Lam Thye: Na­tion’s har­mony should not be taken for granted

New Straits Times - - NEWS / NATION -

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians must con­tinue to foster in­ter­ra­cial har­mony, in­te­gra­tion and unity to en­sure the na­tion’s suc­cess.

As the process of es­tab­lish­ing a united na­tion is a con­tin­u­ous one, Malaysia Unity Foun­da­tion trustee Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said what the coun­try had achieved to date must be nur­tured and re­in­forced.

“We must not take our in­ter­ra­cial and in­ter­re­li­gious har­mony for granted.

“Malaysians of dif­fer­ent eth­nic ori­gins must have mu­tual re­spect for one an­other.

“They must re­main vig­i­lant and be con­scious of re­li­gious and cul­tural sen­si­tiv­ity for the sake of in­ter­ra­cial har­mony.”

Lee said many peo­ple had been tak­ing unity for granted and this was not a healthy de­vel­op­ment in Malaysia.

“Unity is a price­less gift and a sym­bol of hu­man­ity. It is the foun­da­tion of re­la­tion­ships, fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ties and the na­tion. It is the bond that seals our na­tion­hood.

“If there is unity in peo­ple’s thoughts, emo­tions and ac­tions, it will be re­flected in how they treat oth­ers.

“Con­tin­u­ous ef­forts must be made by Malaysians to nur­ture and re­in­force unity.”

He said Rukune­gara was the guide to na­tion-build­ing and should be re­spected by all.

“It is a shared vi­sion for na­tional unity. Its prin­ci­ples should be up­held and prac­tised. We should not take the na­tion’s sta­bil­ity, peace and har­mony for granted.”

Lee said Malaysia Day should be de­clared Unity Day to re­flect Malaysians’ as­pi­ra­tions to stand united in the face of all odds.

“The Malaysia Day cel­e­bra­tion can help Malaysians rekin­dle their pa­tri­otic spirit, which is im­por­tant to foster unity.

“The Malaysia Day cel­e­bra­tion should be a uni­fy­ing force to bring peo­ple of di­verse back­grounds to­gether for a com­mon goal that is to en­sure the na­tion’s suc­cess.

“I be­lieve that be­ing a Malaysian does not make any­one less of a Malay, Chi­nese, In­dian, Kadazan, Iban and oth­ers.

“We should ac­cept each other as Malaysians, re­gard­less of race and re­li­gion.

“We should be proud to iden­tify our­selves first as Malaysians.”

He said through the Malaysia Day cel­e­bra­tion, Sabah, Sarawak and Penin­su­lar Malaysia were brought closer to­gether in the spirit of re­gional in­te­gra­tion and na­tional unity.

“Sabah and Sarawak are ex­am­ples of unity in di­ver­sity, where Malaysians of di­verse eth­nic groups are able to live, learn, work and play to­gether har­mo­niously.”

Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye

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