JOHOR BAHRU: Harmony must be preserved, nurtured and instilled in oneself and passed on to the next generation, said Minister of National Unity Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang.

According to him, unity must be a way of life and practice for everyone and is the main foundation capable of strengthening all Malaysians to become citizens with a high spirit of identity.

“We must all remember, each of us is responsible and plays a role in preserving harmony, sovereignty, peace and security in our country.

“I hope that everyone can embrace the principles of understanding and acceptance in fostering harmony and diversity within Malaysian society,” he said in his speech at the national-level Unity Week (SMP) 2024 at Dataran Angsana Johor Bahru Mall here tonight.

The event was officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Also present was Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi.

Aaron said the Ministry of National Unity (KPN) will continue all efforts and initiatives to strengthen national unity by focusing this year on mobilising the Rukun Tetangga (RT) Initiative as a driver of progressive communities.

He said there are currently more than 300 RTs implementing economic activities that include agricultural projects (community gardens), food, beverage and health product production, handicrafts, catering services and Community Based Tourism (CBT).

“In Phase 1, 116 RTs across the country have been identified to be models for Progressive RTs. These Progressive RTs are expected to excel in community service and societal work through eight focus areas, which include the economy and livelihoods; community security and resilience; leadership; community well-being; lifelong learning; environment; heritage and culture and creativity.

“In this regard, I request the Prime Minister’s goodwill to consider special allocations through the Madani Community Fund for the empowerment and economic projects of Rukun Tetangga,” he said.

Meanwhile, Onn Hafiz said the aspect of unity is always emphasised among the people in the state, known as ‘Bangsa Johor’.

“The concept of Bangsa Johor has been etched since 1920 by the late Sultan Sir Ibrahim, where he wanted Johor to have a united multiracial society....this is to develop this beloved state, and the spirit of unity has emerged and is present in the state of Johor to this day,” he said.