JOHOR BAHRU: The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar (pix), has appointed a ‘Mejar Cina’ effective today, thus reviving a title introduced by his great-great-grandfather Sultan Abu Bakar.
The Mejar Cina is David Wong Khong Soon, manager of the Mado Oil Palm Plantation and a descendant of Wong Ah Fook, an entrepreneur and philanthropist who left an indelible mark on the state of Johor.
Johor Council of Royal Court president Datuk Dr Abdul Rahim Ramli announced the appointment in a statement that was uploaded onto Sultan Ibrahim’s Facebook account.
The sultan made the appointment in accordance with his right and powers vested in Clause 7 (2) (b) of the Second Part of the Johor State Constitution 1895, he said.
“Mejar Cina Wong Khong Soon will carry out his duties and work with the Sultan Ibrahim Foundation and other Johor royal foundations as well as the district officers, elected representatives, penghulus and community leaders in identifying the recipients and coordinate, organise and implement the distribution of foodstuff and other aid to the people of Johor, especially the Chinese community, in the districts,“ Abdul Rahim said in the statement.
In carrying out this duty, Mejar Cina Wong is not regarded as a representative of the sultan and he is not granted any powers, rights, payment, facilities or privileges, he said.
Abdul Rahim said Sultan Ibrahim had wanted to revive the title as a continuation of the history of Modern Johor.
He said that in 1840, Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim, the Temenggong of Johor, had allowed his Chinese followers to relocate from Singapore to Johor and established a settlement or ‘Kangkar’ along a bank of the Tebrau River.
“In 1870, there were 29 ‘Kangkar’ in Johor. The Chinese community was allowed to engage in agriculture and livestock breeding and practise their culture and religion without any interference. The Temenggong appointed a leader from among the people of these Kangkar as the ‘Kangcu’ to manage them and ensure their security.
“The capable ones among the Kangcu were appointed as ‘Kapitan Cina’ and one of them was appointed as a ‘Mejar Cina’. Among their duties was to serve as an intermediary to channel the royal decrees to the people, especially the Chinese, gather feedback from the Chinese community as the basis to plan their progress and ensure they were not marginalised and strengthen their solidarity with the larger community,“ he said.—Bernama