KOTA KINABALU, Sept 15 — On the eve of Malaysia Day, Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said that everyone has their own role to play to maintain peace and harmony in a multicultural country.

The Sabah Umno chairman said that if Malaysians came together and are aware of their own roles to preserve the peace and harmony in this country, they would be able to stop the spreading of racial and religious extremism.

“They would be able to prevent any attempts to plant any divisive elements, and stop efforts from those to fuel racism for the sake of personal gains,” Bung said in a statement today.

“Malaysians need to understand that unity among races, social harmony and national integration are the main keys to build peace and prosperity in the country.

“As Malaysians, we have the responsibility to ensure peace and harmony in our country.”

Bung said that this year’s theme of “Keluarga Malaysia Teguh Bersama” should be understood and practiced by all which will indirectly allow for smoother implementation of infrastructure development, education, economic development, communication and basic amenities.

Bung also reminded the people that September 16, is the date when Malaysia was formed and this has to be appreciated and experienced by all Malaysians regardless of race or religion, political affiliations or state or origins.

“We must change the mentalities of some Malaysians who still do not understand the importance and significance of Malaysia Day,” he said.

He said Malaysians, especially youth, must get proper education and information on the history of the federation of Malaysia, how it was formed and what led to its formation.

Bung said this is so that negative sentiments cannot be planted into the minds and hearts of the younger generations that could weaken the federal institutions and break the sovereignty of the nation in the long run.

“The youth make up a huge part of our national population. They are the future leaders of this country and their roles are very much needed to ensure the continuation of national development agendas,” he added.

He said this is why it is important to instil the spirit of patriotism, high moral values and education among the youth,” he said.