Do Not Neglect Laws, Says Sultan Azlan Shah

(Bernama) – KUALA LUMPUR: Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak said on Monday the nation would be pushed to a precarious situation if the laws and law enforcers were neglected and the people began to act by giving vent to their emotions, sentiments and desires.

He said it would also come to the same if the people only accepted and respected the laws which favoured them or their groups and rejected decisions which went against them.

Unless this situation was checked effectively and firmly, the culture of civil society would deteriorate into one which practised the law of the jungle, with the weak becoming fodder for the mighty, he said at the Universiti Malaya (UM) convocation, here.

Sultan Azlan Shah, who is UM chancellor, called on everyone to safeguard the laws as an instrument of arbitration and not turn them into an instrument of politics or politicise them.

He said the criteria to be considered for the formulation, abolition or amendment of laws should be based on the interests of the nation, security and the people.

"The rule of law is a common terminology, easy to utter and nice to hear.

Nevertheless, the same terminology is difficult to define, difficult to implement and most difficult to understand in its real sense.

"Sometimes, the terminology is given a definition which contains emotive elements to adapt it to the needs of certain quarters and is not a definition which is just, true, accurate and bold based on the principles of the law.

"As such, there occur practices which deviate from the spirit of fair and just administration; to the extent of giving rise to abuse of power, irregularities, corruption and exploitation," he said.

On the part of the people, the sultan said, there occurred not only action disrespectful of the law but also provocative challenge of the law with the intention of igniting chaos through disorder to deny effective functioning of the legitimate government.

Sultan Azlan Shah said he hoped that students of UM as well as other institutions of higher learning in the country would be able to gauge prudently the developments taking place in the country now.

The people should be wise enough to evaluate the events sparked off in an expressed manner with implied intentions.

"Wise citizens have to look at the issues raised and the political events with consistency of voice and struggle so that the nation remains peaceful and prosperous, and does not fall into prolonged chaos so as to become less productive. In the end, it is the people themselves who will suffer," he said.

Referring to the 1Malaysia concept, the sultan reiterated that the Malaysian nation, in order to be strong, dynamic and enduring, should be united under one flag – the Malaysian flag; one head of state – the Yang di-Pertuan Agong; one language – Bahasa Malaysia; one anthem – the Negaraku; one culture – a culture based on the Malay culture; under one symbol – "Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu (Unity is Strength).

The ideology of a nation, he said, depended on the wise, efficient, sincere and transparent administrative practices founded on the country's laws and the Federal Constition.

"The constitution of a country is not merely a collection of words good to read or nice to hear. It is the primary support for the reference and guidance of all quarters who harbour the desire to build a peaceful, principled, stable and calm nation," he said.

The convocation, held at the Dewan Tunku Canselor, also saw the conferment of a honorary doctorate on former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, as well as the royal scholar award on Lim Chee Wei and Fatiha Senom for academic excellence.

A total of 6,863 students were presented doctorates and masters and bachelor's degrees as well as diplomas in various disciplines at the 48th convocation of the university.