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Friday, December 26, 2008

> PM wants to resolve religious disputes

Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi being greeted by (from left) Bishop Ng Moon Hing, Rev Thomas Varkey,  Sri Archbishop Murphy Pakiam shaking hands with PM, Rev Thomas Philips and Rev Eu Hon Seng (behind PM) during the Christmas Day Tea Reception at Subang Jaya this afternoon - theSunpic.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wants to meet religious leaders to formulate a mechanism that can effectively resolve religious disputes.

"Religious leaders in the country should also emphasise on religious tolerance to ensure a peaceful life to the people," he said in his address at a Christmas tea reception tea party hosted by the Christian Federation of Malaysia in Wisma Eagles in Subang Jaya today.

"If all of us love Malaysia, there will be something in common to all of us. If we love peace and value harmony, (we need to) ensure that whatever we say and do, we emphasise the importance of religious tolerance and freedom of worship in Malaysia. Everyone must make every effort to ensure that there is peace for the country to progress for us to share the prosperity," he added.

Abdullah said he would like to see equitable distribution of quality opportunities to all Malaysians because it was only through the strategy of fairness that Malaysians "can live in peace to savour the country's success".

Towards this end, Abdullah said he would like like to meet all religious leaders again to come out with some ways or mechanisms that can be developed to ensure that "when problems or differences arise, there are ways to resolve disputes".

"This mechanism is important and I know all of us have feelings on many things. The best for us to do now is to discuss ways to address all these feelings ... feelings of unhappiness and marginalisation which Malaysians should not be feeling.

"We must ensure that all Malaysians have equal share and access to all the good the country can offer. Thank God that we are committed together and if we have one common objective, I am sure that we can succeed in overcoming all the differences," he said.

Abdullah said the people must also teach themselves to live in peace and vow to God that they must do whatever to ensure that all Malaysians of different religions and ethnic backgrounds live in peace together.

"It is our duty to ensure that our children are raised without any sense of prejudice or ill feelings for one another. The differences in religions beliefs and faiths should not be a hindrance to develop friendship,," he added - theSun.