KUALA LUMPUR: There is an increasing awareness among Malaysians on the need to preserve the country’s stability, security and inter-ethnic harmony after terrorism triggered economic and political uncertainty worldwide, said MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik.
Co-operation between the people and Government was of “paramount importance” in ensuring continued peace and prosperity in the country, he said.
“The changing Malaysian mindset has been proven in their support for Barisan Nasional which practises moderation and tolerance,” he said in his New Year message.
Dr Ling said the people appreciated the Government’s efforts in reviving and stimulating the economy and preserving national security, especially in suppressing terrorism, militant groups and religious extremists.
Dr Ling, the Transport Minister, said Barisan’s strength and unity had not been jeopardised although its component parties debated a few hot issues last year.
He attributed this to the comradeship, tolerance, maturity and co-operation among its leaders when resolving such issues, adding that this had, in fact, further strengthened the coalition’s stability.
Dr Ling said MCA’s main focus this year was on developing education, including the construction of the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman main campus and the Langkawi Project to benefit parents and students, especially those from rural areas.
MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said Malaysians should be thankful for the country’s strong economy growth despite the weak economic situation in the world.
“This was possible due to the successful economic strategy and financial measures of the Barisan government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” he said.
Samy Vellu, who is Works Minister, said the MIC fully supported government plans to introduce the National Service Programme to forge closer relations between the races.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar hoped Malaysians would be able to enjoy a better year ahead and that the country would continue to play a pivotal role in international affairs by providing leadership and championing the cause of the developing nations.
In its message, Parti Keadilan Nasional urged the Government to ensure the people’s rights were not snatched from them.
Party president Datin Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail also warned of the imminent war in the Middle East following US' resolve to attack Iraq under the guise of destroying weapons held by the latter.
PAS acting president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang hoped that democratic principles in the country “would grow for the better” in 2003.
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