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