Royal presence: Raja Nazrin and Raja Puan Besar Tuanku Zara Salim arriving for the state assembly meeting in Ipoh.
IPOH: All Perak state assemblymen have been urged to avoid sensationalising any religious issue.
Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah said he hoped that the assemblymen, regardless of their political affiliations, would be exemplary when handling such sensitive issues.
“Religion is one subject that is close to the heart. It has close emotional connection to the devout,” he said.
“In a country where its people comprise various faith, it is important to be thoughtful and careful when making statements or giving a response towards matters related to religion,” he said, adding that arguments should not be polemic and open statements should not be provocative.
“Each statement should be made after careful and rational consideration, and not influenced by emotion,” Raja Nazrin said in his royal address at the opening of the state assembly meeting yesterday.
Raja Nazrin said the complexity of handling inter-faith issues needed understanding from the people.
“Dispute often occurs because of misunderstanding towards a sensitive issue. It should be handled with wisdom and just,” he said, adding that religious issues should be discussed based on knowledge to reach a mutual understanding.
“A harmonious state cannot be achieved if each group chooses confrontational methods,” he pointed out.
Raja Nazrin also said that with the upcoming 56th Merdeka celebrations, all relevant parties, be it the Government or the Opposition, should play their role in strengthening the country and also to instil cooperation among the races.
“Everyone should also take responsibility to ensure peace and harmony in the country,” he said.
At a press conference later, state assembly Speaker Datuk S.K. Devamany said he had received a memorandum from Pakatan Rakyat on making changes to the state assembly meeting.
“I have not gone through the details of it. But if the intention of the memorandum is good, we could look into it,” he said.
Among the recommendations in the 10-point memorandum are officially recognising the post of State Opposition Leader, providing written answers to all assemblymen, appointing research officers for assemblymen, setting up a state Credibility, Accountability and Transparency committee and appointing the Opposition Leader as the Public Accounts Committee chairman.