PUTRAJAYA: The spirit of tolerance and cooperation is the foundation towards strengthening national unity, says Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
"Islam is a religion that sows love in all of God's creatures.
"This virtue must be instilled in every citizen so that the nation can migrate to a higher level of peace and harmony through the spirit of tolerance and cooperation among the different races," the King said in his speech at the launch of the national-level Maal Hijrah celebrations on Sunday (Sept 1).
He said this was the basis for a strong foundation in strengthening national unity.
"Matters and actions which are against Islamic teachings, if tolerated, will lead to a downfall of the religion's defences," the King said.
He also that this year's celebration of Maal Hijrah came a day after the 62nd Merdeka celebration.
Although the nation had migrated towards astounding physical, economic and political changes since independence, he said that there was still room for improvement.
In this respect, the King said, good values and ethics must be implemented in the administration and management of the country.
"The development of a developed nation without a culture of a high level of integrity would represent a migration which is limp," he added.
Earlier in his speech, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Religious Affairs Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa reminded fellow Muslims to adopt a moderate approach with regard to nation-building.
He said this was in line with the theme of this year's celebration of "Negara Rahmah Ummah Sejahtera".
"This theme is very significant as Islam is blessing and, in our effort in developing this nation of differing races and religions, a moderate approach needs to be implemented," he said.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of the national and international Tokoh Maal Hijrah awards by the King to Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang and Shaykh Abdallah Bayyah.
Dr Zaini, former secretary-general of Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, was presented the award for his effort in creating awareness towards sustainable environment.
Shaykh Abdallah, former Cabinet minister from Mauritania, is a Muslim scholar known for his moderate views.
They received a RM100,000 prize, a plaque, medal and certificate of appreciation.
Dr Zaini and Shaykh Abdallah were invited to present a talk at the 1st International Forum on Islamic Thought:Revitalising Masqasid Syariah Towards Compassionate Governance on Sept 3 in Putrajaya.
Also gracing the celebration was Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was among the thousands of faithful who attended the event.
Did you find this article insightful?