KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia must aim to maintain the values that have brought post-independence prosperity to all its communities despite the challenges it faced, says the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah.

Speaking at the book launch of The Malays: Pathfinders and Trailblazers at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur, he said Malaysia must champion and remain an exemplar of multiculturalism.

“Globally, we are facing three severe and overlapping crises: the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and a growing food crisis. These combined challenges are forcing countries to rethink globalisation.”

Sultan Nazrin said the pandemic had greatly reduced contact between nations, companies and people, global supply chains had faltered, global economic growth was contracting, and energy and food prices were soaring.

“But as this book informs us, for many centuries, the lands of the Malay archipelago have been open to flows of trade, capital, labour and ideas, and it is this very openness to foreign influences that have shaped who we are and helped to make us successful,” said Sultan Nazrin.

The book was written by former Perak mentri besar Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib. According to the author, one of the book’s aims was to instil in Malays a greater sense of pride in their own epoch-making history and to rebalance their understanding, Sultan Nazrin said.

“The book achieves these goals admirably, and I want to commend the author on this substantial and vital work.

“By reading it, we cannot fail to become far better informed about our own shared culture and history as inhabitants of this archipelago,” he added.

Sultan Nazrin said the book shared thoughts on matters that could help Malays visit their history.

His Highness said codified knowledge that was published could be widely circulated and become a valuable source of reference for historical materials to benefit future generations.

Sultan Nazrin also said there was a treasure trove of tacit knowledge of the race that, if left unrecorded, would disappear with the passing of the knowledge owners.

His Highness said since he was installed as the Raja Muda of Perak on April 15, 1987, and subsequently as the Regent of Perak, the author of the book, who was then the Perak mentri besar, had offered him plenty of advice regarding governance of the state.

“Until today, in his capacity as the Orang Kaya Kaya Seri Agar Diraja and also a member of the Dewan Negara Perak (Perak Royal Council), he has continued to play his role in offering advice to ensure the sanctity and sovereignty of the throne is preserved.

“His experience, thoughts and interpretations can now benefit a wider audience through the publication of this piece of work,” Sultan Nazrin said. — Bernama