IPOH, Aug 21 — The COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a reminder for all leaders to take the responsibility to reset things that need to be prioritised in the governance of the country, said the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah.
He said the governance of the country needed to be based on the principle of justice and should be entrusted to those who are experts in their fields.
Sultan Nazrin said Muslim philosopher Ibnu Khaldun in his book ‘Muqaddimah’ (introduction) which he wrote 800 years ago had given the reminder that civilisation would fall when the government fails to carry out justice.
“Ibnu Khaldun associated disaster with social change over five phases. The first phase is when a race, based on the spirit of asabiyah (solidarity), moves to form a political identity while the second phase is the beginning of the expansion of power.
“The third phase is when a kingdom goes through an era of luxury and pleasure as a result of the previous rule while the fourth phase is the phase of negligence and complacency with achievements, and the fifth phase is the fall and destruction of political identity and government.
“Ibnu Khaldun has reminded us that the five phases will be repeated and each civilisation and political identity will face it in the cycle of history,” he said in his Royal Address at Universiti Sultan Azlan Shah (USAS) 13th Convocation Ceremony which was held virtually today.
The Royal Address was delivered by USAS pro-chancellor Tan Sri Dr Mohd Zahidi Zainuddin.
Sultan Nazrin said Ibnu Khaldun also reminded mankind to search into their hearts and minds when facing a disaster, so as to realise the possibility of the fall of a political identity, government, country and civilisation if a country is not well-prepared and strong.
His Royal Highness said that until they succeeded in finding an effective cure for the COVID-19 pandemic, mankind must use their minds to make changes, adjustments and migrations from the norms of life before by having a wise world view.
“Besides the diligent efforts in finding the formula to address the pandemic, human beings must strengthen their faith, accept a disaster as a divine destiny, and strive to find the meaning behind the disaster,” said Sultan Nazrin.
Meanwhile, Sultan Nazrin, who is also USAS Chancellor, said the convocation ceremony which was supposed to be held at the end of last year, had to be postponed in the hope that the COVID-19 outbreak would come under control and the infection rate would decline.
“However, the COVID-19 virus continued to spread aggressively, resulting in the number of infections and fatalities increasing further. Therefore, I consented to the university’s proposal for the convocation ceremony to be held virtually,” he said.
A total of 1,292 graduates were celebrated in the ceremony, which saw two received Doctor of Philosophy degrees, Master’s degree (59), Bachelor’s degree (288) and diploma (923).