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KENINGAU, June 15:Peace, friendship and harmony are part of the essential ingredients to build a nation and a strong practical feeling of nationhood among its people. And for this noble objective to succeed, Sabah’s Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said there should be less politics and more practicality, understanding, sincerity and mutual assistance. “The world today is busy seeking peace and we have to play a part, too, because our small effort will pay off in the future. “But, of course, it needs to have the right ingredient and that is genuine sincerity. “Our ‘Rumah Malaysia’ (nation) was not made of Lego sets, but with certain materials. “Our ‘home’ did not have enough ‘materials’ then, maybe because politics during that time and immature society had forced it to be misunderstood. “But today we have matured. We have better ‘materials’ now which is easily accepted by all. “But, unfortunately, some pillars of the ‘Rumah Malaysia’ are no longer strong and it needs fixing fast to prevent it from collapsing. “The need for transformation and repair arises because of threats and public becoming more mature. “We need to be sensitive and unite to create that positive transformation. “If ignored, neglected, and/or rejected, the proudly proclaimed ‘Rumah Malaysia’ cannot be maintained, nor will it be sustainable. “It is important, therefore, to give the proper treatment. “For peace, stability, friendship, harmony and development to be sustainable, there must be less politics, but more practical, sincere understanding and sincerity and the spirit of sincere mogitatabang or gotong-royong,” said Pairin during the National Tadau Kaamatan (Harvest Festival) Open House last night. The Huguon Siou (the Paramount Leader for the Kadazandusun community) said that before one plays whatever small part one can, one must first acknowledge one another as brothers and sisters sincerely and cooperate towards mutual development and creation of true nationhood. “We are grateful, therefore, for the respect and recognition of one of the very important ingredients towards ensuring peace, harmony and nationhood, and that is highlighting this cultural event, which is now held every year. “As a show of appreciation, we should maximise the noble basis of this event, and sustain and strengthen this programme so that the noble intentions will be achieved year after year,” said Pairin. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who officiated the event, stressed that respect for one another’s culture and backgrounds was an important element towards promoting peace and harmony in the country. “Culture is the people. And as a citizen of this nation, we must share and respect other community’s festivals to instil a sense of respect and understanding. “We are one in diversity and despite these varieties, we are one,” he said in his speech read by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, who also came to the event, announced that next year’s National Tadau Kaamatan Open House would be held in Ranau.

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