KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - All measures will be taken to stop anyone from trying to overthrow the government through street rallies, Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Wednesday (Sept 16).
He said these groups were stirring up hatred with the aim of toppling the government.
"It is not right to organise rallies dominated by one race, with the expressed aim of toppling the government. As we have seen, this then leads to rallies by other races.
"This could not be more dangerous and risks tearing apart the fabric of our democracy, our harmony, our unity," he said in his keynote address at an Enhancing National Unity and Integration conference here.
Najib said it was saddening that there were those conspiring with blackmailers, forgers and foreigners who want to interfere in our country as they did in colonial times.
"There is no lie they will not tell, no rumours they will not spread, so that they can say Malaysia is on a dangerous course.
"But they are the danger. In their desperate wish to overthrow a democratically-elected government, they are willing to risk the instability that has led to violent revolutions in many countries - some very close to us," Najib said.
He said the country had gone through a bitter experience of seeing blood on the streets and the burning of shops.
"But let me say this - I will never allow that to happen in Malaysia. The peace and security of the nation is my government's top priority," he added.
"I am confident that we will prevail and stay united," Najib added.
He said the government would never stop fighting to preserve the prevailing peace, harmony and prosperity in the country.
"It is only through pursuing national unity - managing our differences, not letting them cause bitterness and anger between us - and the regular course of parliamentary democracy, that we will remain the Malaysia that our friends around the world admire," Najib added.
Acknowledging that peninsular leaders and politicians may have in the past not pay as much attention as they should have done to Sabah and Sarawak, the Prime Minister said this was no longer the case.
"We hear you and we celebrate this day as one that brought us together as Malaysia," Najib said.
"More than that, Sabah's harmonious society embodies the spirit of unity and celebrating diversity that is key to our country's prosperity and progress.
"Those who would divide us, over ethnicity and religion, through excessively partisan politics, or for selfish personal reasons, should look to here as an example," he added.
Najib said over the past 52 years, Malaysia had proven that the nation's diversity, various faiths and ethnicities were its strength.
"And as well as shared values, we have a shared creed in the Rukun Negara, a shared guardian in the constitution, and a shared love for our country that has seen our citizens reach out to help each other in times of trouble, such as during the floods at the beginning of this year and the earthquake here in Sabah in June," he said.
The Prime Minister noted that enhancing unity was "a work that is permanently in progress."
"It has been the struggle of all our leaders in the past, and it is one that future generations will have to continue," he added.
The Prime Minister gave the assurance that Sabahans has a strong say in the nation's administration with their presence in the Federal government and Barisan Nasional.
"But that is not why we are placing so much emphasis on Sabah. Nor is that why I have asked the Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Ali Hamsa, to look into streamlining duplication in decision-making between the state and federal levels, in order to further empower Sabah's self-governance.
"We are taking these actions because they are right; because of the importance we place on inclusivity; and because we recognise that in a democratic federal system, the rights of states to take their own decisions must be respected," he said.
The one-day seminar discussed about ways of strengthening national unity and integration from the Sabahan perspective.