JOHOR BAHRU: The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar said Johor appreciates the role played by the Chinese community in the development of the State since the beginning of the Johor Sultanate in the 16th century.

In a statement issued to mark the Lunar New Year, Sultan Ibrahim recognises the Chinese for their hard work and outstanding contributions in modernising Johor.

“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 plantation.

“They are the ‘Bangsa Johor’ – just like the Malays, Indians and others, who are all Malaysians.

“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,” said the Sultan.

Since they were invited from China to come to Johor in 1844 to help open large-scale gambier and pepper farms, the Chinese helped to put Johor on the world map, he added.