BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has come out and criticised his opponents for the post of Malaysian FA (FAM) president post, describing them as desperate and power hungry.
In an interview on the contest for the post that was published on the social media of his club, Tunku Ismail, also known as TMJ by fans, recalled an advice given to him by an army general.
"Be smart, as a General who served in the Indian Army once told me, 'Never underestimate the power of a politician who is desperate, willing to do or say anything to keep their job as they will manipulate the innocent minds for their own personal interest'," said Tunku Ismail in the interview, which was published in two parts early Friday morning.
Apart from Tunku Ismail, two other candidates have been nominated for the post. Malaysia's Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin was nominated by a camp in the FAM executive committee (exco), although he has not announced whether to accept the nomination and run or not. Khairy was referred to by name by the crown prince in the interview.
The other candidate is former Kelantan chairman, and a current member of the Malaysian parliament, Tan Sri Annuar Musa who has nominated himself to be in the running for the post. Annuar's name is not mentioned in the interview, and Tunku Ismail referred to the third candidate in the interview simply as a "minister's proxy".
When asked about the difference between him and his opponents, he sardonically responded that they are nice unlike him, but would ultimately fail Malaysian football fans if they won the contest.
"They are nice people. Myself on the other hand, I'm arrogant. But the difference between us is that they need the money, the position, and then kill your dreams. I have the resources to fulfill your dreams," answered Tunku Ismail.
And when he was asked about the first thing he would say on his first day in the office at the FAM headquarters, should he accept the nomination and win the contest, he scathingly and tersely responded; "No wonder hell is empty. Everyone's here."
But ultimately, TMJ still chose to keep mum over his decision whether to accept the nomination or not, answering snidely that politicians are the more suitable candidates as compared to him.
"For now I don't do much thinking because I'm busy working hard to purchase a foreign football club maybe in Europe if it is His (God's) will, and I'm busy with my job in Johor.
"And I'm an arrogant person, I'm not qualified. The qualified ones are only politicians, ministers with honesty, wise about football and full of integrity," Tunku Ismail derisively responded.