‘That freedom of speech is not a key to defamation, vulgarity, personal attacks, threats, verbal terrorism, pitting one against the other, which threatens public order!’
KEEPING THEM HONEST SERIES – OUR BELOVED KING’S TIMELY ADDRESS TO ALL MALAYSIANS!
I was delighted after recent shocks, shivers and sadness, in the manner hate speeches, and racial and religious undertones were being spiked by politicians, conduits, mercenary bloggers and cyber-troopers recent weeks, our beloved King waded in on this pertinent issue.
It seriously undermines the very foundation and fabric of our nation’s sovereignty and place in the global community and as a member of the United Nations!
This must have also troubled our beloved King who always had his finger on the nation’s pulse!
Resulting in his Royal Address to the Dewan Rakyat when officiating the first meeting of the second session of the 14th Parliament this morning!
It was truly a vintage address which all peaceful, law abiding Malaysians would have welcomed!
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah strategically addressed three components in his address namely:
1. The need for genuine racial ties instead of mere slogans,
2. That the spirit and effort for unity must be genuinely cultivated with sincerity and appreciation, and thirdly,
3. The importance of upholding the Federal Constitution and to act against attempts to undermine unity and harmony in the country.
Our beloved King was right on cue!
All of the above three fundamentals that are critical and upheld by our founding fathers were indeed the foundation to position Malaysia, where she is today!
Our beloved King’s address was the perfect antidote to address recent attempts by not just local politicians with their hate speeches, but also, foreigners who have arrived here either on social, educational, employment visas or permanent residency, some from failed states and states in racial and religious conflicts but allegedly conduits sowing seeds of discord among religious and peace loving and laws abiding Malaysians!
I am certainly uplifted and delighted, as an attorney, that Sultan Abdullah also stressed the importance of upholding the Federal Constitution and to act against attempts to undermine unity and harmony.
The monarch was absolutely right when he stated that the position of Islam as the religion of the federation should be appreciated by all, regardless of race and religion.
That Islam is not exclusive to any particular group.
That it is a universal way of life that brings blessings to all.
I am certain as our King has stated all peace-loving, law abiding Malaysians will endorse and welcome our federal government’s efforts to promote the values and culture of Islam through the concept of ‘Rahmatan Lil Alamin’ (blessings for all) and ‘Maqasid Syariah’ (higher objectives of syariah) based on true Islam that is translated through the distinguished actions and character of Malaysians!
Our King did not stop there, but, strategically reminded all in strengthening Islam in Malaysia, other religions must also be respected.
Sadly, in recent years, due to the unregulated mushrooming of racist and extremist theological incubators, hate speeches and unregulated comments columns in the social media, there is a tsunami of animosity, hatred, rejection of unity in diversity narrative and moderation, we have all being spooked and in fear!
But with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong reminding social media users to act within the confines of the law, a warning is being also issued to those owners of these social media forums that they have a responsibility to regulate the comments columns!
Our King reminds us that openness and freedom of speech must be practiced within the constraints of the law of societal norms.
That freedom of speech is not a key to defamation, vulgarity, personal attacks, threats, verbal terrorism, pitting one against the other, which threatens public order!
I am glad HRH Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah reminded our security apparatus too namely enforcement agencies that they must act sternly against any circulation of material on social media that breaches the law!
Though the focus of the King’s address may have being unity and security issues, the former also took great pains to not just advice our politicos to address challenges faced by Malaysia’s bottom 40 percent (B40) income earners but also reminding the latter needs to be realistic, that intervention and change, need time to bring to fruition and the need to be patient and supportive in working holistically with the government, that the people should trust the government’s various efforts, even though its impact may not be felt immediately.
I pray that our King’s address is reflected by all of us and we play our rightful role in upholding the Federal Constitution and to act against any attempts to undermine unity and harmony in the country!
May the ALMIGHTY bless and protect our King!