His Majesty assured that he would do his best to promote unity and tolerance among Malaysians of all races and religions.
In his maiden address as the newly-installed 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah said that was very important in the system of nationhood as Malaysia practised parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.
“It is the basis of unity, to bring the people together and spark the spirit of patriotism.
“It is a spirit that, if inherited and cherished by every single citizen, can bring forth a sense of love and loyalty to the country,” he said at Istana Negara.
“I will put the people first; respect the old and honour the young.
“I will express all this with great humility,” he said, welcoming the government’s effort to strengthen unity through the establishment of the Consultative Council for People’s Harmony.
Sultan Abdullah also cautioned the people to refrain from inciting misunderstanding by raising matters that could undermine and destroy harmony in the country.
His Majesty stressed that unity and harmony were the pillars and strength of the nation.
“Playing with fire will burn not only oneself, but also the whole village,” he said.
Recalling the auspicious date of July 10, 1980, when his late father Paduka Ayahanda Sultan Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah was installed as the seventh Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah said it was destined by Allah that he be installed today on the same throne used by his father 39 years ago.
Sultan Abdullah also hailed the late Sultan Ahmad Shah as a stern, yet open-minded personality.
“His relationship with the people was so intimate; it clearly showed his intention of always wanting the best for the people,” His Majesty said.
He also requested that the audience pray for his father’s soul to be placed among the righteous.
Sultan Abdullah also expressed gratitude to the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, and his consort Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha for gracing the ceremony, describing their presence as a manifestation of the close relationship enjoyed by Malaysia and Brunei.
His Majesty also paid tribute to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, who also graced the ceremony.
“I am extremely honoured by the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. Sheikh Mohamed and I have come a long way since our military training in Sandhurst and, later on, in Oxford.
“We have shared fond memories together as friends and brothers.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my greatest and heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all my guests who have flown from all over the world to be here on this auspicious occasion.
“Your presence has undoubtedly made this ceremony even more special,” said His Majesty.
Sultan Abdullah said he was also touched and honoured by the pledge of allegiance by the Prime Minister in representing the government, civil servants, security forces and the general public at the ceremony.
In concluding his address, His Majesty called on everyone to pray for the country to remain peaceful and prosperous and to be always under the protection of Allah.