PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has assured the country’s Christians that he will remain open to hearing their concerns, hopes and ideas.
In his Christmas message, the Prime Minister acknowledged the country’s Christian community for its role in Malaysian society especially in Sabah and Sarawak.
“We are very fortunate that Malaysia continues to enjoy peaceful relations between different faiths and races.
“This doesn’t happen without our continued efforts to keep it that way, so I will always be open to hearing any hopes, concerns and ideas that members of the Christian community may have,” Najib said in his message that was posted on his blog (1malaysia.com.my/blog/).
Wishing all Malaysian Christians a Merry Christmas, Najib said that he would be having the pleasure of joining members of the faith in a Christmas Day tea party today where he will listen to their views.
He said that although Malaysia was a Muslim-majority country, some people might not realise that around one in 10 Malaysians was a Christian.
Since becoming Prime Minister, Najib said he had placed much emphasis on the unifying concepts of 1Malaysia and the Global Movement of the Moderates.
While the concepts were partly about establishing a dialogue, Najib said he was also determined that they lead to real action.
They include his meeting with Pope Benedict XVI last year, after which Malaysia formally established diplomatic relations with Vatican City.
“I very much enjoyed meeting Pope Benedict XVI in person, and now look forward to following his tweets!” said Najib, referring to the Pope who recently set up a Twitter account to communicate with his followers.
Najib said another step forward came last week when the Government announced that it would ensure any Malaysian Christian who wishes to travel to Jerusalem for a pilgrimage would be able to do so.
Tracing the roots of Malaysia’s Christians, Najib said Persian and Turkish traders brought Nestorian Christianity to the country as early as the 7th century. They were followed by the Portuguese who brought Catholicism in the 15th century and the Dutch who spread Protestantism in the 17th century.
“As Christmas comes in the last week of the year, it is also a good time to reflect on what has been and will be,” said Najib.
– THE STAR