KUANTAN: Action should be taken against those hurling insults at the monarchy, said the Regent of Pahang Tengku Hassanal Ibrahim Alam Shah Al-Sultan Abdullah.
This, he said, was because such behaviour should never occur in a country that practises the constitutional monarchy system where the King occupies the highest rank, especially in Islamic affairs.
“Such insults should not be seen lightly... action must be taken according to the laws to ensure that the monarchy is respected by all quarters. I, too, feel the effects of insults towards the royal institution,” he said when opening the 14th state legislative assembly sitting at Wisma Sri Pahang.
Tengku Hassanal said even though Islam is the religion of the Federation, other religions may be practised in peace and harmony.
He said freedom of religion was enshrined in the Constitution whereby each individual has the right to profess and practise his religion, and each religion has the right to manage its own religious affairs.
“However, lately I noticed that Islam is being challenged by certain irresponsible quarters. I hope political differences will not become a obstacle in upholding the sanctity of Islam.
“This is important to ensure that Islam is not taken for granted so much so that the sensitivities of the religion are no longer cared about by certain quarters, resulting in chaos among the ummah,” he said
Tengku Hassanal said, of late, he noticed that various negative elements were spreading among Muslims, including liberal Islam and the acceptance of groups like the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) groups.
“This development is worrying me and as the state’s head of Islam, and I urge all quarters, including parents, to prevent matters from getting out of hand,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tengku Hassanal also urged the state government to diversify their sources of revenue and not only rely on income from forest and mineral resources.
“I hope those concerned, along with the cooperation from the state government, will be able to find new sources of revenue and not only solely rely on mineral and natural resources. It is an important move to further develop and boost the state’s economy.
“While we try to increase revenues, I hope the forests in Pahang will not be cleared and turned into logging sites... they should be able to generate income by practising proper environmental conservation efforts which are holistic and help strengthen the eco-tourism sector,” he said.
Tengku Hassanal said integrity has to be the fundamental value upheld by those involved in administering the state, adding that the state government should also place priority on interacting with the people to get their views before making any decision.
He praised the state government for its strategic approach to collecting income taxes, which saw the collection of RM120 million in the first quarter of this year, compared to RM101 million in the corresponding period last year.
“I was also informed of the aggressive approach adopted (by the state government) to increase efficiency in collecting income taxes. The increase in revenues will ensure planning can be done effectively for the benefit of the people here.
“Congratulations to the state government for setting up the ‘Pahang Go’ application which will serve as a one-stop centre for digital and online services, including parking systems, e-payment applications, utility charges and an online e-aduan system,” he said.
Tengku Hassanal also expressed his gratitude to the federal government for announcing that 50 per cent of the revenue from last year’s tourism tax would be distributed to state governments.