Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg

KUCHING: Malaysia must deal with the polarisation of its multi-ethnic and multi-racial society in order to move forward, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He pointed out that if people were at loggerheads with each other, there would be disunity among the various communities.

“We need to create a climate where we understand and trust each other. If we have that, it will be a pillar to the nation,” he said during an exclusive interview with New Sarawak Tribune on Thursday.

Abang Johari said Sarawak was fortunate as its people were spared from the widespread animosity observed in Malaya.

“Here, we regard everyone as our friends and family, I think we have an advantage in Sarawak because of our tendency for mixed marriages.

“This creates a situation where cultural interaction is respected by everyone. That is the beauty of Sarawak. With interactions among diverse races, we converge rather than diverge,” he said.

The chief minister said if mutual respect existed among the people, they would be able to get along and the community could be protected.

On the theme of the upcoming Malaysia Day celebration ‘Malaysia Prihatin’, Abang Johari said it meant that the people shared the concern of one another and were responsible for taking care of themselves and those around them.

“We have to see what is in the interest of the nation and we contribute where we can based on our ability. This will establish a prosperous and more united nation,” he said.