KUCHING: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah’s meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Rt Hon Justin Welby, at Lambeth Palace, the latter’s official residence, on Wednesday has been welcomed as timely.
Retired former Bishop of the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei, the Rt Revd Datuk Bolly Lapok, welcomed the news that Al-Sultan Abdullah took time to meet with Welby despite His Majesty’s tight schedule.
“News of this visit is both refreshing as it is most timely. It was clearly a manifestation of His Majesty’s keen desire to promote and strengthen inter-religious understanding and harmonious relations.
“Given that both Malaysia and the United Kingdom are multicultural, multiracial and multireligious countries, His Majesty and His Grace would have had much to share with each other on the challenges of multi-faith societies, especially in light of increasing incidences of racial and religious intolerance, polarisation and violence around the world,” Bolly said in a statement yesterday.
He added that the visit could only bode well for the future of inter-faith relations between and within both Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
Bolly was also former Archbishop of the Anglican Province of South East Asia, which, besides Sarawak and Brunei, also contains the Diocese of West Malaysia, Sabah, and Singapore; and also extends into Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, and Nepal.
Istana Negara shared on Instagram that Al-Sultan Abdullah and Welby exchanged “views and thoughts on living together harmoniously and prosperously, in a society with a multitude of races and religions, in both Malaysia and in the UK”.
His Majesty was accompanied by Tengku Panglima Raja Tengku Amir Nasser Ibrahim Shah.