KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today urged the people to reject any form of religious extremism as this could jeopardise the peace and harmony in the country.
The Deputy Prime Minister said instead Malaysians should celebrate the diversity of religions and cultures in Malaysia which has been the symbol of strength and unity of the country all this while.
“We must set aside the differences amongst us. We do not want any kind of extremism, whether Islamic, Buddhist or Christian extremism because we want peace and harmony to prevail in Malaysia which has a multiracial society,” he said when opening the Ugadi Carnival 2017 at Dataran Merdeka here.
Also present were Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Health Minister and MIC president Datuk Seri S.Subramaniam, MyPP president Tan Sri M.Kayveas and Malaysian Telugu Association president Datuk Dr Achaiah Kumar Rao.
Ugadi, the Telegu New Year, is celebrated by the 400,000-strong Malaysian Telegu comnunity each year. It fell on March 29 this year.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said the Telugu community’s gathering today proved that the people valued the ethnic and religious differences.
“This is a manifestation that all of us should be given the opportunity to celebrate our cultures. Even the mother tongues is taught in primary schools.
“The national education policy provides for mother tongues to be practiced and encouraged for purposes of learning. This is not to differentiate communities but to appreciate every ethnic group in the country,” he said.
The carnival featured cultural performances, songs and music , sale of food and drinks and other items. – BERNAMA