KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians must ensure that moderation prevails over bigotry and dogma, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
The Deputy Prime Minister said religious freedom was provided for constitutionally although Islam is the official religion of the country.
He said the Malaysian Government and people were committed to the principle of freedom of worship.
Peace and stability have been achieved because of this and I am firmly committed to ensuring that we remain a tolerant society.
Let me reiterate that we will not tolerate any form of extremism or terrorism,'' he said at a Merdeka Prayer Rally at Menara PGRM where Christians from 230 churches of different denominations congregated to pray for peace and prosperity as the nation prepares to celebrate its 46th National Day tomorrow.
I appeal to the Malaysian people and to the Christians in particular to continue to be model citizens who reject and denounce those who seek to sow discord in our society,'' he said.
Abdullah, whose speech was read out by Energy, Multimedia and Telecommunications Minister Leo Moggie, also commended the leaders of the Christian community in Malaysia for always rallying their support around government efforts to maintain racial and religious peace and harmony.
However, more has to be done as we are well aware of some problems that has brought about moral decay in our society.
Globalisation and modernisation have brought with them negative trends that are influencing the youth. We must therefore join hands, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and others, to reassert the primacy of ethical values in our society, values that are common to all our faiths and traditions,'' he said.
Some of the 3,000 people who attended the gathering yesterday had only bread and water, with all monies donated during the fast given to various charities.
National Evangelical Christian Fellowship Malaysia secretary-general Rev Wong Kim Kong said the rally was to pray for the nation, economic sufficiency, justice and the rulers of this country.
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