KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today expressed the need for the government to emphasise the aspect of physical security through disaster risk management for the survival of the people.
His Majesty said a more systematic and strategic approach should be immediately implemented by the government to address the effects of natural disasters, especially the floods that occur every year.
Al-Sultan Abdullah said the landslide in Batang Kali, Selangor, which occurred on December 16 last year should be a lesson to prevent a similar incident.
“Therefore, the time has come to ensure the effectiveness of the disaster management mechanism through efficient work coordination,” said His Majesty in a royal address when opening the Second Session of the 15th Parliament here today.
In the Batang Kali landslide, a total of 92 victims were involved, with 61 of them surviving the ordeal, while 31 others were killed.
In the royal address, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong also touched on the aspects of security and public order, saying that the dynamicity of security challenges and threats required the country’s preparedness to face them, including in aspects of maintenance and procurement of new equipment and assets.
Old methods that do not benefit or weaken the country’s defence need to be stopped immediately, said His Majesty.
Al-Sultan Abdullah said issues concerning illegal immigrants and refugees, including asylum seekers, should be dealt with firmly by the government.
“Apart from that, the increasing trend of cybercrime is also becoming more worrying. For that, law enforcement requires efficient and effective governance and coordination.
“Continuous and integrated efforts must be intensified to ensure that the country is protected from any form of threat so that Malaysia remains peaceful, prosperous and sovereign,” said His Majesty.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong said Malaysia needed to continue to strengthen cooperation and defence diplomacy with regional and global countries to preserve the interests and level of national security.
Earlier in the royal address, His Majesty expressed his condolences to the president and the people of Turkiye and Syria over the recent earthquake that had claimed thousands of lives.
“Indeed, Malaysia is deeply saddened by the tragedy,” Al-Sultan Abdullah said, and requested members of the House to stand and observe a moment of silence, while the Muslims, recite the Al-Fatihah, for the victims in both countries.
A large earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit southern Turkiye and northwestern Syria last Monday (February 6), claiming more than 30,000 lives so far. The aftershocks were also felt in Cyprus and Lebanon.
Last Tuesday, Turkiye declared a three-month state of emergency in 10 provinces, namely Adana, Adiyaman, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaras, Kilis, Malatya, Osmaniye and Sanliurfa to ensure the search and rescue (SAR) missions run smoothly.