Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Star Online > Nation
Thursday December 27, 2007

PM: Uphold spirit of tolerance

KUALA LUMPUR: Be moderate and do not be influenced by any kind of extremism, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

He also called on the people to uphold the spirit of tolerance and mutual respect they have been practising in the multi-racial community.

“If moderation does not take centre stage, we will all be dragged into extremism, from the basis of religion, race or groups.

“This is what we should look out for, this is what gives us problems,” said Abdullah in his speech when attending a Christmas tea party on Tuesday hosted by the Christian Fed-eration of Malaysia and KL Archbish-op Datuk Murphy Pakiam.

Festive cheer: Abdullah speaking to some of the residents from Asrama Cahaya Convent at the Christmas high tea reception in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. On his left is Council of Churches of Malaysia secretary-general Dr Herman Shastri.

He added that the country needed the strength of tolerance and friendship that the people had for each other, to continue to grow and prosper.

He said Malaysia was a land of opportunity, where everyone knew how to respect one another and how to give and take. Abdullah also said everyone wanted a peaceful and harmonious country to live in, which should be the ultimate goal of every Malaysian.

“This is our responsibility that we have to carry out diligently, so that our country will become a peaceful country.

“I’m aware of religious issues that happen from time to time and we should solve these problems with a very high level of understanding, tolerance and respect,” he said.
Abdullah said he was very happy to be invited to the party, as he could see people of different religions, namely Buddhists, Hindus and Christians, getting together at the event.
“If we sit together and eat the same food, it symbolises friendship, tolerance and mutual respect,” he added.

The Prime Minister said Malaysians should continue to preserve the love, compassion, peace and stability that the country had taken 50 years to achieve.

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