Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Najib Razak has said that multi ethnic Malaysia's success in maintaining peace and harmony has impressed Indian Premier Narendra Modi and he wished to know how it was made possible.
During his speech at a Malaysian Diwali open house in Malacca yesterday, Najib Razak called on the multi ethnic, multi religion Malaysians to reject extremism, fanaticism and rigid ideologies.
"I have spoken to the new Prime Minister of India (Narendra Modi) who said that he was impressed with Malaysia's success and would like to learn how we did it," Najib said, state-owned Bernama news agency reported.
"Although we have different cultures and religions, we are still Malaysians who love the country and will continue striving to make Malaysia a fully-developed nation by 2020," he said.
Malaysia has 60 per cent of Malays who are Muslims, 25 per cent ethnic Chinese who are mostly Christians and Buddhists and eight per cent ethnic Indians, majority of whom are Hindus.
Najib said the concept of unity in diversity promoted by the country's former leaders could not be found elsewhere in the world, hence making Malaysia a very special country.
Malaysians should feel proud with the government's success in maintaining peace and harmony in this multi-racial country, he added.
"If a foreigner can feel that way about Malaysia, then why some of our own people continue to ridicule the success?" he said referring to his talk with Modi.
Meanwhile, Najib said the government would continue helping the minority ethnic Indian community to move forward together with other races in the country.
The special incentives include the construction of new and the upgrading of existing community centres and Hindu crematoriums, the nationalisation of Tamil schools into fully-aided government institutions, more quotas in higher-learning institutions, the empowerment of entrepreneurs, the speeding up of business licences and the alleviation of crime among youths.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mah Siew Keong has been appointed by Najib to spearhead the National Hindu Endowment Board, while the Malaysian Indian Economic Conference will come under the purview of the Indian Community Affairs Cabinet Committee to enhance Indian equity in the economy.
"All these efforts are to enable the ethnic Indian community to be globally competitive and to create a conducive business environment," Najib said.
The Prime Minister assured that future of the ethnic Indian community was protected and called on them to continue believing in the government.