Appreciate our differences, don't just 'tolerate' it, says Anwar

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 25 May 2024

JOHOR BARU: The word “tolerance” should no longer be used in relation to the country’s racial and religious differences as it should be replaced by something stronger, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Prime Minister said the people’s differences in culture, skin colour and language are something that should be appreciated and acknowledged rather than tolerated.

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“The Quran says we should learn about each other’s differences. To know one another, to appreciate and to acknowledge the differences... it is a source of strength.

“I no longer want the National Unity Ministry to use the word 'toleransi (tolerance)'.

“I want the ministry to say unity towards love and respect for each other. This is stronger than tolerance,” he said when officiating at the National Unity Week celebration at a shopping mall here on Saturday (May 25) night.

ALSO READ: Preserve, nurture harmony to be passed on to next generation, urges National Unity Minister

He added that Malaysia should learn from history and take heed from countries such as Rwanda and Yugoslavia, which collapsed due to differences in beliefs.

Such countries disintegrated because of racial and ethnic conflicts, among other issues, he said.

“Our forefathers have done so much to unite us, working together as Malays, Chinese, Indians, as well as the ethnic groups in Sarawak and Sabah to form Malaysia.

“Our differences are something that could make or break the country’s unity,” he said.

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“The younger generation should not take this for granted or take the matter lightly. Learn from history,” said the Prime Minister.

The four-day National Unity Week, which ends on Sunday (May 26), included traditional and cultural exhibitions, food sales and ethnic houses represented by participants nationwide.

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