KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in his Chinese New Year message, paid tribute to the country’s Chinese community and their role in nation-building.
Malaysia’s multi-cultural society, he said, have all played a key role in guiding the nation to where it is today.
“Indeed Malaysia is home to many, and all have played important role in building this great nation especially our Chinese brothers and sisters as fellow sons and daughters of Malaysia. Their tremendous contribution is evident in every part of the country be it culturally or economically.
“To this end, my heartfelt gratitude goes to the nation-building role played by all Malaysian Chinese since Independence,” he wrote in his blog najibrazak.com.
The prime minister said religious and cultural festivals in Malaysia have become joyous occasions not just for a certain segment of society but is instead celebrated by all.
“As we bid adieu to the Year of the Rooster and prepare to usher in the Year of the Dog, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone who is celebrating – a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
“This celebration is an important celebration for the Chinese community with thousands of years of history, a celebration so rich in tradition that begins with the journey back home for the all-important reunion dinner with the elderly and family on the eve of the New Year.
“Great emphasis is placed on the tradition of reunion during this festive period as it continues to embed and cultivate not just the values of filial piety and respect in the next generation, but also strengthens the relationship and bond of one with friends and family,” he said.
The prime minister said the tradition of reunion during the festive season has been practised from generation to generation for thousands of years and is indeed a respectable custom.
It symbolises the concept of coming together as one, he added.
He also said the celebration is a perfect reminder of the many cultures and faiths that make Malaysians who they are. The vast array of traditions and perspectives, he said, is a melting pot that makes Malaysians unique, fresh and dynamic.
“But I believe it has been ingrained in us since Independence. We live harmoniously as one regardless of race and creed. It has become a way of life and this bond between us is what I believe to be the true spirit of 1Malaysia.
Najib expressed his commitment towards ensuring that no Malaysians will be left behind. He said future generations will be better and the nation will grow stronger together as one.
“I hope that this Year of the Dog will bring prosperity and good health to you and your families and may we continue to be proud and committed to Negaraku, a country that we love. Xin Nian Kuai Le!” he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd