There have been several clashes that went viral on social media involving people from different races which did not escalate into a racial face-off," Baharin said at an award ceremony for JPNIN officers and personnel here today. (pix by RAMDZAN MASIAM)

GEORGETOWN: Malaysians are mature and intelligent enough to recognise and dismiss instigators of racial hatred who wish to divide them on various important national issues.

National Unity and National Integration (JPNIN) director-general Baharin Idris said that while some have tried to create racial disunity among multiracial Malaysians, the people have proven to be smart enough not to take the bait.

"For example, there have been several clashes that went viral on social media involving people from different races which did not escalate into a racial face-off," Baharin said at an award ceremony for JPNIN officers and personnel here today.

He said Malaysians are not easily fooled by claims on social media that the country is divided by race and culture.

"The people no longer entertain or pay attention to attempts to create a gap among them. Instead, they are united in bringing everyone closer," he said.

Baharin said issues that went viral recently, such as the incident of a Chinese man who was beaten up by Malay Muslims for making noise during Friday prayers, did not escalate into race riots because the people know those involved do not represent a certain race.

"Fights among races now are more due to gangsterism and not racism among the people," he said.

Baharin also said that just like saying “no” to racism, the people should also fight gangsterism by alerting the authorities whenever such activities arise.

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