Assalamualaikum and a very good morning

Thank you for inviting me to witness the signing of the MoU between PKNS, Raudhah City Sdn. Bhd and Saudi BinLadinGroup.

Valued at more than RM12 billion and totaling 533 acres, this will indeed be a huge project and it is hoped that today’s signing will mark the start of a fruitful joint venture initiative among three established organizations and a major milestone in creating holistic development to Selangor.

Once the project materializes, the State of Selangor will be proud to have the first contemporary Islamic city in Southeast Asia. I believe this modern Islamic concept gives a new impetus to holistic development and strengthens the branding of PKNS as akey player in the real estate industry.

I applaud both Raudhah City Sdn Bhd and Bin Laden in incorporating the adaptation of four pillars consisting of Shari’ah, Safe, Smart and Sustainable as the concept mold in achieving Islamic township excellence in Malaysia.

To my mind, this concept will fashion a new dimension of Islamic township and spark a fresh approach in city lifestyle.

We must examine what we really mean by “the first contemporary Islamic city in Southeast Asia” because labels alone could at best show only form without telling us the substance. I take great interest in the concept of “holistic development” taking into consideration that the State of Selangor is multi-racial and multi-religious.

My administration places great importance on communal goodwill and harmony and will always encourage developments that foster inclusiveness. We have seen how the tendency to view one’s community as exclusive can lead to communal tensions and even violence. This Islamic city must therefore lead the way in proving that being Islamic has nothing to do to with being exclusivist, racist, extremist or violent.

As a multiracial and multi-religious society, Selangor under myadministration, will demonstrate that the concept of justice and moderation as enjoined by the Qur’an and the Sunnah shall prevail at all times. Yes, there will be negative elements and detractors who will be ever ready to undermine our efforts but collectively, if all the communities join hands, we will remain strong and united.

In this regard, the project must demonstrate its capability in developing products and services that will appeal not just to Muslims but to other communities as well. That is my understanding of holistic development: all encompassing, inclusive, reaching out and forging harmony in diversity.

Kewujudan “Bandar Raudhah” ini adalah satu langkah ke hadapan dalam menyuburkan tamadun dan peradaban Islam. Dalam sejarah Islam sendiri, Madinah merupakan titik permulaan pembinaan negara Islam sejak 1,436 tahun lalu di mana di sinilah bermulanya Darul Islam dan Islam sebagai Ad-din (the way of life) yang meliputi aspek kerohanian, sosial, politik, dan ekonomi.

Masyarakat yang bertamadun, adalah masyarakat yang memiliki seluruh tingkat kemajuan kehidupan yang meliputi aspek spiritual dan material di mana Islam telah membekalkan asas-asas yang kukuh dan sumber yang mantap untuk manusia membina tamadun.

Islam mementingkan kesederhanaan sebagaimana yang diperintahkan oleh Allah SWT dan Rasulullah SAW, nabi junjungan kita. Dalam konteks negara ini, atas dasar kesederhanaan ini, Islam tidak dilihat sebagai satu agama yang menindas atau membenci agama lain, justeru ia diterima secara harmoni oleh penganut agama-agama lain dalam kehidupan kita yang berlatarkan masyarakat majmuk.

Pengenalan prinsip syariah misalnya dalam industri perbankan dan perhotelan telah diterima baik bukan sahaja dalam kalangan masyarakat Islam, bahkan bukan Islam. Sesungguhnya syariah ini adalah sesuatu yang dituntut terhadap semua orang dan kita perlu berusaha untuk mencapainya. PKNS sendiri sebagai sebuah perbadanan yang sudah wujud begitu lama, tidak ketinggalan dalam usaha ini untuk mengangkat tinggi prinsip syariah di mana rangkaian Hotel De Palma merupakan hotel patuh syariah pertama di Malaysia walaupun pada awalnya ramai yang skeptikal akan kemampuan industri perhotelan untuk mematuhi prinsip syariah ini.

The project should become a trendsetter for an innovative city but to translate that into reality requires close and smart cooperation among all parties. More importantly, if the holistic concept is fully realized, I am confident this project will bring lasting benefit tothe community at large.

I would also like to see that adequate thought has been given to ensuring this will also be an environmentally sound project. Islam enjoins respect for the environment while enhancing the esthetic dimension of our living conditions.

We are hopeful that this collaboration would inspire more joint initiatives and innovative activities in the future for Selangor Science Park 2 and take Selangor development to even greater heights.

Last but not least, I must express my sincere appreciation to PKNS, Raudhah City Sdn. Bhd and Saudi BinLadin Group for their serious commitment to initiate this joint venture and further boost the diversity of township models in Selangor.

Thank you.