KUALA KANGSAR, April 19, 2008 (Bernama)
The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, Saturday urged leaders to initiate efforts to step up productivity and competitiveness, practise thrift, avoid wastage and optimise the use of resources at a time when the world is likely to face economic problems. He said petroleum prices were predicted to continue rising, and the costs of production, foodstuff and essential goods would go up in tandem.
"A high rate of inflation will reduce consumers' purchasing power. An economic contraction may take place. The world may feel the brunt of a vicious cycle which may result in difficulties," he said in his address in conjunction with his 80th birthday and investiture at the Istana Iskandariah, here. At the ceremony, held at the Balairong Seri (Throne Room), the sultan presented awards and medals to 46 people who were conferred the honours. Bernama TV provided live coverage of the ceremony, carried over the Astro 502 channel.
Sultan Azlan Shah said the state government should continue with development policies which can generate economic growth, as provided for in the Ninth Malaysia Plan and the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) programme.
He said the new state government must continue with more intensive development efforts and administer the state with fairness, with the people accorded just treatment regardless of race, religion, gender and political ideology.
He said the interests of the state and people should override party politics.
"The political campaigns have ended. Now is the time to work. There is a vast difference between campaigning and working. All the promises must be fulfilled. All the pledges must be executed.
"All thoughts, energy and resources must be focused on developing the state, particularly in improving infrastructure, drawing investment, bridging the income gap, providing housing for the low-income group, eradicating poverty, developing human capital and creating jobs," he said.
Sultan Azlan Shah also said that the institution of the monarchy should exercise prudence in interpreting the essence of the concepts of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, and these should not be turned into instruments to legitimise the means if the matter advised is altogether contrary to the law and violates the principles of the constitution.
He said that though the Ruler acts on the advice of the head of government, the Ruler should not give his consent if the advice so given does not reflect justice.
In accordance with the spirit of the constitutional monarchy, a Ruler has the role to convey advice and opinion, offer encouragement and give reminders or make criticisms, he said.
"A Ruler must rightly use prudence and wisdom in giving his consent, particularly in matters related to the interests of the state and people," he said.