Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders have called on the nation to return to the middle ground in light of certain racial issues surfacing recently.
In a National Day message today, leaders of the four major PH component parties said Malaysia must get rid of prejudices and presumptions that could threaten the nation’s success and harmony.
The leaders are PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.
“Despite comprising different ancestries, religions, languages, cultures and traditions, we have never grown weary of building a nation that continues to stand united,” they said in a joint statement.
“On this National Day, let us be grateful for the harmony and prosperity we have enjoyed all this while, and teach ourselves, our families and our communities to be understanding, tolerant and to treat each other well.
“What we have achieved can be lost in the blink of an eye if we fail to remember the sacrifices and difficulties braved by those who went before us.”
They urged the people to stay away from extreme views instigated by those with political motives.
Yesterday, Lim said PH’s greatest challenge is the lies and slander along racial and religious lines perpetuated by its opponents.
He said this has generated a trust deficit where the rakyat tend to believe lies and slander over truth and facts.
“To build up national unity, we must build up confidence and restore trust in a government that is people-centric and wants to build a better future for our children,” said the Minister of Finance in his message in conjunction with the 62nd Merdeka celebration.
“The people have nothing to gain by following those who preach national division through racial and religious extremism.
“The country has everything to lose if we fail to focus on the economy, cost of living and economic well-being of the rakyat,” he added.
Lim urged all Malaysians to demonstrate their love for the nation and appreciation for those who sacrificed for the people’s freedom by upholding the Federal Constitution.
“To do so we just need to make a simple pledge of national unity over division, diversity over dominance, truth over slander (lies), political freedoms over oppression, rule of law over personal diktats, equal opportunity over monopolies, clean governance over corruption, shared prosperity over crony capitalism and environmental protection over pollution.
“Let us celebrate Merdeka by renewing our faith in each other that only when we are united, we cannot fail,” he added.
On Wednesday, Lim’s father, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang, also blamed an orchestrated campaign of fake news and hate speeches for creating tension between the races and the erosion of public confidence in PH.
He said Malaysians have become entrapped in a vicious position where every community lives in fear, doubt, suspicion and even hatred of other communities and religions, believing that their rights, ethnicity, religion and culture are facing an existential threat.