Happy Christmas to all Christians and all other Malaysians who share in the spirit of festivity and goodwill of all the important religious occasions in the country as part and parcel of our proud national heritage.
Let Malaysians of all creeds embrace the universal message of “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All” to build a united, tolerant, purposeful and prosperous Malaysia with ever lessening racial hatred and religious animosities in the coming years.
It is sad but true that never before in the 56-year history of the nation have more racial hatred and religious animosities been propagated in the months before and after the 13th General Elections – such as the dangerous and incendiary lies and falsehoods about the attempt to establish a Christian Malaysia, the baseless conspiracy of the Chinese to oust the political power of the Malays or the fictitious secret agenda to abolish the Malay Rulers and set up a republic.
These are just lies, lies, lies but they are being spread and amplified in reckless abandon with official connivance on the social media and establishment printed media, starting before the 13th General Elections but with increasing abandon after May 5, 2013.
There had always been such false and dangerous notions in the country preaching racial hatred and religious intolerance since the nation was founded in 1957 and Malaysia formed in 1963, but until recently they had been firmly isolated at the lunatic fringe of society.
It is a grave concern to all thinking and patriotic Malaysians that in recent times, this lunatic fringe of society seems to have moved closer to the citadels of power securing space and patronage for the propagation of its message of racial hatred and religious intolerance.
Not only mainstream media but even national conventions of ruling political parties have become platforms for such message of racial hatred and religious intolerance – as illustrated recently.
Malaysians of goodwill and sanity from all faiths must come forward to unite their energies and resources to prevent these voices of unreason, hatred and intolerance from destroying Malaysia as a model of multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural diversity in the globalised world.
This is now the great challenge to all patriotic Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.
(2013 Christmas Message in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, December 24, 2013)