Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kenyataan Khas Perdana Menteri sempena Kemerdekaan ke-52 Malaysia

Statement on the 52nd Anniversary
of Malaysian Independence

On this day, Malaysians everywhere celebrate Hari Merdeka to commemorate the birth of the Federation of Malaysia fifty-two years ago. The principles that established our national identity in those early days continue to guide us now, as we enter a new period of greater responsibility and cooperation with the broader world.

Hari Merdeka should serve as a day for Malaysians to reflect upon how far we have come as a nation. We also want to renew our collective sense of purpose required to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

Our drive for independence and self-determination began humbly in the shop houses, the rubber plantations and the fishing villages throughout the country. Chinese, Malay, Indian – we came together in 1957 to defend our dream of self-governance and to forge a country out of our shared values.

These values reflect our dedication to community involvement, to working together and to creating a better future for generations of Malaysians to come. These founding principles will hold us steady even as we face a more challenging economic climate and other obstacles that we may not yet foresee.

In the decades that have passed since we first celebrated Merdeka, our values have been tested. We have had to make sacrifices to preserve the national unity that we as Malaysians hold sacred. We recognize that our sovereign rights and freedoms must be earned with each new generation. They cannot be taken for granted. Together, we must renew our commitment to work together to find common solutions to the challenges we face.

This commitment lies at the heart of our principle of 1Malaysia. It means that all Malaysians have a voice; that we strive for inclusiveness and respect. Our country is strong because of the plurality of our citizens and the steps we are taking to ensure all voices are heard.

Essential to the 1Malaysia concept is recognition that accountability and transparency are important ingredients for good government. The increased emphasis on performance and delivery to the people will support further liberalization of our economy and economic opportunity for all.

As Malaysians embrace change within our own country, we also are eager to explore opportunities to become a more active global citizen. The values that were born from our independence now compel us to play a more engaged role in brokering peace and fostering understanding within the Middle East, providing humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, and helping to lead the way to economic resurgence in the ASEAN region, and in shaping a response to the current global economic crisis.

Around the world, Malaysians come together on Hari Merdeka to remember what makes us unique. Despite our differences and diverse backgrounds, no matter how far away from home we may find ourselves, the pride and unity that come with being Malaysian on this day overpowers all that may divide us.

Our hope, our goal as a nation and as a people, must be to maintain this collective harmony on all days of the year. By doing this we may act as a model of how a diverse people can prosper together as one sovereign and independent state.