KLANG - Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has advised those entrusted with responsibility to never abuse their power for personal gain.
"I would like to remind that when graft happens in a government or private administration, a sports organisation or even a religious institution, security and development will be destroyed," the Sultan of Selangor said yesterday in his royal address at Istana Alam Shah in conjunction with his 70th birthday celebrations.
Seventy-five people were conferred with awards by the Ruler.
Sultan Sharafuddin said Selangor's development and progress would be stunted if those entrusted with responsibility, be they from the Government or private sector, abused their power to enrich themselves or their supporters and family members.
He said if graft was prevalent in the state, Selangor's economy would decline as foreign investors would shy away.
"If graft is not curtailed, the people will become dissatisfied as the economy declines and poverty emerges resulting in political instability," he cautioned, adding that graft would also result in resources being misused leading to losses.
The Ruler also called on Selangorians to know, understand and respect each other's race, religion and cultural practices.
"Don't ever touch on or question the religion of others. If my subjects respect other religions, they will live in harmony, unity and enjoy peace and prosperity," he said.
Earlier, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali in his pledge of allegiance speech, said he understood the hardships faced by the people.
He assured the Ruler that the principles of responsibility and social justice would be upheld by his administration.
Azmin said Selangor enjoyed political stability despite a change in its administration as it took place peacefully.
He lambasted those who showed disrespect to the monarchy by saying that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong and Malay Rulers were merely figureheads for Islam and rubber stamps for legislation passed by Parliament and the state legislative assemblies.
"They say that in a democracy, only leaders who win votes are the ones with the power to craft the future of the people and nation.
"This opinion is false. The Malay Rulers have a dynamic and active role to protect the Constitution and the people," he added.
Speaking to reporters later, Azmin said the Sultan's anti-graft reminder was an important piece of advice to him and his administration.
"Graft can shatter nations and states and it is an important reminder for us to do our best for the people and state," he added.