‘Be proud of liberal government’


Meanwhile another Sabah MP and federal Minister Joseph Kurup wants an immediate stop to all debates on race and religion.

(Bernama) – Deputy Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Bakri has reminded people not to be trapped by the actions of instigators who are out to destroy the racial harmony and unity in the country.

He said there were irresponsible quarters who were instigating people on race and religion and it was vital that peopel were careful and discriminative about what they hear.

“The majority of Malaysians want peace, stability, mutual respect and to uphold the agreement and allocation enshrined in the Constitution, which have thwarted conflicts and civil wars all this while,” he said during a meeting with the Chinese community in Pitas here, in conjunction with the Chinese New Year celebration.

He said smart partnerships which existed among the people through power-sharing, limiting sensitive matters and the government’s pragmatic policy practices had actually succeeded in creating a peaceful and stable situation.

Abdul Rahim, who is also Kudat member of parliament, said the people had every reason to be proud for having a liberal government, that was sensitive and recognised festivities and gazetted public holidays based on the religious beliefs and lifestyles of every race.

Stop the debates

Meanwhile in PUTRAJAYA, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Joseph Kurup wants all debates on sensitive issues that touch on racial and religious sentiments stopped for the sake of national harmony.

“The less we talk about sensitive issues, the better,” he told reporters here yesterday after officiating a conference on nationhood.

He said discussions on the positive issues or detailed explanations on
specific issues were more beneficial to the people.

Earlier, in his speech, Kurup, a Sabah MP,  said several current issues had created ethnic and religious tension, leading to restlessness among the people.

“The issue on the usage of the word “Allah” by Christians also tested the ethnic bonds. I believe the clear message to the people is that they should correct their perception of the government’s efforts to maintain harmony,” he said.

The Appeals Court had ruled against allowing the use of the word “Allah” in the Herald magazine. The publisher had since taken the matter for appeal to the Federal Court which would meet to make a decision on Feb 24.

Kurup said all parties should respect the decision of the court and not do anything to cause provocation.

In a separate development, he said the Ethnic Relations Module which was introduced in institutes of higher learning should be started at the school level.

On the conference, Kurup said resolutions made would provide ideas to the government to prepare a national blueprint on unity.

The annual conference was organised by the Ethnic Relations Research Institute of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, together with the Ministry of Education, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Malaya.