KUALA KANGSAR, Sat April 19, 2008 - Bernama
Racial prejudice in the country can be erased if the Malay mindset is stable and comfortable towards forging harmony, the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, said today.
He said a stable mindset of the Malays was crucial as it was a pre-condition to the nation’s stability.
“Islam, Malay Rulers’ sovereignty, Malay language and the special status of the Malays are among matters that never slipped from the attention of the Malay Rulers.
“The Malay Rulers understand very well that the country’s political stability largely depends on the preparedness of the Malay mindset to face changes,” he said in his address in conjunction with the 80th birthday of the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, at Istana Iskandariah.
Present were Sultan Azlan Shah, Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Bainun, Raja Dihilir Perak Raja Jaffar Raja Muda Musa, Raja Puan Muda Raja Normahani Raja Shahar Shah, members of the Perak royal household, Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, state executive councillors, heads of government departments and agencies.
Raja Dr Nazrin said since the first “Durbar” (rulers’ conference) was held in Kuala Kangsar on July 13, 1897, the Malay Rulers had constantly given attention and raised Malays’ interests and Islam.
Hence, with the consent of the Sultan of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin said he would make efforts to ensure the thinking and perception of the Malays would not lead them into being in a state of anxiety and unstable.
He said the Malay Rulers were the people’s resort to seek shelter and protection when they felt that their status as the indigenous race was undermined.
“This is an honour and confidence in the Rulers when the people are worried in the face of a crisis,” he said.
Raja Dr Nazrin wants the people to accept the reality that Malaysia had a plural society and efforts to forge unity and to erase any form of negative racial prejudice was an important agenda and a pre-requisite to the country’s political stability besides being a requirement to guarantee public peace.
“The Malaysian soil must practise fairness and equality that forbids discrimination and negative racist actions. The spirit of co-existence, loyalty and patriotism must be nurtured and practised to build a strong and united Malaysian race to jointly develop an independent and sovereign nation.
Raja Dr Nazrin also said he would ensure religious institutions under the purview of the Sultan of Perak such as mosques, suraus and religious education institutions functioned as tools of unity and would not allow them to be used as a “political platform” which could lead to disunity.
Raja Dr Nazrin said the Muslim community would lose out if they continued to bicker and squabble among themselves as Islam stressed on unity, peace, friendship and goodwill.
“Today’s Muslims are not a strong race, be they in the world or in this country. Muslims cannot be split into small factions because eventually they will become a weaker race.
“They should not be too obsessed with bickerings and squabbles. Muslims must be wise and have the wisdom to distinguish between precious stones and glass,” he said.
They can emerge into a strong race if they were forgiving, prepared to give and take, cooperate among themselves and be friendly which would lead to greater understanding and unity, he added.
He said a government given the powers to rule a state and the people was a big mandate from God.
“Fully aware of this mandate, the state government will discharge its duties and responsibilities in line with God’s wish, upholding the truth, refraining from sinful acts and being a caring state,” he said.
Nizar said the state government would improve the socio-economic status of the people, maintain political stability, sovereignty of the royal institution, customs and traditions and the religion.
“The state government under my leadership needs the guidance and wisdom from Paduka Seri Tuanku to ensure a progressive and trustworthy administration. God willing, the present government will not disappoint the aspirations of the Perak people who have made the changes,” he said.
“I will always support the institution of constitutional monarchy in this state which is part of history and system of governance in the Malay soil.
“I accept and is aware that the constitutional monarchy will remain relevant and play a major role at all times in line with the state constitution which states that the power of governance is the right of the sultan,” he added.
Nizar is among 773 recipients of state awards in conjunction with the sultan’s birthday. He has been conferred the Darjah Seri Paduka Mahkota Perak (SPMP) which carries the title of “Datuk Seri”.
Also receiving the award are Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Ong Ka Chuan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Annuar Zaini.