THE United Nations World Peace Day, marked annually on Sept 21, has relevance for multicultural Malaysia, where the people must strive to live and thrive, in peace and harmony.

Peace is promoted by practising tolerance, acceptance and the social and political inclusion of the minority population.

It is pertinent to note that these three factors are most relevant to Malaysia’s diverse people.

Put simply, it is about striving to be united in differences and diversity, with unity bringing harmony.

In our national context, peace is created or enhanced when institutional and individual stakeholders, who provide the separation of powers and check and balance roles, promptly counter or call out any extremist views that threaten to disturb our social fabric.

As it is wisely said, “the only thing that allows evil to prosper is when good men do nothing”.

Perhaps, we should have our own Malaysia’s peace day to help create an awareness in our people about always respecting each other because an environment of peace can be created if people respect others feelings and religions, etc.

Living together in peace comes from accepting differences and having the ability to recognise, respect and appreciate others, which are the key foundations for developing a progressive, sustainable and fair nation.

Respect and harmony are achieved when issues, including the meritocracy of workplaces, education access and needs-based fair and equity policies, are properly addressed.

Always keep in mind that peace, which enhances positive nation-building, is based on a spirit of tolerance and respect among all our people.

Sze Loong Steve Ngeow