Dec 10, 2006

Abdullah And Dr M Exemplary, Visionary Leaders, Says Agong

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 (Bernama) -- Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail has described Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as exemplary leaders with excellent personality and capabilities.

He said they have proven their commendable qualities through their leadership excellence.

"They are intelligent, have vision, dedicated and committed to efforts to transform Malaysia into a developed and respected nation on our own mould.

"I feel honoured and fortunate to have the opportunity to serve as the King during their administration.

"The valuable experience gained during Dr Mahathir's era and now in Abdullah's administration made me realise how fortunate and blessed this country and the people are," he said when speaking at the national farewell banquet hosted in his honour at a leading hotel here tonight.

Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin's five-year reign as the 12th Yang di-Pertuan Agong ends on Monday. Present was Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Fauziah Tengku Abdul Rashid.

Abdullah, his deputy, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Dr Mahathir, his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, cabinet ministers, menteris besar, chief ministers, high commissioners, ambassadors and senior government officials were also present.

The King said he was happy to be provided with the economic and development reports every year which showed good progress besides receiving weekly briefings and discussions on government administration matters with the prime minister before he chaired the weekly cabinet meeting.

"I am also happy to be updated on Government's planning on development programmes for the nation like the Ninth Malaysia Plan, which is one of the three national development plans for the next 15 years," he said.

Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin said the Government's strong emphasis on human capital development was to turn Malaysians into capable and competitive manpower not only rich in knowledge and competent in skills but also have high personal ethics, moral values and physically healthy and fit.

"There is no country in the world which can taste development and attain success by merely relying on Government initiatives and administration without the people's support and playing their roles effectively.

"Therefore, be a human being with noble values as exhorted by Islam -- people of knowledge and noble values, realise and honour the duties to the nation as responsible citizens," he said.

On the institution of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, His Majesty said the dignity and honour of the institution must be constantly enhanced as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong was not only the pillar and symbol of sovereignty of Malaysia's constitutional monarchy institution but also the Head of State and symbol of the people's loyalty to the law and constitution.

He said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's role was more than merely a ceremonial figure but to serve and contribute to the nation by initiating efforts and giving ideas directly or indirectly.

"This is to forge and nurture unity among the people, support government programmes towards the nation's prosperity, people's well-being and to promote Islamic tenets in the country.

The monarch also urged leaders and the people to continue to forge and preserve the prevailing unity and goodwill in the country.

He acknowledged that it was not easy for a multiracial population to co-exist peacefully in a country but Malaysians have proven it to be possible.

"We have proven to the world that our diversity is not a problem but a strength and our uniqueness," he said.

He said every Malaysian had a big role to play in ensuring all plans and ambitions were realised.

"We are the deciders of the nation's destiny as Malaysia is our right, symbol of dignity and sovereignty.

"Let us join hands and remain united to play our roles sincerely and with dedication for our beloved and blessed nation," he added.

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