PETALING JAYA - Mutual respect and accommodation among races are the hallmarks of Malaysia's success and these must be preserved, said 1Malaysia Foundation Trustee Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
Lee said he feared that the social fabric which had been keeping the nation together since independence was being torn apart by extremism.
"We are a multi-racial and religious country. Any form of extremism will certainly not help to create an atmosphere that's conducive for unity," he said.
All issues pertaining to race or religion, said Lee, should be raised in a manner which would not hurt the feelings of others.
He said groups and individuals out to sow discord were a minority.
"We know who they are and these voices of extremism are being amplified beyond acceptable norms," he said, adding that it was time for the silent majority to make a stand against extremism.
Lee also credited The Star's Brave Views, Bold Ideas campaign for encouraging Malaysians to promote moderation, adding that this was the way forward.
"It's very reassuring to note a media company has taken on this campaign," he said.
Under the campaign, The Star promised to keep discussions open, rational and moderate while showcasing liberal, moderate and balanced voices.
The newspaper has also pledged to be at the forefront to nurture and ensure the resounding triumph of moderation and reason over extremism and insanity
Lee said there had been a good response for the campaign.
"Based on the feedback in letters and commentaries, I believe that the campaign can play an important role in promoting unity and peace," he said.