‘Fabric of unity must be upheld’

PETALING JAYA: It is more important than ever for Malaysians to remain united as citizens of one nation in the face of current uncertainties and challenges on a global scale.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said Malaysians have built a reputation for being a peaceful, harmonious society and that this must be maintained.

“Today, it is our responsibility to uphold this fabric of unity, and to keep divisive elements from tearing our nation apart.

“Every one of us has a role to play in this regard, and it is crucial to be accepting, tolerant and understanding of our differences while celebrating our similarities,” he said in his speech at the Star Golden Hearts Award 2016 yesterday.

A total of 10 awards were given out to people of integrity from all walks of life, who demonstrated great commitment to charity work, built bridges between communities and promoted racial harmony and unity.

In his speech, Liow said the award also recognises those whose actions were supportive of a moderate Malaysia, which he said was the right thing to do in a multiracial society.

“We are very fortunate to have a multiracial society in Malaysia, where most of our people are peace-loving citizens.

“This is crucial because if our people were antagonistic and confrontational, we would be a very different country.

“But because we love peace, there will always be a majority who want this country to remain open-minded and peaceful,” he said.

Liow also congratulated the recipients of the award, and lauded them for doing their part for Malaysia and its people without having sought any reward for their efforts.

“Each of them has demonstrated outstanding selflessness and generosity in aiding and supporting their fellow Malaysians.

“I am also heartened by activities like this award, which plays a role in cultivating stronger unity while celebrating diversity,” he said.

Liow, who is also MCA president, added that good character and selflessness were key towards a better community, which could lead to a more progressive nation.

“To build character and selflessness, the most important thing is to guard against greed, be frugal, restrain anger, emulate good deeds and most importantly, correct our own mistakes,” he said.

Star Golden Heart Award 2016 winners

  • Marie Christie Robert – Donated more than half of her liver to her teacher, Cikgu Cheong
  • Kong Lan Lee – Actively involved in helping special needs children through Persa­tuan Kanak-Kanak Istimewa Ka­jang (PKIK)
  • Shalini Yeap May Hwa & Alfred Samuel Mariyaras – Helped found Teddy Mobile Clinic, providing free check-ups for the homeless, urban poor and needy in Kuala Lumpur
  • Jerryson Abraham Doss & Edna Sung Burongoh – Helping the homeless and recovering addicts by giving them jobs
  • Khairuddin Abd Aziz – Educating and spreading awareness to youths about the dangers of drugs through music and art
  • Dr Rusaslina Idrus – Pro­viding clothes and toiletries to the homeless and urban poor in Kuala Lumpur through Kedai Jalanan
  • Rishiwant Singh Randhawa – Organises the Good Will Walk to raise funds for humanitarian causes
  • Mohd Yusuf Rohani – Caring for a friend for the past 15 years
  • Saari Mohd Nor & Low Kock Seong – Rescued eight Royal Ma­laysian Air Force officers from a plane crash in swamps near Kuala Selangor
  • Tan Chin Leong – Rescues individuals attempting to take their own lives on Penang bridge.