PUCHONG: Educational institutions must create a strategic plan to help foster the spirit of unity and patriotism in schools, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“This programme will be able to bridge the gaps in harmony and goodwill between us, especially the students in schools across the country.
“This is very important because this younger generation will be the successors to the leadership of the country in the future,” said Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, in his speech at the launch of the school-level World Interfaith Harmony Week at SMK Seksyen 3, Puchong.
“If future generations are not united and do not have the vision and mission, the stability that we are enjoying will be affected.”
He said that the construction process of a nation that wanted to be developed must be anchored to mutual understanding and respect for each other, besides practising a positive culture in the community.
“Without tolerance and unity in all cases, the aim towards becoming a high-income developed country will not be realised,” he said.
Muhyiddin added that everyone was responsible in ensuring that the spirit of national unity continues to be strengthened, especially among students at all levels of education, in order to build Malaysia as envisioned in Vision 2020.
“The school and education institutions should continue to develop a conducive social environment and encourage communication and interaction between students of different races, religions and cultures, so that a Malaysian national identity can be realised,” he said.
“Within this context, leaders of educational institutions, especially teachers, need to create a strategic plan to foster and maintain the spirit of unity and patriotism, through curricular activities, co-curricular activities and sports in schools.”
He added that he hoped the interfaith harmony programme would not be limited to just this week but would be incorporated in all school activies throughout the year.
SMK Seksyen 3 students, who were present for the ceremony, said they were inspired by his speech.
“We must cooperate. This is 1Malaysia,” said Ho Ying Ying, 14.
Form Five students Haifa Anis, Nadia Azman and Irdiena Izzlya said their school had many activities that promoted unity.