PETALING JAYA: Leaders of Pakatan Harapan’s component parties issued a joint statement today calling for increased efforts to put an end to divisive rhetoric and promote national unity.
The statement, jointly issued by PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohammad Sabu, said all Malaysians, regardless of status and background, should always foster national unity and understanding.
“The people of Malaysia come from different ethnicities, religions and cultures. This diversity must be protected and respected by all members of society,” said the statement.
With the country celebrating its 62nd National Day and 56th Malaysia Day soon, they called on the people to reflect on the nation’s past success and the challenges ahead in building a fair and prosperous nation.
“What the people of Malaysia enjoy today will surely be preserved when the people stay united, while upholding the Federal Constitution and law of the land.
“We must put aside divisive rhetoric. We must reject politics that prioritises a few instead of the good of many,” they added.
The statement comes in the midst of rising racial tensions following controversial issues such as the introduction of khat in the BM syllabus and recent inflammatory comments by preacher Zakir Naik.
Chinese educationist groups have strongly opposed the introduction of khat in schools, which eventually led to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad branding the group as racist.
Meanwhile, Naik stirred backlash among Malaysians after saying Chinese and Indians in the country, whom he labelled as “old guests”, should leave Malaysia first before he does.
Prior to that, he also claimed Malaysian Hindus were more loyal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi than to Mahathir despite receiving “100 times” more rights than Muslims in India.