SIBU: It is the responsibility of everyone to uphold unity and mutual respect in our society, Second Minister of Finance Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh said.
He stressed that such spirit must prevail in our diverse community, regardless of race, culture and religion, to further strengthen unity in the state.
“The spirit of unity is very important to all of us in Malaysia as it allows us to live together in peace and harmony.
“This spirit of unity has made us (Malaysians) exemplary role models to the rest of the world, that people from other countries visit Malaysia to learn how we live peacefully despite the many differences in terms of race, culture and religion,” he said.
He was speaking at the ‘Special Prayer’ held in conjunction with the ‘Tamil New Year and the 211th Police Day’ held at the Hindu temple near the Sibu An-Nur mosque.
Wong, who is also the Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce, noted that Sibu has a small Tamil community.
“There are many different communities here in Sibu – the Chinese, Malay, Melanau, Iban, Bidayuh, Tamil and Orang Ulu, just to name a few.
“I must say that one way we can identify with one another is to accentuate our positive values, that is to look for similarities among us rather than differences,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, referring to the association’s plan to build a new temple costing RM1.1 million as mentioned by the president of Sibu Hindu Temple Association, Manogaran Krishnasamy, in his welcoming speech, Wong suggested that they look for ways to raise funds for the project.
“However, most importantly, write a letter directly to our Chief Minister, through me and also Nangka assemblyman Dr Annuar Rapee.
“We will both see our Chief Minister to get a state grant to build your association’s new temple,” he added.
He announced a grant of RM10,000 for Sibu Hindu
Temple Association for its activities.
In conjunction with the Police Day, on behalf of the members of the public in Sibu, he expressed thanks to all the policemen in Sibu for keeping law and order in the town.