Mutual respect for our diversity is what makes Malaysia strong, says MCA ethnic relations chief

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s ethnic and cultural diversity is its strength, MCA Ethnic Relations and Religious Affairs Bureau chairman Cally Ting Zhao Song notes in her Wesak Day message.

“This year’s celebration is also very special, as we are still in the midst of open house events held in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

“The coinciding of these two festivals further highlights the uniqueness of Malaysia as a multicultural country where diversity is celebrated as a strength, rather than an obstacle to unity,” she said in a statement Sunday (May 15).

Ting added that the education system which inculcates mutual respect and goodwill is part of Malaysia’s recipe for success.

“In any multicultural country, the spirit of harmony, respect among communities, and acceptance of each other’s differences are important values that should be nurtured to ensure peace and unity, and Malaysia is a prime example,” she said.

Ting added that MCA, as one of the founding parties of Malaysia, was committed towards ensuring harmony and justice for everyone regardless of race or religion.

“We have always upheld this principle… our spirit to continue defending peace and stability nationwide will not fade.

“We are fortunate that the uniqueness of Malaysia’s multiculturalism provides us with the opportunity to familiarise (ourselves) with other faiths and religious traditions in addition to cultures,” she added.

The country’s multicultural society has indirectly made Malaysians inclusive and open, which at the same time serves as an asset in attracting tourism and investments from abroad, she said.

“Therefore, together, let us maintain harmonious relations among the races and religions, and prevent miscreants from breeding hatred. Let us set aside suspicion and prejudice.

“Along with the concept of the Malaysian Family envisioned by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, we must always be rational and respect each other, seek common ground… and strive to maintain peace and harmony,” she added.

This year marks the 60th year since Wesak Day was declared a national holiday.