Be mindful of what you say: Malaysian PM

Monday, September 6, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR - Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak Monday called for people of multi-ethnic Malaysia to be mindful of what they say to avoid racial conflict.

“Political management” was as critical and as equally important as managing the country’s economy and social matters, he said while addressing civil servants.

“In managing politics, I do not mean politics based on parties and ideologies… Political management also includes race relations,” Star Online, website of The Star newspaper quoted him as saying.

“If one can refrain from uttering words or committing acts which offend other races, temperature raising incidents” can be avoided.

He warned that stability and unity would be under threat if race relations were not managed well.

Malaysia’s 28 million population broadly comprises majority Malay Muslims, with Chinese and Indians forming significant ethnic minorities. Indians number 1.7 million.

Najib touched upon religious harmony at another gathering, saying: “One of the most important aspects in whatever we do is that we must have mutual respect and understanding.”

Najib’s remarks came on a day Karpal Singh, a prominent ethnic Indian leader and chief of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) called for revival of the proposed Race Relations Act.

It was the “best deterrent to prevent further racist remarks from being uttered by irresponsible individuals”, Karpal Singh said in George Town.

Karpal was commenting on a spate of incidents involving racist remarks with the latest being a police inspector from Kuala Lumpur who allegedly told a theft victim to “balik China” (return to China) if she could not converse in Bahasa Malaysia, the Malay language.

Filed under: Politics

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