PAPAR, May 31 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has called on Malaysians to tap into the strength of the current government to jointly develop the country and its multiracial and multireligious society.
He said that a country can only fully progress, including on matters concerning race and religion, when there is a stable government with the full backing of the people.
“Why do we need to celebrate ethnic and religious festivities in Malaysia?… it’s because we want all Malaysians to progress. We turn differences into something good (and), not hatred, and that is why I feel it is important for the people of Sabah to support all the programmes implemented by a strong government under Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
“Sabahans must use the strength of the government to develop and bring progress to Sabah and its people,” he said in his speech at the Papar parliamentary ‘Semarak Perpaduan Rakyat’ with the Prime Minister programme at Palm Square in Kinarut here today.
Also present were Hajiji, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions) Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali and Deputy Chief Minister lll Datuk Shahelmey Yahya.
Anwar said that although the government’s policy as contained in the Constitution states that Islam is the official religion of Malaysia and Malay is the national language, it does not stop diversity from being celebrated.
“We do not stop the rights of other religions… do not insult other races or religions as this will only lead to conflicts. And that is why there must be respect and acceptance of our differences. What I want is a nation (of people) that respects all parties,” he said.
At the same event, Anwar also handed out the pensioner’s card of Kedah Civil Defence Force (APM) director, the late Lt. Col Awang Askandar Ampuan Yaacub, who died during the Malaysian Everest 2023 (ME2023) climbing mission recently, to his family.