Don’t try to divide the races: Agong (updated)

  • Nation
  • Monday, 16 Feb 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang diPertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin warned against those who tried to create disharmony between the various races of Malaysia.

He expressed his regret that despite the country having been independent for 51 years, certain parties were still raising narrow racial issues for public debate.

“I want to stress that the government will not hesitate to take action against anyone who tries to disunite the people, to ensure that racial harmony and peace in the country are maintained,” he said to applause from the members of Parliament after opening the Dewan Rakyat sitting here.

He also reminded the people to respect the Federal Constitution and expressed the hope that there would be no attempts to create laws that contravene it.

He said the history of the country’s independence and the Federal Constitution must be explained to the young so that they would have a better understanding of the basis for the formation of the country.

“The young generation is the country’s backup and hope for the future. The principles of the Rukun Negara must be understood and appreciated by all strata of society,” he said.

Tuanku Mizan said that the rights of every citizen, which were enshrined in the Federal Constitution, would always be preserved and respected.

“As such, I appeal to all the people to jointly enhance unity for national stability and prosperity. Malaysia’s racial and cultural diversity should be deployed to become our national strength.”

He also reminded all parties to respect and not question the status of Islam as the federal religion as provided for in the Constitution.

On the false news and defamation being spread through blogs to the extent of confusing the people, he wanted the people to be wise in assessing such information.

“We should learn from history where empires and civilisations have collapsed as a result of defamation, hatred and disunity among their peoples.”

He also wanted media practitioners, including bloggers, to be more ethical and responsible and not to abuse the freedom given them, to preserve harmony in the society.

His Majesty welcomed the formation of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) saying that it showed the government’s sincerity and determination to keep its promise to fight corruption, abuse and irregularities.

“To ensure efficient and effective implementation of efforts to fight corruption the MACC must comprise professional, skilled and highly capable officers who are trained in various fields,” he added.

He said that to attract such officers, the MACC would offer a better service scheme and emoluments to recognise these officers for their important role and contribution in enhancing integrity and curbing crimes of corruption in the country.

He believed that the setting up of the MACC and the Judges Appointment Commission (JAC) would further enhance the people’s confidence in the institutions as well as raise the country’s dignity at the international level.

Stressing the importance of early education, he urged parents, non-governmental organisations and corporate bodies to play a role in helping the educationists to produce outstanding human capital right up to the international level.

“Efforts to extend preschool education will continue to be made to ensure that education is obtained at an early age. Besides that, the preschool and primary school curricula will be transformed to make them more relevant to current and future needs,” he said.

Tuanku Mizan also praised the Government for its prompt action in holding a special parliamentary session to condemn Israel’s aggressions against the Palestinians on Jan 12.

“My government is always ready for interaction so that the small countries especially are not oppressed or pressured on the excuse of sidelining international law and basic human rights.

“I’m proud of the Malaysian Government for initiating a resolution for a special sitting of the United Nations to discuss the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip,” he added.

He said the sending of medical and monetary aid by Malaysians of various races and religions further highlighted that the country cared for universal peace and security in general and the plight of the Palestinians in particular.

He expressed his appreciation to members of the Dewan Negara, Dewan Rakyat, civil service and police as well as the people for jointly contributing to the development, prosperity and security of the country.

“All parties must continue to step up efforts in support for the government to tackle the challenges, especially the challenges of the global economic slowdown. This is because without the united support of the people, all these efforts will not succeed,” he said.

Earlier, Tuanku Mizan opened the second session of the 12th Parliament.

He and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah were greeted on arrival at the Parliament grounds by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his wife, Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah.

Tuanku Mizan then received the Royal Salute and the national anthem was played by the Royal Malay Regiment central band from the Sungai Besi camp.

This was followed by the hoisting of the Royal Flag and a 21-gun salute.

The Yang diPertuan Agong then inspected a guard of honour mounted by four officers and 103 men of the First Battalion Royal Malay Regiment headed by Major Norhisham Kamar.

After inspecting the guard of honour, the King returned to the royal stage and received the Royal Salute for the second time, and the Negaraku was played again.

Their Majesties were then accompanied by Abdullah and his wife into the Parliament House.

At 10.40 am, the ceremonial bell was rung and the Yang diPertuan Agong entered the Dewan Rakyat accompanied by its speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.

Abdullah presented the text of the royal address to the King for the opening of the first meeting of the second session of the 12th Parliament.

The House will sit until March 19. -- Bernama

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