SEREMBAN: The proximity of the four places of worship along Jalan Yam Tuan here is a clear testament to how much multi-racial Malay-sians cherish peace and respect for one another, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the fact that a mosque, church, Sikh gurdwara and a Hindu temple could be located within a stone’s throw of one another was proof that Malaysians could co-exist in peace and harmony despite their differences.
“That is what makes us unique. We would not have had these places of worship located almost next to one another if we were not united,” he said when launching the “Go Make A Difference” carnival at the Church of The Visitation in conjunction with Malaysia Day.
The church, Gurdwara Sahib Seremban and Sri Balathanda-yuthapani Hindu Temple were all built more than a century ago while the Masjid Negeri was constructed half a century ago.
Kurup said Malaysians were able to live in harmony as the country’s elders have advocated moderation.
“We have also religiously lived by the five principles of Rukun Negara and this has helped cement communal peace and harmony.
“We must always remember that unity is the bedrock of a successful nation and we must continue to celebrate our diversity,” he said.
Kurup commended the organisers of the carnival for bringing people of different faiths to celebrate the event.
“We should never undermine or belittle the beliefs of other people because only those who do not have self-confidence or respect for others would resort to such acts,” he said.
Malaysian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church Anthony Soter Fernandez, who was also present, said such events helped build bridges among people of different races.
“May we all remind ourselves that we belong to one race – the human race and that we have one language – the language of love,” Anthony Soter said.
The day-long carnival began with the singing of Negaraku followed by the recitation of Rukun Negara.
Apart from the many stalls set up selling food prepared by the various communities, there were also cultural performances and other activities held at the church grounds.