KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 17 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the principle of moderation or equality adopted by leaders since independence in administrating the nation has maintained stability and inter-racial unity.
The prime minister said it was this policy of balanced development of the nation which had provided for the consideration of all racial interests with equality.
“It is this policy which has kept us on the path of moderation, a policy founded on justice and equality.
“Moderation and equality are the main contributors to the shaping of the political culture and values of our society,” he said in his keynote address at the seminar on Living Together in a Multiracial Society organised by the 1Malaysia Foundation, here.
However, he said, “we must also be bold enough to admit that there are times when we step out of this principle of equality”.
“Although our policies are correct and have the right objectives, we must have the boldness to institute improvements to meet the needs of the times and changes in society,” he said.
He said this was necessary despite the approach being different from that adopted by certain individuals and groups that had decided to go with narrow views and self-interest with regard to their rights and interests.
“When an individual is not sensitive to the needs and aspirations of others, the gap which separates the communities will eventually become wider.
“Despite the efforts at unifying the people, eliminating racial polarisation and so on by the government, the erosion in inter-racial interaction continues and has become a main issue which we have to overcome together,” he said.
When speaking to reporters later, Najib was asked about the stand adopted by Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and many other BN leaders to distance themselves from the Malay rights group, Perkasa.
The prime minister said that as far as Umno was concerned, Perkasa was a non-governmental organisation (NGO) like any other.
“We have so many NGOs. There is a time when we can agree and there is a time when we can’t.
“But, what is important is that Umno is part of the government. What Umno says is what matters,” he said.