ALOR STAR, Jan 19 2013
The Sultan of Kedah, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, on Sunday advised the people of all communities to respect the exclusive rights of Muslims to help maintain the long-established stability and harmony.
He said unity had been nurtured through a mature process and had become a force for the stability and harmony enjoyed by the people.
"As such, I urge that religious issues and racial sensitivities which have the potential to be a threat (to unity) be avoided besides adhering to the Federal Constitution and the State Constitution.
"In the context of a pluralistic society, religious sensitivities especially related to Islam as the religion of the federation should be respected," he said in his speech at the investiture in conjunction with his 86th birthday.
The text of the sultan's speech was read out by the chairman of the Kedah Council of Regency, Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Sultan Badlishah, at the investiture held at the Istana Anak Bukit, here.
The sultan said the use of the word 'Allah', which was an exclusive right of Muslims, should be respected and there should be a prohibition on its use by people of other religions.
"Confusion and controversy can be averted if there is adherence to the provisions of the law and judicial decisions," he said.
Sultan Abdul Halim advised Muslims to reject beliefs other than that of Sunnah Wal-Jamaah, for example the Syiah ideology, so as to safeguard their interests.
He said that in the context of Kedah, he was proud of the administrative efficiency of the state government in implementing concrete and conducive policies for physical and spiritual development.
He expressed confidence that the comprehensive approach to development planning incorporating various initiatives based on sustainable development would be able to transform Kedah into a prosperous, progressive and high-income state by 2020.
"It is my hope and desire to see Kedah boast excellence in education and economic prosperity and serve as a destination for investment in high-technology industries.
"The government's important move to commercialise agriculture in an effort to make Kedah the rice bowl of the nation is praiseworthy," he said.
Tuanku Abdul Halim also praised the efforts to develop the tourism sector based on culture, heritage and history of the oldest civilisation in the archipelago, eco-tourism based on Islam as well as health tourism.
Tunku Annuar, who himself spoke before delivering the sultan's speech, urged the people of Kedah to take heed from the upheavals occurring in countries in the region.
"I wish to request that we should not become religious, racial and political fanatics to the extent of losing our sanity and sparking disasters from which it may be difficult to recover," he said.
At the investiture, 114 people were bestowed awards and medals. Also present at the investiture were the Raja Muda of Kedah, members of the Kedah Council of Regency, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir and state dignitaries.
- BERNAMA news -