Cultural, religious differences do not affect national security, says DPM
AND SHARIFAH MAHSINAH PASIR PUTEH firstname.lastname@example.org
MALAYSIANS should celebrate the diversity in religion and culture of the people in the country, says Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said Malaysia was lucky that such diversity did not become an issue or affect national security.
“In some countries, these differences are not respected and this has led to civil wars.
“In Iraq and Syria, these conflicts changed the democracy system to ‘demo-crazy’,” he said at the launch of the state-level “Ekspresi Negaraku” programme at SMK Sungai Petai here yesterday.
Present were International, Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, members of parliament, state assemblymen and senior department heads.
Zahid said at the same time, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had a hard time relocating refugees from the warring nations and finding a third country that was willing to accept them.
He said hopefully, the same thing would not occur in Malaysia as people had nowhere to go to escape.
“Malaysians have to maintain the peace in the country as they do not want to move somewhere else.”
Zahid said Malaysians should be grateful that the country was peaceful.
Maintaining the country’s peace was paramount, as well as ensuring religious harmony and mutual understanding and respect, he said.
The deputy prime minister said the country’s democracy was functioning well despite the diversity of the people.
Zahid said the “Ekspresi Negaraku” programme here was part of the national-level event launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently.
“This programme has been held in other states, but Kelantan has seen a large turnout.”
Zahid and delegates then visited exhibition booths set up by federal agencies and departments at the event.
Earlier, Mustapa flagged off 5,000 participants of the Ekspresi Negaraku 3.7km run.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at the ‘Jalinan Rakyat Plus’ programme in Marang yesterday. With him is Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman (second from right).