TMJ vs Annuar Musa: Knowing your FAM presidential candidate
Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim
Who is he?
Often referred to as ‘TMJ’ or ‘the Boss’, Tunku Ismail is the Sultan of Johor’s first born and heir to the State’s throne.
He is the owner of the Southern Tigers, a club which has become Malaysia’s leading football club since he took charge of Johor FA in 2012.
The Crown Prince of Johor also served in the Indian Army and attained the rank of Captain. Tunku Ismail is also a polo enthusiast and a collector of luxury cars.
Tunku Ismail also contested for the FAM presidency in 2014 but lost to Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.
He, did, however force a second round of voting after denying his opponent the two-third majority required in the first round.
Many believe Tunku Ismail is the best candidate around to helm FAM. He rebranded Johor football and achieved success in a relatively short period of time, so it will be difficult to argue against his credentials.
Under his leadership, JDT have broken multiple records – winning an unprecedented three straight Malaysia Super League (MSL) titles and becoming the first Southeast Asian side to lift the AFC Cup. JDT also have the best infrastructure around and are placing importance of development.
He has been FAM’s biggest critic since stepping into the scene, constantly highlighting the ills of the most-followed sport in Malaysia.
Tunku Ismail has vowed to elevate Malaysian football to a higher standard and has what many think is the right personality to do it.
The clean-up in Malaysia will need a tough character, one that will not be swayed by pressure and Tunku Ismail is ticking many of these boxes.
His no-nonsense approach in getting things done, by hook or by crook, may have made enemies around the football fraternity but he has achieved the desired results.
Several other candidates in the FAM elections such as Datuk Yusof Mahadi, Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal and newcomer Christopher Raj have all pledged their support to TMJ. Several affiliates have met Tunku Ismail in their successful bid to persuade him to contest at the Congress.