Unity minister: Stop misconstruing 'liberal' in Rukun Negara [NSTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: The Unity Ministry has called on the public to avoid misinterpreting the term 'liberal' as stated in the Rukun Negara.

Its minister, Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang, said the term 'liberal' refers to an attitude of openness and acceptance (understanding, respect) towards cultural differences among ethnic groups.

Aaron said individuals have the freedom to practice their religion, customs, and culture in line with the goal of national unity.

"The application of liberal values, openness to cultural differences among ethnic groups, in society will help foster a more inclusive, progressive environment.

"This also provides opportunities for every individual to develop and contribute positively to the country's development," he said today.

Aaron said one aspiration of the Rukun Negara is to guarantee a liberal approach to its rich and diverse cultural traditions.

He said this high-value philosophy needs to be embraced by every Malaysian citizen to ensure its sustainability and relevance.

"The National Operations Council (Mageran) led by Tun Abdul Razak, was formed following the incident of May 13, 1969.

"Mageran established three bodies, namely the 'National Muhibbah Council and the Unity Department and the National Recovery Council (MPN).

"Through the MPN composed of 13 national figures from various ethnic backgrounds and expertise, the Rukun Negara was formulated as the new national philosophy."

Aaron said Rukun Negara was based on the seven main pillars presented in the 'Pillars of Nation' paper.

"The Rukun Negara was structured into two parts: five aspirations and five principles.

"The aspirations and principles of the Rukun Negara were then translated into a form of philosophy or national ideology," said the minister.

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