KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 11 (Bernama) -- The Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah said laws should be upheld as a means for arbitration and must not be politicised.
"It will be dangerous for the country if the laws and enforcement of the laws are compromised as people would take the laws into their own hands based on emotions, sentiments and passion.
"Or when a law is only accepted and respected if it gives advantage to oneself or one's group, but it's rejected if the decision favours the opposing side," he said in his speech at the third session of Universiti Malaya's (UM) 2009 convocation ceremony, here, Tuesday.
Raja Nazrin Shah said laws that were influenced by political considerations if not firmly and effectively controlled, would destroy the existing system of nationhood and taken over by the "law of the jungle" system that would allow the weak to be the prey of the mighty.
"Sometimes the sovereignty of the law is defined based on emotions to suit the needs of a certain group, and is therefore not a fair, truthful, accurate and brave definition guided by legal principles.
"Hence, there emerge practices that are in contradiction with the spirit of fair governance, resulting in abuse of power, misappropriation, bribery and oppression.
"The people, on the other hand, will not only disrespect the law but will also provocatively challenge it to create disturbance and chaos so that the legitimate government cannot function effectively.
"As citizens, they need to be wary of such incidents that are purposely created with a hidden agenda.
"A wise citizen needs to weigh the arising issues and political tactics used in terms of consistency in voicing out the issues and the struggle, so that the country remains peaceful and stable as chaos will adversely affect the country's productivity and in the end, the people will suffer."
He said the criteria for formulating, abolishing or amending a law must be based on national interest and security, as well as the people's interest.
Raja Nazrin, who is UM pro-chancellor, also reminded that UM's task as a premier higher learning institution was just not to churn out degrees, but also to check any undesirable academic practices which could tarnish the country's oldest university's good name.
"The guilty should not be protected. There should be no compromise in upholding the integrity, reputation and good name of the university. If there is compromise, then the university has sacrificed its quality of education.
"If it does happen, then the reputation of UM's graduands will be affected and bring shame to the thousands who have graduated from the university.
"UM will have to pay a heavy price as its standing will drop.
"Those involved in activities which tarnish the university's reputation and integrity should be told to desist, while the university must immediately take stern action," Raja Nazrin said.
The five-day convocation which ends Saturday will see 6,863 graduands receiving their scrolls.