A barrage of race-based incidents that made headlines over the past few days should serve as a reminder to Malaysians that they must tread carefully when handling racial or religious issues.
The most urgent task for Malaysians is to ensure racial and religious harmony.
More effort must be made to promote moderation and mutual respect among the races.
In New Malaysia, playing the race card is no longer acceptable, and Malaysians must look beyond race and religion while respecting the constitutional rights of all.
What Malaysia needs most are ethnic bridge builders to neutralise the politics of hatred, racial polarisation and exclusiveness.
The year 2019 should be a year where we focus on building harmony and unity among the races.
Programmes should be held to attract them to participate and mix around.
More effort should be made to foster understanding so that we can strengthen harmony.
It is vital for Malaysia to continue to exist as a united and peaceful nation with political stability despite divergent political ideologies and views.
It is our duty to work for peace, harmony and unity, and to refrain from provocation and violence.
So many racial and religious issues are being exploited by certain quarters that if we are not careful, they could jeopardise national security.
All parties should know the Rukun Negara and the country’s history so that they understand and respect the rights, beliefs and practices of all Malaysians.
We need to remember that tolerance and respect among ethnic groups, as outlined in the Constitution and Rukun Negara, are key to peace and harmony.
Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye
Trustee, Malaysia Unity Foundation