JOHOR BARU - Johor's Crown Prince has thanked Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, with whom he has often sparred since the latter became premier last May, for visiting the state and meeting his father, Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.
Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim tweeted on Saturday (Jan 12) that he believed both parties could work together and move forward for the nation's betterment.
"Assalamualaikum (Peace be upon you) @chedetofficial. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for visiting Johor to 'menghadap' Ayahanda DYMM Tuanku Sultan," the prince posted on his official Twitter account, @HRHJohorII.
"Menghadap" means to have an audience; "Ayahanda DYMM" is how the Prince addresses his father. Tun Dr Mahathir tweets under the handle of @chedetofficial.
Tunku Ismail added in his tweet: "I hope we can work together and move forward for the nation's betterment. All the best and wishing you well sir. Salam ikhlas (Yours sincerely), Ismail Ibrahim."
Accompanying the tweet is the now-famous picture of Sultan Ibrahim personally driving Dr Mahathir to the Senai International Airport in a first-generation Proton Saga, which the premier gave to the Ruler's father in 1985.
The meeting between the sultan and the premier was the first since Dr Mahathir's Pakatan Harapan coalition won the general election in May last year.
Relations between Dr Mahathir and Johor royalty had been strained.
Last August, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia will not allow foreigners to buy residential units built at Johor's US$100 billion (S$135 billion) Forest City project, which is a partnership between Chinese developer Country Garden and the Sultan of Johor.
Last month, Dr Mahathir took issue with the Sultan's conversion of Pulau Kukup, the world's second-largest uninhabited mangrove island, located in southern Johor, from a national park to sultanate land.
The move sparked a war of words between the Premier and the Johor Crown Prince. The two again sniped at each other in the wake of the Malaysian King's resignation last Friday and the resultant scramble to elect a new monarch.
A source from the Prime Minister's Office said Dr Mahathir's audience with the Johor ruler came at the sultan's request a few weeks ago. Neither side has revealed what was discussed during their 90-minute meeting on Thursday.
Dr Mahathir would only tell reporters it was "a normal discussion", The Star reported.
"I can communicate with His Royal Highness. We agreed that we will be frank, talk openly, with nothing to hide. His Royal Highness had his views, and I had my views," Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying.