MUTUAL RESPECT AND UNDERSTANDING VITAL
AS a loyal Malaysian who subscribes and practises the principles of moderation and the provisions of the Federal Constitution, I am deeply saddened by the Taman Medan incident involving protesters who demanded that a church there take down the cross – a symbol of Christianity.
It was indeed an abhorrent act which went against the very spirit of our Constitution, particularly Article 11 pertaining to the right to profess and practise his or her religion while accepting that Islam is the official religion of the country.
To say the least, the protesters’ action was uncalled for and it had not only seriously affected Malaysia’s image as a multi-racial and multi-religious nation but had also tarnished the image of Islam.
Even if there are issues of genuine concern to the residents there, these could have been brought up through appropriate channels without having to take the law into their own hands.
The Cabinet’s decision to come out strongly against the protest is a step in the right direction and it is hoped that the incident will be investigated and action taken against those responsible.
Malaysians of different ethnic origin must always be conscious of the need to have mutual respect for one another on matters as enshrined in our Constitution.
All Malaysians must adopt and practise the principle of moderation which is the key to nation-building.
The most urgent task of all Malaysians irrespective of race, religion and political affiliation is to ensure racial and religious harmony and reject all forms of extremism which can undermine inter-racial and inter-religious peace and harmony.
This is the time for all Malaysians to stand up and be counted in furthering the cause of a united Malaysian nation.
As responsible and patriotic Malaysians, it is our duty to work for peace and harmony and refrain from acts of provocation and violence which will result in conflict and chaos.
Multi-racial and community living are part of our history and heritage. They have become a key source of racial integration for years and have played a part in making Malaysia a harmonious place to live, learn, work and play.
Everyone has a role to play by giving greater emphasis to the idea of Malaysian oneness and togetherness based on the great values and virtues taught by all the religions instead of perpetrating any act inimical to religions harmony in our multi-racial and multi-religious nation.
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