Malaysia was built on tolerance, mutual respect, reminds Dr M

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

PUTRAJAYA: As the country celebrates its 62nd National Day, Dr Mahathir Mohamad has urged the people, regardless of their religion, race and culture, to reflect on how the spirit of goodwill and nationhood has helped Malaysia achieve independence and develop into a successful country.

In his message in conjunction with National Day, the prime minister said Malaysia was built on the values of tolerance, strong character, mutual respect, the willingness to give and share, selfless attitude and readiness to sacrifice for the sake of the country.

Without these values, he said, Malaysia would not grow into a developed country capable of giving its people comfort and progress.

“In fact, as we make further progress and success, we should have greater realisation on the need for these values. If these values, which were adopted by our parents and grandparents, have succeeded in developing this country, surely they are more crucial for us in managing the progress achieved.

“Unfortunately, if we look around us, as we bask in the progress in communications and digitalisation, these noble values have been sidelined and replaced by bad characteristics which are ugly and disgusting,” he said in his message which was broadcast on national television and radio tonight.

Stressing that good values should not be neglected, Mahathir said such negative characteristics would usually rear their ugly head in the face of sensitive issues on race and religion.

He said that in defending their own race and religion, people hurled insults against other races and religions with the use of abusive and harsh words, which would definitely cause anger and anxiety.

“This is very surprising because if we want to uphold our religion and race, we should be displaying good character and use of cultured language. But what has happened is the opposite,” he said.

Mahathir also wondered if the people no longer cared about the future of the country when defending the narrow interests of their own races and religions.

The prime minister said the people should realise how blessed the country is and should do their level best to safeguard the country’s prosperity.

Tracing the country’s history, Mahathir said like other countries, Malaysia was built on the sweat, tears and blood of the people. They had to endure cruelty, oppression, betrayal and insult against race and country.

“Maybe we should look at countries which not too long ago were enjoying riches and prosperity dreamed of by other nations. Today, these countries have been destroyed and their people have become refugees in other countries.

“This is why we should realise that when we demand for the rights and interests of our group and the other side does not want to tolerate it, be considerate or forgive. It can lead to conflict,” he said.

With the theme “Sayangi Malaysiaku: Malaysia Bersih”, the 2019 National Day celebration will be held at Dataran Putrajaya Saturday. The highlight is a parade and a human formation display.