Agong representing Malaysia at international dialogues will raise nation’s profile, stature, says senior lawyer

Senior lawyer Datuk Seri Dr Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos fully supports the idea of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong representing Malaysia at international dialogues.

He said by doing so, Malaysia can showcase its unique perspective, and the Agong can lend his voice to important conversations.

Jahaberdeen was responding to a suggestion by outgoing Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, who said perhaps it was time to consider allowing the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to represent Malaysia at international dialogues.

The move, Al-Sultan Abdullah said, would help elevate the stature of the Agong to be more respected. Al-Sultan Abdullah, however, added that the suggestion was open for debate.

“There is nothing in the Constitution to stop the Agong from attending meetings between heads of state at events such as Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summits,” said Jahaberdeen.

Last December, Al-Sultan Abdullah attended the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Dubai. He delivered his speech during the official launch of the Malaysia Pavilion at COP 28.

Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah had also delivered a speech at the invitation of the First Lady of Turkiye, Emine Erdogan, at the ‘Climate Talks for a Green Future’ event at the Turkish Pavilion during the event.

Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah ended their reign as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the Raja Permaisuri Agong, today.

Jahaberdeen was certain that Malaysia’s 17th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar, who will ascend the throne tomorrow, would also attend such meetings.

“I am sure our incoming Agong, who is well-versed in many topics, would gladly attend such meetings, if asked.

“I believe having the Agong attend such meetings will help raise Malaysia’s profile.”

Jahaberdeen said the Johor ruler could help raise the bar further following Al-Sultan Abdullah’s tenure at Istana Negara.

During his reign as the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Pahang Sultan faced a number of challenges, including a protracted political imbroglio, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There were four prime ministers during Al-Sultan Abdullah’s reign, and this is something no one wants repeated. But the way Al-Sultan Abdullah handled the challenges made many view the royals in a more positive light,” added Jahaberdeen.


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