Malacca has no place for extremists and racists, says Chief Minister

MALACCA - Extremists and racists are not welcome in Malacca, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.

He said that he was a firm believer of a racial diversity and would never allow Malacca to be a breeding ground for racists and extremists.

"Our country is known for its cultural and ethnic diversity for the past 58 years. We will not tolerate any extremists to rear their ugly heads in this state.

"This not only my stance but also that of Governor Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob. He wants us to continue living happily as diverse and united Malaccans," he said after a video interview with The Star on Sunday at his official residence in Seri Bendahara in Ayer Keroh.

Idris said Mohd Khalil was an ambassador of peace and harmony who knew the history of this nation at his fingertips.

"Tun can delve in depth into our long history and diversity, especially in the context of the maritime relationship between Malacca and China.

"The state government's objective is to maintain and flourish this unity in the state. We will not allow any party to derail this," he said.

Idris also quoted a verse from the Quran that reminded mankind on the existence of various ethnicities and the importance of forging close ties with the non-Muslim communities.

"In a nutshell, Malacca is against any form of bigotry and want the local populace to reap the opportunities available when the Guandong province of China makes more investments in the state.

"We should not waste time on arguing about trivial issues," he said.

Idris said a series of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Guandong and Malacca were expected to create RM40bil in spin-offs from foreign direct investments.

Minority communities in the state welcomed the Chief Minister's statement.

Joseph Sta Maria, the representative of minority ethnic communities under the state Barisan Nasional's social service unit (Pembela), described Idris as a model Malay leader.

"The Malacca Portuguese community together with Peranakan Chinese, the Malacca Chitties and the Gujarati and minorities welcome Idris' statement. We believe it is time for Malacca to take the lead to unite the nation," he said.

Sta Maria said the nation bled each time racial and religious issues were used to divide the people to serve the appetite of desperate politicians.

"Sometimes its hard to say the truth because there are people who are naive or ignorant but if it is needed to be said, it must be spelled out without any fear or favour."

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