SUBANG JAYA: Malaysians should not let a moments of heightened bigotry and extremism define the future of racial and religious relations in the country, Minister in the Prime Minister Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said today.
Kurup said during the launch of #SaySomethingNice 2015, however, that if Malaysians could band together to promote acts of unity and integration, the positiveness of the act can overcome the negativity perpetuated by extremists
"It saddens me when racial and religious bigotries take centre stage in our media and of late it has only gotten worse. Do not let the present prevailing situation be the future of our country.
"I am positive that the campaign will instill a sense of togetherness and bonding that is crucial for both our personal and professional life, not to mention its remarkable effect on our communities," he said.
The campaign is to encourage Malaysians from all walks of life to convey positive feelings about Malaysia through the medium of their choice in the 17 days between Merdeka Day on Aug 31 and Malaysia Day on Sept 16.
Kurup commended the media's participation in the campaign and noted that several newspapers had provided centrespread advertisement spaces free of charge for the campaign's use.
He added that encouraging unity in a multi-racial and multi-religious country like Malaysia is not only the duty of the government but also the responsibility of all sections of society.
Zubedy Sdn Bhd's, the company that has been organising the annual event since 2010, managing director Anas Zubedy said complete unity is an impossible ideal as it is a constant struggle but believes that it is possible for an abundance of positive voices to drown out the negativity.
He said about 100 non-profit, non-governmental, and business organisations had already pledged to participate in the campaign and help put up approximately 700,000 to 800,000 #SaySomethingNice posters.
Zubedy added that he is currently trying to get Chinese and Tamil newspapers to participate in the campaign.
INTI chief executive Rohit Sharma said the campaign provides an avenue for students at the university to be actively involved in impacting the community.