Saturday January 17, 2004

PM: Shared destiny unifies us

BANGKOK: Malaysia has done well as a nation because the people have been sensitive to the various religions practised, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
“It is something we have achieved after years of arduous efforts to blunt those sharp edges of ethnic prejudices and jealousies.
“We have learned to deal with the issue of racial sensitivities,” he said in an interview with Bangkok Post editor-in-chief Pichai Chuensuksawadi.
The full text of the interview was published yesterday in conjunction with Abdullah’s first official visit to Thailand as Prime Minister.
On whether moderate Muslim leaders must play a key role to challenge the use of violence by militant Muslims, he said: “If you want to talk about moderate Muslims, then look at me. I am a devout Muslim and I have no problems working with non-Muslims.”
Abdullah said this was possible through the spirit of mutual respect, the ability to give and take and the strong feeling inherent among all that they share a common destiny.
The Prime Minister expressed his conviction that force should not be a key thrust of policies against terrorism.
“Force begets force. This is the reason why we have been saying we must understand the cause of terrorism. We must try to understand why a person is prepared to die, blow himself up.”

Parent site: "Focus on Malaysia"