KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah wants the people to refrain from raising matters that could lead to racial tension in a multi-ethnic country such as Malaysia.
In his maiden address as the new King, His Majesty said it had been proven that Malaysians of diverse races, religions, cultures and ways of life were able to live together in peace, harmony and mutual respect.
“This (unity) has been the basis of our uniqueness and source of strength. Playing with fire (by inciting hatred) will only damage the whole country,“ he said at his installation as the nation’s 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara here today.
Al-Sultan Abdullah will reign as Yang di-Pertuan Agong for five years under Malaysia’s unique rotation system. Under the system, a new King is appointed by his brother rulers to reign for five years.
The nine rulers are the sultans of Kedah, Perak, Selangor, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan as well as the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Negri Sembilan and the Raja of Perlis.
While the nation observed a special public holiday to mark the occasion, some 800 guests comprising the Malay rulers and their consorts, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and other dignitaries were at Istana Negara to witness the colourful and glorious, yet decorous, ceremony steeped in tradition.
The Sultan took his Oath of Installation as the new King as the sound of trumpets and the beating of drums reverberated through the Balairong Seri (Throne Hall).
In his speech, His Majesty gave an assurance that he would make the Rakyat and their needs a priority, especially where it concerned racial harmony.
“With this, I would like to laud the government for its initiative to strengthen unity among the rakyat through the Consultative Council for People’s Harmony,“ he said.
Sultan Abdullah expressed confidence that the Pakatan Harapan government, led by Mahathir, would be able to overcome any obstacle and lead the country to success.
“I welcome the government’s efforts in restructuring the country’s development plans and strengthening the country’s economy. Most importantly, the government’s effort to improve integrity and combat corruption should be supported,“ he said.
“The government’s long-term plans, such as Shared Prosperity 2030, are vital for the people because we need to prioritise the efforts in eradicating poverty. The issue of poverty must be addressed immediately because it will affect the agenda to develop the nation,“ 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 (God) 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, and requested the audience to pray for his father’s soul to be placed among the righteous.