduk
"Saya suka pergi ke kampung, terutama pada hari Khamis dan Jumaat kerana boleh bersembahyang Jumaat bersama penduduk. KMJ diadakan untuk memudahkan saya bertemu rakyat.

"Ketiga-tiga bas ini dibeli dari Amerika Syarikat dengan satu daripadanya sudah tiba, manakala dua lagi dijangka dalam tempoh terdekat. Sebuah untuk keluarga saya, sebuah lagi untuk Tunku Mahkota Johor dan sebuah lagi untuk saya pandu sendiri.

"Saya akan pandu sendiri, tiada masalah mengenainya kerana saya ada lesen memandu," titahnya dalam temu bual eksklusif bersama kumpulan The New Straits Times Press (NSTP), di Istana Pasir Pelangi, di sini, semalam.

Sultan Ibrahim bertitah, bas tempahan khas itu dilengkapi pelbagai kemudahan termasuk bilik tidur dan baginda tidak perlu bermalam di rumah rakyat seperti edisi KMJ sebelum ini.

"Saya tidak mempunyai masalah bermalam di rumah rakyat, tetapi keadaan itu menyebabkan mereka menjadi serba salah. Untuk tidak menyusahkan sesiapa, saya akan tidur dalam bas yang digunakan tahun ini.

"Saya pasti bas ini akan menjadi tumpuan rakyat di setiap lokasi yang kami singgah nanti. Saya juga berpeluang berbual-bual dan minum bersama walaupun tidak tidur di rumah mereka," titah baginda.

Titah baginda, sejajar dengan tema KMJ 2014, pelbagai aktiviti sukan dan senaman akan diadakan bersama rakyat dalam usaha mempromosikan gaya hidup sihat sepanjang program kembara itu berlangsung.

"Selain bas, beberapa kenderaan rekreasi (RV) akan turut serta dalam program ini.

"Lebih unik, sebuah van aiskrim akan dibawa bersama sepanjang kembara dan pada setiap lokasi program KMJ, aiskrim ini akan diagihkan kepada rakyat," katanya.


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