BANTING: Malaysians should focus on the similar virtues shared by all the major faiths to help strengthen national unity and solidarity, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
The responsibility of strengthening national unity and solidarity did not rest on the Government alone but also on every Malaysian, he said.
This was espoused in the 1Malaysia concept, which he introduced when he became Prime Minister, Najib said.
“That is how we go forward as Malaysians. It can come in the form of simple and mundane things, such as a friendly hello to each other or helping another in need, regardless of race or religion,” he said.
Najib said that Malaysians did not go around asking the racial background of someone who was involved in an accident.
“He is a Malaysian who needs help, and a Malaysian must help another Malaysian.
“If we have this form of spirit, we can go a long way in uniting this nation and making it stronger and resilient.
“We also want to make Malaysia politically, socially and economically stronger so that it becomes a successful nation of the 21st century that occupies its rightful place among nations that are truly successful,” he said in his speech at the Wesak Day celebrations at the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Buddhist temple in Jenjarom near here on Saturday.
Najib also called on Malaysians to continue the tradition of religious, cultural and racial diversity and prevent a repeat of past incidents that had wrought instances of instability in the country.
“Diversity should be used as a source of strength and not as a barrier to the country,” he added.
Najib said every faith cherished universal values such as a love for peace and harmony.
“When we celebrate Wesak Day, we all know what were the virtues that were held by Gautama Buddha,” he added.
Meanwhile, at the same function, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat reminded Malaysians to preserve racial accord and be united against those who sowed seeds of discontent.
“We can maintain a peaceful nation if we foster unity among the people of various races and religions.
“Malaysians have a high degree of tolerance and respect for one another due to our strength that comes from a diverse culture,” he said.
More than 8,000 people visited the temple which is well known for its beautifully landscaped gardens and sense of serenity.
Wesak Day is celebrated on a full moon day in the lunar month of Visakha, usually during late April or early May, to commemorate Lord Buddhaâ€™s birthday, his attainment of enlightenment and his death.
Ong urged the people to use Wesak Day, celebrated by Buddhists, to visit friends and strengthen their bonds of friendship.
This yearâ€™s Wesak Day celebration theme of Religious Tolerance for Peace, which is in line with the spirit of 1Malaysia, should be promoted with great zest, he said.
Ong added that 1Malaysia must become part of the fabric of Malaysian society to ensure a harmonious community.
Also present at the celebrations were Najibs’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Minister in the Prime Ministerâ€™s department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
Source : The Star