SHAH ALAM, 10 March 2009: Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah of Selangor today urged all parties especially his subjects not to misinterpret the state and Federal constitutions for the benefit of certain groups.
Everyone should fully respect the laws of the state and country and adhere to all the provisions, he said when opening the First Sitting of the Second Term of the 12th Selangor state legislative assembly here.
“We need to uplift the status of the Federal Constitution, the Selangor constitution and the country’s laws to a higher level above all personal and political interests,” he said.
He said that through his observation and reading, he found that off late there were many incidents involving disputes triggered by a group of society and street demonstrations which had adversely affected peace, harmony as well as racial unity in the country.
“Hence I would like to call upon all quarters to end all actions which can tarnish the country’s image and focus on promoting unity among all races,” he said.
Sultan Sharafuddin said that to improve governance in the state, views of the people should be considered because what was the use of launching the “Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor” campaign if people’s views were not given due attention.
“Therefore, more public discussions should be held for each decision and major state development,” he said.
The Sultan said decisions made by members of the state legislative assembly should be disseminated to the people in a transparent manner so that the people could understand the rationale behind them.
He said that in a developed and civilised state such as Selangor, the actions of elected representatives would always draw public attention.
Hence, he said, elected reps should adopt noble values and act appropriately so that they would become an example to the public and reflect the state’s civilisation and development.
Sultan Sharafuddin also said he was confident that the state government would as soon as possible implement the Declaration of Assets of all State Executive Councillors to put Selangor in the forefront of good governance.
“The asset declaration should be accessible to the public online,” he said.
In view of the uncertain global economic situation, he said, the state government should pay more attention to ensuring a stable economic performance and enhancing the people’s quality of life.
He said he was a bit concerned about the economy but “I remain satisfied with the economic performance of Selangor as a developed state which has shown a moderate overall growth…consistent with the country’s economic growth.”
On the water industry restructuring in Selangor, he said the price offered by the state government to the water concessionaires was reasonable and suitable to facilitate the negotiation which had yet to be completed as of now.
“Hence I would like to remind all that the water problem should be solved urgently for the good of the people. I do not want to see my subjects experiencing water shortages due to the delay in solving the problem,” Sultan Sharafuddin said.
He said the municipal transport system which was a major problem should be improved through cooperation between the state and federal governments.
“I want we reduce the public-private transport ratio from 10:90 now to 50:50 by enhancing the usage of public transport,” he said.
One of the methods that could be considered was by introducing a “One-Hour Transport Module” whereby it would take one hour to reach a destination in a state using a combination of bus, rail and taxi networks, he said.
On the Orang Asli, he said, the time had come for their basic rights to be returned by solving long-existing land problems.
“I would like to stress the need to recognise and protect Orang Asli lands which were seized from them over the past several years. We must speed up the process to identify and gazette their lands. They must be given the lands they are entitled to and they are supposed to own,” said Sultan Sharafuddin.
He also said: “I feel it is extremely unfortunate that the racial issue has been politicised in Malaysia. I would like to stress the need for all Selangor people to change their paradigm in this respect.
“It would be better if the people in Selangor emphasised on similarities between them instead of quarrelling on their differences. At the same time, policies which benefit all Selangor people, and which do not neglect any parties, should be implemented,” he said. — Bernama