Thursday, January 1, 2004

"Work with me to strengthen unity" (New Year's Message)

Work with me to strengthen unity: Abdullah
01 January, 2004

Kuala Lumpur: Calling on the people to build a nation they could all be proud of, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi said all Malaysians have the opportunity to participate in the political process, in nation building and contributing to the country’s prosperity.

“I therefore ask you to work with me to strengthen national unity.

“We must protect and enhance the harmony between us, given that we profess different religions, we hail from different ethnic backgrounds, we have different cultures and we speak different languages,” Abdullah said in his New Year message for 2004.

He said Malaysians must continue to value the spirit of tolerance and mutual respect which were the cornerstones of peace and unity.

He called on everyone to strengthen their resilience by adopting noble values, believing in God and respecting the law.

He also reminded Malaysians to “refrain from inventing man-made disasters” that can ruin the nation and destroy the world. Malaysians should be thankful to God for shielding the country from major natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or typhoons.

“Malaysia is shielded by Allah from such devastations. We are grateful for His blessings. We must therefore refrain from inventing man-made disasters that can ruin the nation and destroy the world.

“It has been clearly proven that these man-made tribulatons, such as extremism, militant activity, war and crime have destabilised many countries and caused untold misery to people,” he said in his message carried by Radio Television Malaysia (RTM).

Referring to the earthquake in Iran which killed more than 50,000 people and destroyed Bam, a historic town in the south-eastern part of the country, Abdullah said with the realisation that Malaysia was fortunate and blessed, the people should come together to safeguard the country’s well being.

He said the people must continue to forge a Malaysian identity based on the unique special character of the various cultures.

Malaysia, which had proven to the world that it was politically stable and prosperous, must strengthen and enhance the stability and prosperity which provided the foundation for a progressive nation, he said.

In the race to amass material wealth or the rush to pursue modernisation, he reminded the people to adopt the ideals of moderation and humanity and to possess high moral values and integrity.

“Malaysians must love the nation and be loyal to it, willing to serve and sacrifice for its cause.

“It is this spirit that provides a nation its vitality and soul and if every Malaysian can fully embrace these values, it is certain that we will build a citizenry and nation that is resilient.

“As the sun rises on 2004, let us collectively resolve to become more knowledgeable, skilled and respected. Let us advance into the new year with a determination to be diligent and committed in securing a future filled with excellence, glory and distinction,” he added. - Bernama