KUALA LUMPUR: Calls for unity must be more than just slogans, advises the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
"Various efforts have been undertaken to strengthen unity among the multiracial population of the country.
"In this regard, calls for unity must not remain mere slogans but have to be followed through by sincere actions," said the King in his Royal address at the opening of the first meeting of the second session of the 14th Parliament on Monday (March 11).
Sultan Abdullah called on all parties to uphold the supremacy of the Federal Constitution, especially pertaining to parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy.
He also reaffirmed the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation but other religions can be practised in peace and harmony; and the position of Bahasa Melayu as the national language.
"Firm action should be taken against activities and elements that could affect national unity and harmony," said the Ruler, which was greeted by thumps of approval by lawmakers in the august Hall.
The Agong believed that the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation should be thoroughly understood by everyone, regardless of race and religion.
"Islam is not an exclusive religion for a particular group, but is a universal way of life and brings blessings to the world," he said.
He said the government's efforts to promote Islam were based on the true teachings of the religion.
The King said such teachings should be translated into praiseworthy actions and behaviour of Malaysians, which subsequently will become the "Malaysian Model" of a multiracial Muslim nation to be followed by other countries.
"While strengthening the teachings of Islam in this country, other religions should also be respected," said the Agong.
The King also took aim at the influence and irresponsible usage of social media that may threaten noble values that are based on religion and moral principles of society.
"Although our government embraces openness and freedom of speech, these rights must be exercised within the legal framework and accepted societal norms," said the Agong.
The Ruler's call for enforcement agencies to take firm action against any dissemination of unlawful social media content was greeted by thumps of approval from lawmakers.
In his Royal address, the King reminded lawmakers that this year is the 60th anniversary of the Malaysian Parliament.
"The (Parliament is the) same age as me," quipped the Agong, drawing chuckles from the lawmakers.
He reminded lawmakers to continue to preserve, protect and defend the Federal Constitution without compromise.
"Always place the interests of the people at heart and conduct debates in this august House in an orderly and respectful manner," he told lawmakers.
Earlier, the Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, both clad in apple green royal attire, arrived at the Parliament Square at 10.08am.
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