Updated 3.48pm, 11 June 2009
IPOH, 11 June 2009: The sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, said today any move which questions the interests of Malay Malaysians and bumiputera in terms of scholarships and places of study not only violates the fundamental provisions in the federal and state constitutions, but also questions the sovereignty of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Malay rulers.
Sultan Azlan Shah He said Clause 2 of Article 153 of the Federal Constitution provided the Yang di-Pertuan Agong with specific powers to safeguard the interests of Malay Malaysians as well as the bumiputera in Sabah and Sarawak in terms of scholarships and places of study.
He also said Article 27 (b) (2) of the Perak State Constitution provided a similar responsibility to the sultan of Perak.
“These matters enshrined in the Federal Constitution and the state constitution are agreements achieved collectively in the spirit of give and take, and the spirit of understanding and respect among the leaders representing the interests of the various races at the time of negotiating the nation’s independence.
“The agreements were achieved among the leaders of the various races, the British government and also the Malay rulers,” he said when opening a Discourse on Knowledge at the Perak Islamic Administration Institute, here.
Also present was the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah.
Sultan Azlan Shah said the leaders of the country had the responsibility to respect the fundamentals that form the pillar of sovereignty of an independent nation, as well as the fundamentals that form the root of harmonious racial relations, which which were agreed upon when the nation was formulating the Merdeka constitution.
He said a deviation from the original spirit would surely raise anxiety and drag the nation into a situation of uncertainty.
“At the same time, the fundamentals of the agreement should not at all be abused at the implementation stage so as to make any race feel that it has been oppressed.
“In accordance with the role of the throne as the source of justice, it is also the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the rulers in every state to ensure that the legitimate interests of the other races are also safeguarded,” he said.
The sultan said practices that deviated from the principles of justice should not be allowed to take place because every legitimate citizen should be accorded appropriate justice.
In his speech, Sultan Azlan Shah said people are able to think rationally if knowledge lies at the basis of consideration, and if matters are interpreted objectively based on facts.
“Knowledge becomes valuable if [it] can be practised in daily life. The real test of the mastery of knowledge is at the stage of application,” he said.
The sultan said a knowledgeable person would display qualities of good behaviour and morality.
“Fifty years ago, when the country was still short of intellectuals and professionals, good behaviour and morality were a part of the culture of society in the country; they were components emphasised in the process of education and delivery of knowledge, and were important elements to bring about stability,” he said.
He added that the country today has a much bigger number of intellectuals and professionals, but there are indications of a drop in the qualities of good behaviour and morality, the fifth principle of the Rukun Negara .
It seems that priority is no longer given to good behaviour and morality, although knowledge institutions have sprouted in abundance, the sultan said.
“This seems to indicate that there is a gap between the growth of knowledge institutions and the appreciation of knowledge in practice in daily life, or there is a possibility of an imbalance between the delivery approach and the dissemination of knowledge which overemphasises the respective disciplines of study, so much so that the components of good behaviour and morality are
neglected,” he said.
The sultan said knowledge mastered without a strong basis of good behaviour and morality could cause the downfall or destruction of the civilisation and social values of the local community.
“Hopefully, the components of good behaviour and morality are given importance and interlaced with wisdom by every individual and institution involved in knowledge activities,” he said. — Bernama