BANTING, May 9 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the efforts to strengthen national unity and solidarity are not solely the responsibility of the government but also the individuals among the Malaysian society.
He said individuals could contribute to the effort by caring for their friends from various races.
Najib said that small gestures such as making friendly phone calls or sending cordial text messages, and offering assistance to those in need, would go a long way in nurturing unity.
He said people of various races should also help one another in times of trouble.
For instance, when an accident happened, they should help the victims without asking whether they are Chinese, Malay or Indian because they are all Malaysians in need of help, he said at the Wesak Day 2009 celebrations at the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zen Temple in Jenjarom near here today.
Najib said Malaysians should help fellow Malaysians irrespective of their races or religious backgrounds as this would be the spirit that would make the country strong and resilient.
“We must make Malaysia stronger and more resilient in economic matters not only because we are facing a global crisis.
“We want to make Malaysia a politically, socially and economically stronger and more resilient so that Malaysia will become a truly successful nation, a 21st century nation that will occupy its rightful place among the nations that are really and truly successful,” he said.
He said that this had been his hope when he came to the temple, which is located amidst an established Buddhist settlement.
Najib said the ability of multiracial Malaysians to live in peace and harmony epitomised the “1Malaysia” concept where Malaysians shared “one dream, one people, one nation” ideals.
The prime minister also said that in a multiracial society like Malaysia’s, it was important for the people to look for common values of their respective religions and cultures.
For instance, he said, the virtue of humility is a value promoted by many religions including Buddhist and Islam.
Najib said: “If we look at the similarities rather than the differences, we are making ourselves part of the solution. If we are preoccupied with the differences, we will become part of the problem.”
In this regard, the prime minister called on Malaysians to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
“This is our way forward in line with the 1Malaysia concept which I introduced when I took over the post of prime minister,” Najib said.
Najib said he was delighted by the temple’s abbess Jue Cheng’s speech in which he used the term “negara ibunda” (motherland) to refer to Malaysia, which touched the hearts of many among those present.
“His use of the term ‘negara ibunda’ or motherland touches our hearts as it is a reflection of how members of the community regard Malaysia as their motherland,” he said.
Najib said: “This is their home country and the use of the term shows that they are patriotic and loyal to the motherland, our beloved Malaysia.”
The prime minister said he and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor would attend the Wesak Day celebrations and that he hoped that the tradition of celebrating religious or cultural day together would continue.
Malaysia had been successful in managing diversity, he said. “If we failed to manage this, instability would descend upon the country and the dark moment in our history might repeat itself.”
He also wish Malaysians a happy Mother’s Day, which will be celebrated tomorrow.
Among those present were MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat and Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon as well as MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
Source : Bernama