PETALING JAYA- Come this Chinese New Year, MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai is urging everyone to embrace diversity and work together against racism and extremism in society.
In his 2014 Chinese New Year address, Liow noted that Malaysia's political landscape "has undergone changes, which are affecting Malaysia's multi-cultural and multi-ethnic relations".
"Malaysians want and deserve stability," he said.
"Now, more than ever, we must go beyond tolerance and embrace acceptance and understanding."
Liow reminded the people that harmony was the only way for the nation to progress, urging them not to forget Malaysia's foundation: the moderate path that the nation has taken on since Independence.
He also stressed that the Government has a duty of prioritising the interests of the people, listening to them and developing policies that would benefit them.
"As long as the Government safeguards the rakyat, the rakyat will in turn be supportive of the Government.
"For the long-term stability of the country, the Government must keep in mind that unity is essential and the country must be governed as one nation.
"However the rakyat must also remember that the Government has the responsibility of planning ahead for the future of the nation and policies that may appear unpopular now will be later realised to be for the greater good of the nation," he said.
He added that the party would address issues like education, economic enhancement, national harmony and welfare.
Wishing prosperity, peace and harmony for the rakyat, he encouraged them to learn from the energy, strength, endurance and grace of a horse.
Liow ended his address with a horse-related Chinese proverb: "Distance tests the strength of the horses; only time reveals the hearts of men (lu yao zhi ma li, ri jiu jian ren xin)."