Include elements of unity in programmes, minister tells NGOs

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the younger generation should always be made aware of the importance of Rukun Negara to foster a harmonious relationship in a multi-racial and multi-religious society. ― Bernama pic
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the younger generation should always be made aware of the importance of Rukun Negara to foster a harmonious relationship in a multi-racial and multi-religious society. ― Bernama pic

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PUTRAJAYA, Jan 26 — The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) has urged non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to actively include elements from the Rukun Negara and the Federal Constitution in their programmes to foster unity among the races.

Its Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the younger generation should always be made aware of the importance of Rukun Negara to foster a harmonious relationship in a multi-racial and multi-religious society.

“We are facing a situation whereby, unfortunately, unity is not settled in the manner that we want it to.

“We have to repeat this matter (Rukun Negara and the Federal Constitution) so that our younger generation, especially, can understand our unity as a Malaysian nation, so that it can be defended,” he said during a dialogue session with the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) via a video conference here, today.

The meeting was also attended by 13 Huazong members, led by president Tan Sri Dr Goh Tian Chuan. 

During the virtual meeting which lasted over an hour, Saifuddin also asked Huazong to help the government gather information, especially from the Chinese community, regarding the implementation of the emergency, as well as issues related to the implementation of ‘Undi18’ where 18-year-olds would become eligible to vote.

“I want some input from Huazong on the implementation of the emergency, because there may be things that the government cannot feel from among the Chinese community, so maybe Huazong can convey this information to the government through me,” he said.

On Undi18, he said there were concerns on the part of the government if the new voters did not come out to exercise their voting rights.

“Since this is the first time they are voting at such a young age, we are worried that they are not interested in going out to vote and that is a huge loss for the younger generation.

“I asked Huazong if they can see whether the younger generation accepts it (Undi18), they can vote for whoever they want, but we want them to be aware of their rights and responsibilities as young voters,” he said.

Meanwhile, Goh when commenting on Saifuddin’s suggestions said his organisation always encouraged the fostering of unity among the races.

“Huazong is always ready to help the government and will work together and do whatever it takes to preserve racial unity in Malaysia,” he said.

Goh said Huazong also appreciated KKMM’s efficiency in combating fake news, especially during the pandemic, but stressed that the government should give serious attention to issues related to internet speed, especially in rural areas.

“We opined that besides increasing the internet data and speed, the government should focus on reducing the charges on internet connectivity such as offering a nominal monthly broadband charge of RM10 to students and individuals from the lower-income group,” he said, adding that the government should also consider providing a one-off cash incentive to media staff for their contributions during the pandemic. — Bernama

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