Mutual trust comes first

(NST) KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday called for the preservation of harmony and mutual trust among Malaysians.

In his Merdeka message, he said Malaysians of all racial and religious backgrounds should shoulder the responsibility of safeguarding the nation's independence and protect the country from attempts to weaken solidarity.

"For a country that has enjoyed independence for 52 years, such matters should be understood and accepted," he added.

In this respect, Muhyiddin called on the people to stop raising racial issues that would trigger unrest.

He said this was the main challenge facing the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu urged all Malaysians to assist the government in strengthening racial unity and harmony, apart from deepening the understanding of the different sensitivities of all the people.

He said Malaysians must respect and honour the freedom of religion enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

"There will be no point talking about racial unity if we do not understand the religious and cultural sensitivities of people of all races."

Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said Malaysians should unite in their diversity as a multiracial and multireligious society.

The minister in the Prime Minister's Department said any form of extremism and chauvinism would endanger the multicultural identity of the country.

Barisan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said Malaysians should count their blessings and be thankful for the economic, infrastructure and personal gains that they had enjoyed all this while.

He said the people should not gamble away the future of the next generation by falling into traps set by those with personal and political agendas.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said all Malaysians must have a sense of belonging in the country.


He said a new ray of hope has been brought about by the 1Malaysia concept.

"The rights of all Malaysians must be protected," the MIC secretary-general said.