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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Rights of minorities are protected, says Abdullah

NST (2/12/2007): The prime minister yesterday gave the assurance that minority races in the country are protected under the law and continue to enjoy the fruits of development.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said this was because Islam required Muslims to be fair and that representatives of all the races were in the government.

He said the minorities in the country - whether Indians, Chinese or people of other races - would have a place in the nation as guaranteed in the Constitution.

"The minorities will get protection under the law, enjoy the development that the nation experiences and continue to progress. We are a country which practises the sharing of power and in the government, there are representatives from all races. We sit down together and decide what is best for the country and the people.

"We do not sideline any race or religion. There is no such thing as ethnic cleansing... this is for sure."
Abdullah said the government would continue to help the Indian community by providing education, equal opportunities and other benefits.

"I have to be fair to all and this is something which is a must in Islam. One day, I will die and according to Islam, Allah will judge me.

"Allah will evaluate me and question me if I have been just and fair. Have you done this or not? I cannot lie. Allah knows if I lie. As a Muslim, I cannot be enemies with others, I cannot hate any race, I cannot hate any group."

Speaking at the launch of the Hadhari Village in Kampung Tanjung Bidara, Abdullah, who was accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, said the implementation of Islam Hadhari or "civilisational Islam" was aimed at enhancing the quality of life of Malaysians, regardless of race and religion.

Abdullah said if approached honestly and sincerely, Islam Hadhari's 10 principles could be a guide to progress for all Malaysians.

He said Islam Hadhari was a comprehensive approach to ensuring development, peace and stability.

"For us Muslims, sometimes we argue about what we are doing in the name of Islam and we face numerous hurdles to understand this. As for the non-Muslims, they are monitoring what we do and looking if the things we are doing in the name of Islam cause them any hardship, or if it is something which is against the teachings of their religion.

"They (non-Muslims) are given the freedom of religion under the constitution."

He said Islam Hadhari was not a new sect, nor was it something new.

"It is the manhaj or approach of Islam. It is based on what is best for the nation and takes into account the multiracial and multireligious people.

"All Malaysians want development and the 10 principles of Islam Hadhari are being used as guidelines for the development of the nation."

He said nine of the 10 principles of Islam Hadhari stressed the importance of gaining knowledge as only knowledge could empower the people to build a better nation.


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