KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will always practise wasatiyyah (moderation) to ensure that Malaysia remains a progressive and dynamic Muslim country, said the Prime Minister.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said wasatiyyah, the Federal Constitution and the Rukun Negara had guided Muslims in Malaysia and helped to ensure the country’s development.
“The willingness to sacrifice and set aside differences to achieve unity and harmony are the foundations of the Muslim ummah in the country,” Najib said in his speech at the national-level Maal Hijrah celebration at the Federal Territory Mosque here.
Najib cited various accolades given by international bodies praising Malaysia’s success as a Muslim country, including the 2016/2017 State of the Global Islamic Economy report by Thomson Reuters which ranked Malaysia as the best developed ecosystem for Islamic finance in the world.
He said Malaysia would also remain sensitive and play an active role in international humanitarian issues, especially in helping other Muslims such as those in Palestine and Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
Najib also said that he was offended when an Opposition leader alleged that he did not bring up the issue of the Rohingya during his meeting with US President Donald Trump recently.
He said the official statement from the White House after the meeting confirmed that he did raise the matter with Trump.
“I explained (to Trump) that this is a humanitarian tragedy which is catastrophic, and that the world has no choice but to give its attention in order to stop any form of violence against those people,” Najib added.
The annual Maal Hijrah celebration marks the anniversary of the hijrah or migration from Mecca to Madinah by Prophet Muhammad and his followers in the year 622, which signalled the consolidation of the first Muslim community.
The date also marks the first day of the New Year in the Islamic calendar.
The theme of this year’s national Maal Hijrah celebration is “Unity of the Ummah for the Country’s Wellbeing”.
At the event, former Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Dr Sakaran Dandai was named as the national Tokoh Maal Hijrah 2017 award recipient. He was chosen for his contribution in uplifting Islam nationally and globally.
Sakaran, 87, served as the eighth Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri from 1995 to 2002.