Don’t take Malaysia’s peace and harmony for granted : Najib

(NST) – Malaysia’s peace and harmony, as envisioned by the country’s founders, should not be taken for granted, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.

The prime minister said since independence, the good relations between different races and ethnic groups have ensured Malaysia’s rapid development.

“Peace is like oxygen. Without oxygen, we will not be able to breathe.

“As such, we cannot take peace for granted – it is the key to our success,” he said at the national level Chinese New Year celebration at the Larut, Matang and Selama district and land office here.

Addressing the 30,000-strong crowd, Najib said holding the celebration in Taiping was made more meaningful as the name Taiping in Mandarin stood for peace and harmony.

Najib said the festive season should be a time for all Malaysians to demonstrate their good values and understanding towards others.

“Sometimes, we go too far in our words and actions. Instead of speaking well of others, we mock them.

“This does not reflect the positive values that we share,” he said.

He said every ethnic community stressed on the importance of moderation or ‘Chung Yung’ in Mandarin.

“This is similar to ‘wasatiyyah’ in Arabic or ‘kesederhanaan’ in Bahasa Malaysia.”

“If we continue to uphold moderation, then we will be able to maintain the true meaning of Taiping, or peace and harmony,” he said.

Earlier, Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor were greeted on arrival by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Foreign guests from Switzerland, Indonesia and Bangladesh also joined in the celebration.

The celebration involved a host of activities, including a spectacular fireworks display as well as a Chingay performance.