Monday, January 19, 2015

Racial harmony in fragile state, Kedah Sultan warns

Published: 19 January 2015 2:44 PMThe Sultan of Kedah says he has never witnessed racial and religious harmony in the country being in such a fragile state as at present. – File pic, January 19, 2015.
The Sultan of Kedah says he has never witnessed racial and religious harmony in the country being in such a fragile state as at present. – File pic, January 19, 2015.
The Sultan of Kedah has warned that racial and religious tension in the country is in a fragile state, Utusan Malaysia reports.
Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah said tolerance and respect among races in the country which was practised since Merdeka appeared to have been neglected.
The monarch, who is also the current King or the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, said he had not observed such a high degree of racial tension in the country since ascending the throne in 2011.
"I have been on the throne for 57 years, even though I have witnessed many incidences, I have never been this worried about race and religious relations which are becoming brittle," Utusan quoted him as saying in a speech at Istana Anak Bukit in Alor Setar, Kedah, in commemoration of his 87th birthday, yesterday.
He also warned that uncontrolled freedom of speech may incite retaliation by offended parties.
"Uncontrolled freedom of speech may invite a reaction by the offended party. Furthermore, the Federal Constitution is clearly enacted to avoid conflict amongst the rakyat.
"If the rakyat love peace and harmony like me, then they should practise this freedom prudently," said the Sultan.
He urged the people to avoid provocative actions that could lead to polarising views and communal feelings between ethnic groups.
"The country's serenity is the prerequisite to increase our economy and attract foreign investment," he said.
The king also expressed concerned about Malaysians getting involved in extremist activities and joining the war overseas.
"Parents should keep an eye on their children to avert them from joining in beliefs that sway them from their true religious beliefs.
"I hope that the religious authorities continue their work in strengthening the Islamic belief of the people, thus avoiding Muslims from deviating from their true beliefs," he said.
The ruler added that the rakyat should ensure that development projects would not affect the environment to the extent that it could cause floods as experienced in the east coast states recently.
His speech was read out by Kedah Regency Council chairman, Datuk Seri Diraja Tunku Sallehuddin Badlishah. – January 19, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/racial-harmony-in-fragile-state-kedah-sultan-warns#sthash.c2vJ2JUG.dpuf

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