KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has stressed that the differences between races should be celebrated and should not be a factor to widen the gap among the people in the country.
The Deputy Prime Minister said it is the differences that makes Malaysia unique, more beautiful and colourful.
“In actual fact, there are many areas of similarity and cooperation which we can think of and implement, but only to be distracted by the differences between us,” she said when speaking at the Christmas and New Year celebration for Pandan constituency here tonight.
She said an occasion such as tonight which was attended by people from various races and religions, is a manifestation of the harmonious atmosphere which has to be preserved and appreciated by all generations of Malaysians.
“Even though we are different in terms of culture, customs, belief, religion, view and many others, it should not drive a wedge between us,” she said.
In conjunction with the new year, Dr Wan Azizah urged the people to make a new resolution and carry out self-reflection on improving oneself, family. community and country to be better, more competitive and successful.
Dr Wan Azizah who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister also voiced her concern with excessive partying by youths to celebrate new year with some resulting in giving birth.
“Nine months from now, we will see newspapers filled with news on incidents of youngsters dumping babies due to undesirable activities taking place during new year celebration and so on.
“My beloved youths, let us abandoned such acts. If it is already done, do not add to the mistake as each problem has its solution,” she said.
She called on youths who needed help in such cases to contact the Kasih line at 15999, and meet counsellor to discuss or go to a home under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry or send their babies to a baby-hatch.
Meanwhile, Dr Wan Azizah also reminded the people on gazetting food premises as non-smoking area would be taking effect tomorrow and described it as a positive start to the year new.
She said the implementation is important to protect the health of the people especially women and children and to prevent babies from being born prematurely or contract asthma apart from assisting smokers to look after their own health.
“Let us be prepared for the challenges to be faced in 2019. Hopefully we will resolve many issues especially the economy of Malaysia,” she said.
In another development, Dr Wan Azizah again expressed confidence that Malaysia would return to roar as an Asian Tiger under the leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Cabinet of the new Pakatan Harapan government.
“We are also working on improving foreign direct investment to our country. InsyaAllah efforts will continued to be stepped up on boosting the economic growth of the country.
“This is not easy as the global challenge is more competitive but give us the chance and confidence we could do it together,” she said.– BERNAMA