Ongkili: Heighten tolerance to cement unity

KUCHING: Malaysians should enhance the level of
tolerance and understanding among them to prevent any
hostility that could jeopardise national unity, Minister in
the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Maximus
Johnity Ongkili said yesterday.
He reiterated that the people should not take the
existing racial harmony and peaceful situation for granted.
The minister said many criminal activities turned into
national issues and other problems, adding that if those
problems were not checked, they could lead to ‘racial
tension’.
“Most of the problems start from crimes and then
erupt into bigger racial conflicts and tensions. So, we
need to build the tolerance level and enhance
understanding among us.
“When a crime is committed by two different races, a
racial problem follows.
“We have to make sure that crimes do not cause racial
misunderstanding,” he told reporters after meeting heads
of various government departments and statutory bodies
at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar here.
Ongkili pointed out that the relevant government
agencies had persevered in promoting better
communication and interaction among the people to
enhance integration and harmony among the people.
The minister believed the school system played an
important role in dealing with the younger generation in
the matter.
“Those who have gone through ‘Merdeka’ are
fully aware of their responsibility about what they need
to do.
“That’s why we are pushing for the teaching of Rukun
Negara in all schools to try to avert any conflict,” he said,
adding that the education system was the basis of unity.

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