KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia’s efforts to achieving developed-nation status requires Muslims to uphold unity with people of various races and religions, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said last night.
He said the government is aware that there are concerns that in achieving this goal, some parties believe the values and teachings of Islam would be compromised.
“But clearly the development and prosperity attained is linked to the multi-religious and multi-racial harmony, where the teachings of Islam can still be propagated and be the catalysts to progress.
“This balance can be attained and maintained if we hold on and continue our daily lives holding on to tenets of Islam which is the Ad Deen, a way of life,” he said.
Mahathir made his remarks at the opening of the national Quran-reading competition at the Sabah International Convention Centre here.
Present were Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof, Sabah Deputy Chief Ministers Jaujan Sambakong, Wilfred Madius Tangau and Christina Liew, as well as other members of the Sabah cabinet.
Mahathir said Putrajaya’s endorsement of Rahmatan lil Alamin as the government’s Islamic policy would help to improve the social wellbeing, prosperity and unity among the communities.
“This is in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision the government is trying to achieve in 2030,” he said.
Malaysia also faced the challenges of the new industrial revolution and needed a society that is mature, knowledgeable, hardworking and which valued unity.
Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal urged Sabahans to be accountable for the protection and development of Sabah.
In a speech read by Deputy Chief Minister Jaujan Sambakong, he said the state government was also taking steps to curb wrongdoing.
Shafie stressed the need for unity between Muslims and believers in other faiths, and said the people must make an effort to find common ground and reduce their differences.