KUALA LUMPUR, 8 May (Bernama) — Malaysia is in a strategic position to play a bridging role between Muslims and non-Muslims in the global context because of its national experience as a multi-racial nation, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
Since attaining independence 50 years ago, the Prime Minister said, Malaysia had managed to thrive as a nation precisely because of its ability to build on its diversity.
“In the context of religion, as Malaysians, we have treated our differences not as a source of weakness but as a fountain of strength,” he said.
He said this at the launch of an exhibition to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Islamic Arts Museum here Friday. Also present were former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.
The Prime Minister said Muslims must redouble efforts in correcting the mispersceptions and debunking the myths about Islam and its adherents.
“Muslims need to share the blessings of Islam with the world, as it is an inclusive religion that values diversity, peace and harmony. Islam, lest we forget, is a universal religion,” he added.
Commending the Islamic Arts Museum for its achievements over the last 10 years, Najib said it had become an international benchmark for excellence in its field of endeavour.
“It is an institution that has managed to put Malaysia on the world map. I am sure that these are exactly the achievements that Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary and Syed Mohamad Albukhary have always hoped it would realise.
“The senior architect of this vision was a predecessor of mine, Malaysia’s fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The idea of establishing a museum of Islamic art was suggested in 1995 by Tun Dr Mahathir,” he said.
He said without this formative inspiration, the museum could never have been what it is today.
“Tun Dr Mahathir’s grand vision has been equally matched by the ability of the Albukhary Foundation to turn vision into reality and in the process, fulfilled its mission in forging a more equitable and tolerant world through social welfare and cultural initiatives.
He said supporting cultural undertakings would naturally involve a lot of resources and the contributions of the private sector was an important consideration in making sure that the Malaysian cultural and arts scene flourished.
Source : Bernama