(Petaling Jaya, Monday): Yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said one of the country's strength is in the unity of its multi-racial community and it would be unfortunate if Malaysians were to fall prey to rumours that the economic problems would lead to racial unrest.
DAP endorses Anwar’s call that Malaysians should not fall prey to rumours that the economic problems would lead to racial unrest and calls on all political parties and leaders to take a national and not a communal or chauvinistic position
Commenting on a foreign report that there was an underlying tension among the races following the economic problems, Anwar said:
"Unity is our greatest asset ... we should capitalise on this to our benefit.
"Malaysia is a very matured country and we have gone through a lot together. We recognise a lot of people are now facing difficulties but there is a strong effort by all races and political parties to grapple with the problems and overcome them."
National unity is a prerequisite for the country to tide through the economic crisis in the shortest time possible and with the minimum of avoidable pain, hardships and sufferings to the people.
However, such a national unity must be a strong, healthy and dynamic unity based on full participation by all sectors of Malaysian society who are informed enough to take a meaningful part in the process to formulate and implement a national economic revival strategy, and not a weak and unhealthy unity based on the blind obedience of an uninformed society.
Malaysia must work to strengthen the national unity in the country by allowing a healthy debate and diversity of opinions on what is the best national economic revival strategy based on the fundamental goal of getting Malaysia out of the economic crisis in as short a time as possible with the least possible pain, sufferings and hardships to the people.
Malaysians can and should be able to disagree in public forums as how to devise the best economic recovery strategy, but such debate and discussion should not digress or degenerate into race-baiting, insensitive to the legitimate rights and concerns of all races, languages, cultures and religions in the country.
To show the world that Malaysia has indeed become "a very matured country", DAP proposes a monthly meeting of all political parties, government and opposition, to ensure that Malaysians do not fall prey to rumours that the economic problems would lead to racial unrest.