Tuesday, August 27, 2013

PM: Secure lasting peace - New Straits Times

28 August 2013| last updated at 12:45AM

PUTRAJAYA : DATUK Seri Najib Razak yesterday called on all nations to create a better future and secure lasting peace.

The prime minister said the international community faced perhaps its greatest challenge to achieve "peace not just during our time, but peace for all times".

"It is a challenge that must be met collectively. It is imperative that we achieve a peace premised on a covenant of the willing, not one enforced by hegemony or secured through coercion.

"Peace can only be achieved if we are willing to constructively engage each other, to substitute dialogue in place of conflict," he said at the Mahathir Award for Global Peace ceremony here.

Najib said it was this spirit that inspired former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who stood against war.

Najib also said Malaysia felt a deep connection with the fight to remove racism and uphold democracy as it was also trying to create a fairer and freer nation.

"Our nation spent much of the 20th century in search of democracy, struggling for majority rule and working to build the institutions on which independence and prosperity rely."

Two renowned statesmen were honoured for their contributions.

Former South African president Nelson Mandela was conferred the the Lifetime Campaigner for Peace and Freedom of the Mahathir Award for Global Peace, while Dr Mahathir received the Lifetime Campaigner for Global Peace award.

South African President Jacob Zuma accepted the award on behalf of Mandela, 95, who is receiving treatment and whose condition is reported to be critical but stable.

Present were Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali, Zuma's wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa and several ministers.

The Mahathir Award for Global Peace is the brainchild of Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing.

Najib added that Dr Mahathir had worked tirelessly to deliver a simple message -- that war should not be the preferred path to peace.

He also urged other nations to emulate Mandela's unwavering resolve to use peace instead of violence to secure democracy for South Africa.

He said the world was lucky to know a global icon such as Mandela. "It is rare that a national leader rises to become a global icon; rarer still that they do so by compassion, not conquest.

"Only a handful earn such recognition that they are known not just to their own people, but to the world; known not only by their titles, but by a single name."

Najib said Mandela was a leader who brought a nation together when others would tear it apart.

"Faced with a choice between settling scores and healing wounds, president Mandela demonstrated that peace begins at home. That the practice of peace begins with a personal commitment: to forgiveness and to compassion. In one bold stroke, he rallied the country to think that opportunities avail themselves when the country is united."

He said these achievements were celebrated with a particular passion in Malaysia. "For generations, our people have felt an affinity with South Africa."

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad presenting the Mahathir Award for Global Peace: Lifetime Campaigner for Peace and Freedom to South African President Jacob Zuma (second from left), who received it on behalf of Nelson Mandela, in Putrajaya yesterday. At left is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Pic by Fariz Iswadi Ismail

South African President Jacob Zuma looking at Felda products during his visit to Wisma Felda in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Bernama pic

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