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Set aside differences
Published on: Saturday, September 23, 2017

Kuala Lumpur: The sacrifice of the people in setting aside their differences is the basis of Malaysia's strength that has made it a progressive and dynamic Islamic state, said Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

The Prime Minister said the strength was fortified by the unity of the people that had become the asset and blessing in the strategic planning to build a successful and well-established nation state.

"It is this unity, particularly among the Muslims and the people in the country, that has enabled us to free ourselves from the shackles of colonisation to achieve independence.

"Through consolidation and consensus, we have not only brought the people out of poverty into progress, but are also paving the path of prosperity towards a high-income advanced economy," he said in his speech when officiating at the national-level Maal Hijrah celebration here Friday.

Referring to the economy, Najib said the government's determined efforts had borne fruit and added that the Gross Domestic Product for the second quarter of 2017 recorded an impressive growth of 5.8pc, among the highest in the world.

He also said that The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2016/2017 by Thomson Reuters showed that Malaysia once again occupied the overall top position among 73 countries.

"More recently, in a similar report, Malaysia is not only recognised as 'the best developed ecosystem for Islamic Finance in the world', but the Employees Provident Fund is reported to have the world's biggest Islamic Savings Plan," he said.

The Prime Minister said Malaysia was not only portrayed as a model progressive Islamic state but also acknowledged as a major player in the international arena.

Najib said the government would continue to focus on the development and welfare of the people through infrastructure projects based on the 'Maqasid Syariah' foundational goals, such as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), East Coast Rail Link, Pan-Borneo Highway and High Speed Rail that were being implemented or planned for implementation.

He also said that the government always practised the 'wasatiyyah' approach of moderation as the basis of governance.

He said that on that principle, Malaysia rejected any extreme ideology, such as the threat of Daesh or Al-Qaeda, as well as trends that were too liberal or loose.

"It is based on this principle that we have to reject LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) because it has no place in our country," he said.

Malaysia, he said, would continue to be concerned for and play an active role in humanitarian issues around the world, particularly in assisting people of the same faith in Palestine and the Rakhine province in Myanmar.

Najib also dismissed an allegation by an opposition leader that he (Najib) had not raised the Rohingya refugee issue with United States President Donald Trump during their recent meeting at the White House.

"Look at the official statement issued by the White House after the meeting. There were also many witnesses (at the meeting), including our Tok Pa (International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed), who can vouch that I raised the Rohingya issue with President Trump," he said.

Najib said he was informed that following the White House meeting, the United States approved an allocation of US$32 million (RM134.3 million) to help the Rohingya community in Myanmar.

The Prime Minister also said that the Maal Hijrah celebration should not be seen as being only ceremonious but should be observed as a significant day which offered lessons to be learned.

The Maal Hijrah celebration, carrying the theme of 'Unity of the Ummah, Prosperity of the Nation', was aimed at remembering the historic journey of Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Makkah to Madinah.

In conjunction with the celebration, former Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri and former chief minister Tun Sakaran Dandai was awarded the 'Tokoh Ma'al Hijrah' (Maal Hijrah Personality) award.

The Maal Hijrah event was also attended by Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and several other Cabinet ministers.

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