PUTRAJAYA, May 25 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Sunday launched National Unity Month with a call to the people to make unity the main national agenda, saying it was an important basis for a nation’s success.
The deputy prime minister said the people were not prohibited from having differences of opinion but they should express them with consideration.
“They must be aware of the racial sensitivities. They must not hurt the feelings of other communities. They must ensure that their demands are reasonable,” he said at the launch at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, here.
Najib said every community would not necessarily get to fulfill all its demands, and must continue to maintain a give-and-take attitude.
The very existence of the Federal Constitution reflected the spirit of compromise and placed unity as the main basis of the nation, he said.
Najib said the spirit of consensus among the people was clearly evident, for example, in the presence of vernacular schools which did not exist in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
Speaking to reporters later, Najib said unity among the people was getting more resolute.
He said the concept of “bangsa Malaysia” (Malaysian race) was in the minds of the people regardless of race because the people regarded an individual based on his or her nobility of character rather than racial background.
For example, he said, when a road accident occurred, the people would rush to help the victims regardless of which community they belonged to.
At the event, Najib presented the Unity Personality Award to former Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Sakaran Dandai and social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
The award recognises the efforts of leaders who contribute to fostering unity and wellbeing of the people of various races. The award recipients receive a certificate and a souvenir.
Najib also presented the Unity Garland Award to MCA Public Service and Complaints Bureau head Datuk Michael Chong; cartoonist Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid or Lat; S. Krishnamoorthy who saved passengers of a ferry fire tragedy off Mersing in October last year; Nafisah Abdullah who saved victims of a house fire in Kota Baharu in August last year and Mohd Afzal Hamzah who caught a snatch thief. The award carries a certificate, a souvenir and RM5,000.
Lee Lam Thye told reporters later that unity should be given high priority by the government and unity education should begin at school.
Krishmoorthy said he would not hesitate to go to the aid of people in distress.
Chong said he hoped that more Malaysians would help the needy regardless of race.
Nafisah expressed her gratitude to the government for the honour. She had rescued two people from the fire.
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