SEPTEMBER 16 — We Malaysians celebrate the national day with pride that although this is such a diverse country, we continue to enjoy peace and prosperity. Indeed, our diversity makes us impervious to those who want to sow discord and distrust among the races because every time there is an extremist threat to our national unity, it will be defeated by the numerous voices of reason and moderation to show that the majority of Malaysians do not agree with the divisive politics to win votes. This public disapproval of extremism was clearly demonstrated in the recent GE14 at the ballot box.

A multiracial country like us will never be free of differences. However, there is nothing to worry about this because as the democracies of the world have shown, if there are strong institutions to uphold the rule of law and there is freedom of expression, no extremist can do much harm to our peace and security.

Our government must also remember that the best way to counter internal threats to our stability is through a strong economy. It should therefore concentrate on the reform agenda to introduce policies that will strengthen confidence in the economy so that with growth and the rising standards of living, the extremists are denied of issues to exploit for their destructive propaganda.

Let’s be confident that with growth and prosperity, we will remain strong and united.

*This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.