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SANDAKAN – The spirit of fraternity, unity and cooperation among the multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural communities in Sabah must be preserved and reinforced, said Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.

He said this was very important as maintaining harmony and unity was a shared responsibility and its benefits would be enjoyed by all levels of society.

“I believe the harmony of this plural society will also contribute to political stability, economic progress and social prosperity, all of which we have achieved today.

“It allows the government to continue planning and intensifying development efforts, ensuring the continuation of policy implementation and development programmes to improve the well-being of Muslims and the people as a whole,” he said at the Sandakan district-level Maulidur Rasul celebration here today.

As part of the celebration, Musa participated in a procession from the Pasar Sim-Sim area to the Sandakan District Mosque by 50 contingents from various agencies and associations.

Musa said Muslims today were faced with various challenges, among them disunity and strife among themselves, which made them weak and easily exploited for the benefit of certain parties.

“We no longer appreciate the spirit of brotherhood and fraternity but prefer to sow hatred, defamation and hostility.

“We must realise and repent, and take lessons from the crises and the upheaval that occur in some Islamic countries. It should be a useful lesson to us not to ignore the importance of the value of brotherhood and unity of Muslims,” he said.

At the event, Musa also presented the Maulidur Rasul district-level award to Sandakan Customs principal assistant director Otoh Sibik Bin Sahar, 59, and teacher Roziah Binti Hussain, 53, who is also the head of the Sandakan Division of the Islamic Women’s Organisation of Sabah. – BERNAMA

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