KUCHING: Having dialogues still ranks as the most effective approach to resolving differences between the many races and religions in Malaysia, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
However, he said, these dialogues should be carried out sincerely and with maturity in order to achieve an understanding.
“The way I see it in the context of relations among religions, if dialogues are supported and led by religious leaders, they bring forth positive impact that benefit all Malaysians,” he said when opening the 54th national-level Majilis Tilawah Al-Quran at the newly built State Islamic Council Hall here last night.
He said it was a known fact that Malaysia’s uniqueness was racial diversity in harmony.
As such, he said the government would always be sensitive to all races and would continue to monitor issues deemed sensitive in regards to religion.
This, he said, was necessary since there were some quarters who were out to cause trouble by playing the race cards.
He said people in this country had the right to practise their religions freely as long as they did not threaten the nation’s peace and safety.
“Believe that we must safeguard the harmony and peace by celebrating the diversity in our country. Don’t allow petty issues come in between us,” he said.
The premier reminded Muslims that the Al-Quran itself teaches unity and harmony, and guaranteed well-being and prosperity.
With this, he said, tolerance and acceptance of all races — Malays, Chinese, Indians, Melanau, Iban, Kadazan-Dusun, Bidayuh, Bajau, Senoi and more than 200 ethnic groups in Malaysia — needed to be strengthened.
“Touching on sensitive issues pertaining to race and religion needs to be avoided. Social contracts, historical background and the nation’s constitution has to serve as the guideline in order to nurture a developed and harmonious 1Malaysia and consequently produce an excellent ‘1Ummah’,” he said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud believed that the high income nation target was achievable because all the races were working towards the same goal.
He said in Islam itself, the religion impressed on unity as the key that would bring benefit to all.
The Al-Quran recital saw the participation of 29 contestants from all over Malaysia. Themed “1Malaysia, 1Ummah”, the recital would culminate on June 17.
Source : The Star