KUALA LUMPUR: All Malaysians irrespective of their race, religion or political leanings must strive to preserve racial and religious harmony, Yayasan Perpaduan Malaysia trustee Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pix) said in his Chinese New Year message today.
The social activist said all should be concerned about the country’s future and be willing to be “bridge builders” and not “heroes” of their own ethnic groups.
Malaysia, he said, should not only be free of terrorism, crimes and cruelty but also from problems and conflicts due to hatred of other races and religions.
“It is extremely important for Malaysia to continue to exist as a nation where the people are united and is stable and peaceful even though there may be differences in views and political ideologies,” he said.
Lee also called for all Malaysians to be taught the Rukun Negara (national philosophy) and the country’s history so that everyone understood and respected the rights, beliefs and practices of the citizens, who are made up of various races and profess different faiths.
“We must remember that tolerance and mutual respect ... which are emphasised in the Federal Constitution and Rukun Negara, are the keys to peace and harmony in a multiracial and multi-religious country like Malaysia,” added Lee.
Meanwhile, Sarawak-based philanthropist Datuk Seri Ang Lai Soon said Malaysians must constantly strive to live together peacefully and harmoniously.
He said there were examples of people in some other countries who refused to co-exist, resulting in perpetual conflict, turmoil and chaos.
“Fortunately, we know we’re different. We know we can think and reason that ultimately common sense has to and must prevail,“ Ang said, adding that any unpleasant experience should serve as a lesson to be a better nation.
He also said that Chinese New Year was the time of the year to help the less fortunate in society. — Bernama