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Malaysia's new King warns against disunity

Playing with fire will burn not only oneself but also the whole village, says King Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin

ucanews.com reporter, Kuala Lumpur

ucanews.com reporter, Kuala Lumpur

Published: July 30, 2019 08:35 AM GMT
Malaysia's new King warns against disunity

A man in a Kuala Lumpur shop watches a live television broadcast of the royal coronation of Malaysia's new King Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin on July 30. (Photo by Mohd Rasfan/AFP)

The Council of Churches of Malaysia congratulated and welcomed the Muslim-majority country's new King Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin on his elevation to the throne on July 30 with a call for peace and harmony in the multi-cultural nation.

"The churches will uphold their Majesties’ wellbeing in their prayers and hope that they will continue to care and unite the people from the various races and religions so that everyone can live in peace and prosperity in our beloved country," Herman Shastri, the secretary general of the council said in a statement.

Titled Yang di-Pertuan Agong locally, the new king, the 16th in the nation's history, will reign for five years. As king, he is also the head of Islamic affairs in the country.

The Southeast Asian nation is a constitutional monarchy which has a unique system of alternating the throne among rulers of the country's nine states headed by Islamic royalty.

During his installation ceremony, which was televised nationally and attended by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and hundreds of guests decked out in Islamic finery, Sultan Abdullah stressed that unity and harmony are the pillars and strength of the nation.

“Playing with fire will burn not only oneself but also the whole village,” Sultan Abdullah said at his installation at Istana Negara, the national palace, in Kuala Lumpur.

He also stressed that the royal institution is not a mere symbol but an integral part of Malaysia which is a parliamentary democracy.

“It is the basis of unity, of bringing the people together and of sparking the spirit of patriotism. It is a spirit that, if inherited and cherished by every single citizen, can bring forth a sense of love and loyalty to the country,” the king said.

He pledged to do his best to promote unity and tolerance among the people of all races and religions.

“I will put the people first; respect the old and honor the young. I will express all this with great humility,” he said, welcoming the government's effort to strengthen unity through the establishment of the Consultative Council for People's Harmony.

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After attending school in Malaysia in his early years, Sultan Abdullah went on to study in Britain, where he attended the Sandhurst military academy, according to a biography published by Bernama, the national news agency.

The new king's predecessor, Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan state, abdicated on Jan. 6 after just two years on the throne. Reports then surfaced he had married a Russian model, a match that has recently ended in divorce.

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