The good work done so far must continue, these groups said.
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) said unity among Malaysians was the factor behind the country’s effective management of the pandemic.
“This was why Malaysia has been recognised as one of the best countries in the world for the effort.
“We saw every citizen looking out, aiding and protecting one another, to help the needy and the disabled during these trying times, especially during the movement control order (MCO) period.
“The same spirit of solidarity and mutual help must continue to flourish for our nation-building,” the council said in a statement by its president Archbishop Julian Leow Beng Kim and honorary secretary-general Gowri PS Thangaya.
MCCBCHST also called for greater understanding among the different races in Malaysia to build respect and trust, and urged all Malaysians to put the country first before any personal or political interests.
“May the spirit of ‘Malaysia Prihatin’ inspire the leaders of our nation and all its people of diverse races and cultures to work selflessly in resolving the nation’s challenges, and to strive to make Malaysia a truly united and harmonious nation, guided by the principles of the Rukun Negara,” the council added.
This year’s theme for the National Day is “Malaysia Prihatin”.
National Patriots Association (Patriot) president Brig-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said besides putting trust in science, unity among Malaysians was the reason why the country had been doing well in battling Covid-19.
“We look at more advanced nations and some of them are doing terribly amid the pandemic because that’s what happens when there is no unity.
“Our country listened to the experts. We take a position of not interfering in science.
“And we see that in times of need, many Malaysians came out to help each other.
“Unity is the most important thing in nation-building, and more so, because we are a multiracial country,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia president Dr Raj Kumar Maharajah said this was the time for unity, not only national unity but also for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop the virus and its shattering consequences.
“We have done pretty well with good leadership and cooperation of the rakyat who followed the SOP laid down by the government,” he said when contacted.
“My wish for Malaysia this year is for all Malaysians to reflect on 2020 and to realise that all of us need each other to survive.
“We must remain united, pandemic or no pandemic,” he said.
Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia president Tan Sri T.C. Goh said the theme “Malaysia Prihatin” fully reflected the caring attitude and close cooperation between the government and the people in fighting Covid-19.
He said Malaysians at large had demonstrated their caring attitude beyond race and religion during the pandemic.
“This is done by providing necessary aid like food and groceries to the underprivileged and vulnerable groups, especially those who had lost their jobs,” said Goh.
“We must also salute our frontliners and essential workers who risked their lives to serve the public.
“They are truly the unsung heroes of our country.”
Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement president Muhammad Faisal Abdul Aziz said that besides national unity, sharing equal economic growth should be the main agenda for all, especially as the virus had impacted the economic well-being of Malaysians.
“The pandemic has affected all regardless of race and religion. But it has taught us the importance of inclusiveness and having comprehensive efforts in protecting the lives of all,” he said.