Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said Malaysians should not merely have "moments of unity" but must make it part of our culture.
He said this at the 'Moments of Unity' event organised by the Malaysian National Unity and Integration Department at the Perdana Botanical Gardens in Kuala Lumpur today.
"We should make it (unity) our culture.
"Our theme today is 'moments of unity'. But the truth is, we don't want just moments of unity. What we want is unity always," he said in his speech for the event this morning.
Pointing out that Malaysia is a multicultural nation, he said that unity has to be translated into action and cannot remain as merely words or thoughts.
"We are all here at the Botanical Gardens today, we are all breathing the same air.
"We are all Malaysians and we love this country," he said.
Malaysians are blessed to have a lot of diversity, he said, citing the examples of food and public holidays in the country.
"You know, being a Malaysian, there are so many things going on for us.
"Even food alone, we have all types of food, all kinds.
"Also, Malaysians, we have public holidays. We have all kinds of public holidays (because) we celebrate all," he said.
He cited yong tau foo, nasi kandar and yee sang as examples of the varieties of food that were available in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, he warned, extremism was the enemy of unity and thus Malaysians must remember to respect and empathise with each other, regardless of race.
He reminded that the success of any race in Malaysia was a success for Malaysia.
"We are not a zero-sum country," he said.
If Malaysians remain united, he added, the country could likely be a top 20 nation soon.