Agong tells all to stop provocation


Anisah Shukry and Leven Woon, FMT

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong today endorsed the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) as part of the government’s initiative to establish harmony in the country, and warned all quarters to stop provoking one another.

“In preserving the country’s harmony and seeking a common ground on various religious and ethnic matters, the government has established the National Unity Consultative Council.

“We call on all parties to refrain from making any statement or action that might be deemed provocative or sensitive. Be mindful that when unity disintegrates, the country will head towards destruction,” Tuanku Alhaj Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah said in his royal address to the first meeting of the second 13th Parliament session.

The Agong’s speech comes in the wake of the formation of the National Unity Front (NUF) to counter the NUCC by several Malay right-wing non-governmental organisations (NGO).

The Malay NGOs, which include Perkasa and Isma, had rejected the NUCC wholesale on the grounds that issues the council fought for were allegedly offensive to Malays.

Instead, NUF seeks to establish “Malay benevolant dominance”, believing that is the answer to maintaining unity and harmony in Malaysia.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong added: “…we should reinforce unity by cultivating mutual respect and moderation in life.”

His Majesty said stern action should be taken against irresponsible parties seeking to propagate thinking and action that would undermine the supremacy of the country’s constitution.

“All parties should realise that solidarity is essential, and should therefore return to the basic tenets on which this nation was founded by our past leaders.”

Meanwhile, the Agong added that any threat to the Muslims’ faith, such as “pluralism and deviant teachings” should be dealt with by the religious authorities in line with the Sunaah Wal Jamaah sect.

‘Educate public on GST’

The Agong also endorsed the controversial Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is to be implemented next year, as a measure to strengthen the country’s economy.

Opposition MP’s and Pakatan Rakyat-friendly activists have often criticised the GST for allegedly being an unnecessary burden on the people.

But the King today urged MP’s to educate the public on the benefits of the GST, in an apparent bid to silence their opposition towards the tax.

“Our government will further consolidate its financial position and ensure fiscal sustainability in the long run, among others by broadening the tax base and improving tax administration. This includes the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) which will be implemented in April 2015.

“We urge the government and honourable members to work together in helping the people to understand the implementation and benefits of the GST, which is not an additional form of tax, but a replacement of the existing Sales Tax and Service Tax.”

His Majesty urged everyone to “be realistic and be prepared” in facing the increasingly challenging global economy.

‘Corruption: More needs to be done’

The Agong was full of praise for the government’s initiatives to lower the cost of living, combat security threats, and strengthen the nation’s economy.

He assured that Malaysians’ interests will remain the utmost priority and will not be compromised when the government signs various trade and investment agreements, in an apparent reference to the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

The King reminded the public that it was essential for Malaysia to be at the forefront of global competitive markets “by providing a conducive investment climate.”

“As a trading nation, it is vital that the government ventures into new markets for its products and services. In this regard, Malaysia has signed various trade and investment agreements at the international level,” he said.