The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah, said today nobody should be left behind in the country’s journey to make Malaysia a mature democracy to join the rest of the community of nations already in the premier league of democracies.
Nobody should be left behind in this democratic process, including those who might disagree, he said.
“We must avoid the unhealthy practice made in some countries where, following an important victory, the winner takes all.
“Everyone under the Malaysian sun should be part of this journey, and we should be mindful to involve all of the nation’s stakeholders in this historic journey,” Sultan Nazrin Shah said in his keynote address at the Fifth World Conference on Islamic Thought and Civilisation (WCIT 2018) in Ipoh.
The three-day conference, on the theme of "Securing the Future", which began yesterday, is organised by Universiti Sultan Azlan Shah. It saw the participation of more than 20 notable local and international figures.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said Malaysia just witnessed the 14th general election where the citizens, the voters, brought about substantial, even unprecedented, political transformation through the ballot box.
“From this defining moment in our country’s relatively young history, I do hope that the citizens of Malaysia feel empowered to make their mark, and to influence their nation’s future,” he said.
Young people policy-makers of tomorrow
His Royal Highness said that there was much to be done to enable young people to become the drivers of change, to empower them to believe that the future really was theirs to influence and build.
“We often talk about young people being the leaders and policy-makers of tomorrow, but I suggest that we also need to do more to make young people feel actively consulted and engaged in decision-making today,” he said.
The sultan also noted that youth disempowerment, financial uncertainty, political turmoil and global warming were just some of the serious issues which must be addressed quickly if the world was to have a future at all.
“The future is our collective responsibility and, if we take up that responsibility now, the future will also, I believe, be our reward in this life and in the next,” he said.
Sultan Nazrin Shah said he believed that Islam had much to offer the world when it came to tackling some of the biggest challenges of the future for mankind, particularly in economic and environmental terms.
“Although I have opened on a serious note, I come here today with a message of hope and positivity, a call for action. I come here to tell you, to urge you to believe that the future is ours.
“The future is ours to safeguard and shape and ours, I hope, to enjoy. The future is ours. It is a short, seemingly simple assertion,” he said.