A CELEBRATION OF DIVERSITY
Without common values that unite us, we will not have political and social stability, says PM
MALAYSIA’S future as a multi-racial and multi-religious country depends on its political and social stability. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said stability could only be realised if the country had interfaith harmony, which required mutual understanding and respect among citizens.
“I believe if we want to take our country forward to realise its potential as a nation, where every citizen, regardless of their religion or culture, can work together to fight for a better future, we must have stability, both political and social, as the foundation of our nation.
“When we touch on the subject of stability, the core of it is our common values. Without common values that bind and unite us, we will not achieve political and social stability.
“This can only become a reality if we have interfaith harmony, which is based on mutual understanding and respect.
“This is one of the intrinsic values we need to propagate and strengthen,” he said in his speech at the National Wesak Day Hi-Tea event here yesterday,
More than 1,000 people attended the reception at Samadhi Vihara in Bukit Raja.
Present were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Malaysia Buddhists Association vice-president Sit Chan Liang and Joint Wesak Celebration Committee chairman Ng Hong Pau, as well as leaders from different religious bodies.
Najib said the nation’s founding fathers — Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Tun Sambanthan — had laid a foundation to forge interfaith harmony through the Federal Constitution, shared values and politics.
“Today, as we celebrate Wesak, let us commit to these values, which are important for us to further strengthen the unity among us to achieve the aspiration of a stronger and greater Malaysia.
“Malaysia is unique because it is the only nation that has links with the Malay archipelago, the Chinese civilisation, Indian civilisation and others.
“We are a great culmination of all the teachings, values, cultures, religions, languages, from these great civilisations.”
He said Malaysia was respected internationally as an exemplary and diverse nation, free of conflict and violence.
Najib said his official visits to other nations, including China and India, would not be successful if Malaysia was not a good model unity in diversity.
“They respect us because we are exemplary. We don’t have the tension, conflict and violence that other countries have.
“They say Malaysia is a land of peace and harmony. So, let us ensure that this continues.”
Najib advised Malaysians to reject extremism, and not let extremists influence the people.
In his speech, he also praised the Buddhist community at the function for respecting the Islamic call to prayer — the azan — which started shortly after he began his speech.
Attendees observed a moment of silence out of respect for the azan . This prompted Najib to pause his speech.
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the respect you showed during the azan, which is so close to the heart of Muslims.
“This is another example of how we all respect each other’s religion in our country,” he said to thunderous applause.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai at the National Wesak Day Hi-Tea event at Samadhi Vihara in Shah Alam yesterday.