Anwar: Don't fan religious, racial sentiments

Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge

Photo by Zahid Izzani Mohd Said/The Edge

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PUTRAJAYA (March 17): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said on Friday (March 17) that the unity government remains firm in defending the Federal Constitution principle of upholding Islam as the religion of the federation, and giving space and freedom for other religions to be practised.

The PM said the government would oppose any attempts to set the people against one another, and raise the racial and religious “temperature" in the country.

"If issues [of religion and race] arise, resolve them properly, so that there won’t be any animosity, misunderstanding or prejudice," he told a press conference after chairing the Cabinet meeting here.

Revealing that there were attempts by certain quarters to fan racial and religious sentiments, Anwar said he had directed security forces to monitor the situation closely to prevent people from exploiting it to create trouble.

“So, if the actions become excessive and cause disturbances, the security authorities will act firmly,” he said, adding that the situation is under control.

Anwar said instances of breaches of regulations, which seemed to touch on racial sensitivities, should be settled properly through discussions.

He said the Malaysia Madani concept-oriented unity government had set a clear policy of defending good values and morals in the spirit of uniting the multiracial and multireligious population.

“Irresponsible statements are not acceptable, because we cannot deny the fact that Malaysia should be peaceful and orderly, developed by the Malays and Bumiputeras, Chinese and Indians, the Dayak, Iban, Melanau and Kadazan ethnic groups, and others,” he added.

He said the Cabinet is united in this matter of ensuring that the peace and harmony enjoyed by all races is defended, and that it will not tolerate any attempts to undermine national security.