KUCHING: The 1Malaysia Foundation has called Sarawak and Sabah shining examples of what Malaysians can do to ensure greater integration and unity in the country.
The 1Malaysia Foundation trustee Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said both states are exemplary when it comes to unity and moderation.
“We must not accept any form of extremism which isn’t good for the country of multiracial and multicultural background,” he told a press conference in connection with Gawai Dayak on Thursday.
Lee lauded Sarawak for having promoted integration and moderation among the state’s more than 40 ethnic groups.
“1Malaysia Foundation is happy to see Sarawak as a good example. This is why we came up with the idea to make Kuching a City of Unity.
“Kuching is the first city in Malaysia to be given the recognition by 1Malaysia Foundation and this recognition is something that people of Kuching should be proud of,” he said.
Lee said the foundation would collaborate with local councils as well as government departments and agencies to organise activities to further promote unity.
He called on Malaysians to give greater emphasis to the idea of ‘Malaysian Oneness and Togetherness’ based on the values and virtues taught by all religions and races.
“Every peace-loving Malaysian, regardless of race, should be fully committed to promoting a culture of peace, harmony and unity,” he said.
Lee said the ongoing ‘Ekspresi Negaraku’ campaign should be supported by all Malaysians.
“I always believe that being a Malaysian does not make anyone less a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban or any other race. Malaysians should start accepting each other as Malaysians regardless of race and religion.
“Malaysians should be proud of identifying themselves first as Malaysians for such identification fosters patriotism and develops unity,” he said.
Lee also called on Malaysians to remain vigilant and conscious of the sensitivities of others.
“As responsible and patriotic Malaysians, it is our profound duty to work for peace and harmony and refrain from acts of provocation and violence, which will result in conflict and chaos.
“Multiracial living and community are part of our history and heritage. They have become a key source of racial integration for years and have certainly played a key part in making Malaysia a harmonious place to live, learn, work and play,” he added.
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