KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia came into being by the coming together of people of different races, religious and cultures groups and not just by any one single race or group, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal (pic) said.
As such, he said that it was important for all communities and religious groups to continue working together and preserve the unity of the nation to ensure prosperity for all.
“The people of Malaysia is not only Malays, Indians, Chinese; we have Kadazandusuns, Muruts, Bajaus, Kedayans, Melanaus, Ibans, and many more that make up Malaysia.
“As a democratic country, all of these people empower the government of the day and we must work for every Malaysian irrespective of their race and religion, ” he said at a Malaysia Day gathering organised by religious and ethnic groups at Padang Merdeka here on Saturday.
Shafie said that the past polemic of using a certain race and religion backbone of the country had only divided people of the nation.
Stressing that unity of all races was a key factor for progress of the nation, the Chief Minister said that as a government, they (leaders) should not look from the lens of their respective race or religion but must deliver to all races, religious and cultural groups to ensure that all Malaysians progress together.
“We must work for all communities and groups for the progress of the country. We should preserve unity.
“It is becoming challenging especially with certain people using social media to sow seed of mistrust. I hope people will remain vigilant and mature by not getting influenced by this, ” he added.
“Our country cannot develop on narrow lines of a single race or religion of any group. If we sincerely work together through mutual respect and understanding, the country will progress.
“We must remember that since the formation of Malaysia 56 years ago, the progress and peace achieved was by the work of every Malaysian, ” he said.
Shafie said that Sabah was a good example of unity among its multiethnic and multireligious people.