PUCHONG: Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo called on the people to maintain the spirit of respect for one another to strengthen unity in the country.
He said by doing so, they would be able to lead a happy and progressive life.
“We, Malaysians, are from different background, culture and religion, but what makes us a strong and close community is that we respect one another.
“We must take steps to ensure that all Malaysians can celebrate their respective custom, culture and religion,” he said when speaking at a Ponggal festival at Sri Maha Mariamman Temple last night.
Also present was Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
Meanwhile, Lim, in his speech, said the spirit of unity and tolerance in the society had to be preserved.
“We celebrate each other’s celebrations not only with open hearts, but also with open houses where we eat together. That is the Malaysian culture, we celebrate it together,“ he said.
He said the country’s multiracial society should not be influenced by certain quarters using issues to stir racial sentiments as it could jeopardise harmony.
At the event, Gobind Singh and Lim witnessed the cooking of sweet rice with milk in clay pots, and then see the contents overflow. This overflowing of contents is symbolic of abundance an prosperity.
Ponggal or harvest festival is a celebration for the Indian community, especially for farmers, and falls on the 10th month of the Tamil calendar. — Bernama