'Practise moderation to keep extremism at bay'

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia - Moderation should be practised in politics to ensure extremism is kept at bay, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

Saying that practising moderation didn't mean a political party was showing weakness, the Prime Minister said it instead showed a party that was morally strong.

"Moderation is a concept that means balance which is extremely crucial in a coalition like Barisan Nasional that champions the people's rights," he said at Gerakan's 43rd national congress yesterday.

Najib said Malaysia's appointment as a non-permanent member of the United Nations security council was because the country was the epitome of a multi-racial nation.

"That is why it is a must to have the right balance in life and that means physically, mentally and emotionally because without these, I don't think you can be a happy human being," he said.

Saying Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong's win in the Teluk Intan by-election on May 31 was a sign of revival for Gerakan to climb further, Najib urged the party members to work together with other Barisan Nasional component parties to achieve a bigger victory in the next general election.

He urged the party, which lost Penang to DAP in 2008, to come up with a plan to win the state back.

At another event, MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said there was no room for extremist views here including the influence of the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

He said it was important to curb extremism as such views could threaten the safety of surrounding nations in the region.

"Malaysia will have a tough journey ahead in moving forward if we do not address this," he said at the launching of a book compiling various essays written about the Malaysia-China relationship.

On the 40-year relationship between Malaysia and China, Liow said the bond between the leaders of both countries was not just merely diplomatic but was seen as a very close friendship.

"This relationship can propel both countries to greater heights. Together, we can develop and advance economically and culturally," he said.

On another matter, Liow said MCA never gave up in championing Chinese education in Malaysia.

Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang expressed his appreciation for the warm ties between Malaysia and China.

"Our Malay and Indian friends have also treated us with much warmth and this is something that is special and precious," he said.