Najib: Strengthen interfaith understanding, tolerance and respect for national harmony

PUTRAJAYA: There must be continuous efforts towards strengthening the pillars and fabric of multi-faith to ensure the nation's harmony remained intact.

In making the call, prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said Malaysia's complex society has managed to build the nation without any conflicts and this must be maintained.

"After independence, Malaysia has gracefully braced the challenges in bringing the nation up without any conflict that could destroy it.

"This process should not end because to build a harmonious nation takes a very long time," Najib said before presenting letters of appointment to the Committee to Promote Understanding and Harmony Among Religious Adherents (JKMPKA) at his office here.

Najib added JKMPKA would play a crucial role in providing mechanisms to bridge the gap between the multicultural and multi-religions in society.

"I'm counting on you (JKMPKA) to play your part to achieve the goals.

"We all want peace, we all want harmony and we want Malaysia to be successful," he said.

Najib added there are four basic principles that Malaysians need to adhere to for them to have a 'sense of belonging' in a single community.

The principles are to respect Islam as the official religion, adhere to the rule of law, respect the Rukun Negara and conduct ourselves in a moderate way.

"The complex society in this country must also engage with each other, visit and talk to each other and try look for commonality, rather than differences between us," Najib said.

A total 32 representatives from various religions have been appointed as JKMPKA members since Jan 31 to December 2017.

Former JPNIN director-general Datuk Azmin Aman Hassan has been appointed as the committee chairman and Council of Churches Malaysia general secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri is the deputy chairman.

Founding chairman of the Society for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham) Tan Sri Simon Sipaun and academician Prof Dr Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid are among the other new committee members.

JKMPKA was formed in 2010 to facilitate talks on various issues including religious conversions and custody of children.