KOTA KINABALU, Nov 4 (Bernama) — Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan Thursday called on the Kadazandusun community to ignore political differences in the quest for greater unity, saying they should nurture understanding, co-operation and tolerance.
Pairin, who is the "Huguan Siou" (paramount leader) of the Kadazandusun community, said this would ensure that the state and country become the ideal place for the people to live and work in peace and harmony.
He said everyone had a role to play in strengthening unity and that no one should become bored with efforts to promote unity.
Pairin said many people looked up to him as the paramount leader of the Kadazandusun to help unite the community further but there were also people who questioned that role owing to political differences.
Despite the political differences, he said, there were areas where everyone could work together for the sake of the community's future.
Pairin said this was one of the challenges that had to be faced in the context of unity in the state.
He said using political differences as an excuse could undermine efforts to foster greater co-operation and integration in society.
"I believe that efforts to achieve Vision 2020 in terms of racial unity are ongoing. Similarly, in the case of Sabah, many among us want unity in the community to be stepped up," he said.
He also said that it was difficult to find a way to convince everyone on the need to achieve unity.
"Although a majority of the people accepted this fact, we still have to understand one another. Unity among the people in Sabah is good but it has yet to attain the desired level," he said.
Therefore, he said, the people should consider the matter with sincerity and work towards achieving it.