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Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali described the Conference of Malay Rulers’ statement as a “shining light” in the face of extreme actions by certain individuals and groups that could threaten the harmony in a multi-racial society.

“With humility, I would like to state that the principles of tolerance, moderation and harmony as emphasised by the Conference of Malay Rulers will be the pillars of the Selangor government.

“Based upon these principles, I urge Malaysians, particularly those in Selangor, to reject gutter politics, gangster culture and racism,” said Azmin, who is also PKR deputy president.

Meanwhile, PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the Conference of Malay Rulers’ advice must be taken seriously.

“PKR also upholds the federal constitution and rule of law. As stated by the rulers, the five principles of the Rukun Negara must serve as a guide and reflection for all,” she said in a statement.

G25, a group of eminent former civil servants, also lauded the Conference of Malay Rulers’ condemnation of “excessive actions” by certain people.

“The actions by these individuals and groups reflect an ever-increasing move away from a moderate Islam and a moderate Malaysia, contradicting the government’s international stance.

“Indeed, these actions by the extremist few pose a very serious threat to peace, harmony and stability to our beloved nation and must be nipped in the bud right now.

“The members of G25 are proud to have the Conference of Malay Rulers who stand united as leaders against the extremism that is spreading in our country,” said the group.

G25 said the government must take a clear and firm stance and to urgently and decisively put a stop to the rise of religious extremism, intolerance and bigotry.

It added that this applied not only to individuals and groups but independent preachers and within the religious enforcement agencies.

“We are concerned by the ambiguity of certain Syariah criminal laws and the lack of accountability of religious institutions and authorities.

“The time is opportune for the federal and state governments to review the Syariah Offences Acts and Enactments which give religious authorities broad powers and which are seriously lacking in clear definitions which can be abused and indeed, have been abused.

“The federal and state governments need to urgently monitor their respective religious departments to ensure that they do not abuse their powers and perpetuate injustice. Those who are guilty of abusing their powers must be held accountable,” it said.

The group said the whole nation, from the government to its people, must come together to promote unity and harmony.

“The diversity of our nation is our strength and our bond. We urge all Malaysians who want to live in a nation where our differences are celebrated, to join us in our call for a more tolerant, respectful and inclusive society.

“Let not our voices of moderation be drowned by those of the few,” it said.

Yesterday, the Conference of Malay Rulers expressed concern about the state of unity and harmony in the country, making reference to incidences such as Muslim-only laundrette.

“It is feared that the excessive actions of certain individuals of late can undermine the harmonious relations among the people of various races and religions.

“The Rulers feel that the issue of harmony has deep implication if any action is associated with and undertaken in the name of Islam.

“The image of Islam as a religion that promotes tolerance, moderation and inclusiveness among its followers must be defended from being tainted by actions that are excessive and can disunite the people,” said the Rulers.

– M’kini

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