As Hindus worldwide greet the festival of lights with family and friends, we in Malaysia are very fortunate to welcome Deepavali as a national festival where Malaysians of all walks of life come together with their Hindu friends to celebrate this special time of the year.
The celebration of Deepavali, which signifies the victory of light over darkness, most fittingly reflects the journey of our multiracial diverse country over the last 55 years. Our journey from Merdeka to where we are now as a major developing nation on course to becoming a high-income developed nation by 2020 has indeed seen us overcome many obstacles to reach our objectives. Our forefathers, and the generations that followed them, have worked together as one in fighting against the darkness and the challenges that faced our shared nation so that all Malaysians may enjoy better lives.
All throughout this journey, the Indian community has played a pivotal role that all Malaysians recognise and cherish. On the occasion of Deepavali this year, I take the opportunity to thank the Indian community for their selfless contribution towards building a safe, peaceful and prosperous Malaysia.
While the Indian community fully participated in nation building since independence, they also faced many challenges, especially as they adjusted to life in towns and cities throughout the country. I am well aware of these problems the Indian community has and is facing, and that is precisely why the Government has implemented many specific measures to address problems specifically faced by the Indian community. In the last three and a half years, we have executed various new and innovative approaches towards resolving longstanding legacy problems faced by the Indian community. This has resulted in real and positive impacts on Indian families nationwide. Many major challenges in various sectors involving the Indian community have received the attention of the Government. We have been consistent in delivering on realistic and responsible promises made to the Indian community, as we do not believe in promising the impossible just to gain power and popularity.
Our transformation initiatives and efforts to uplift the Indian community would not have been successful without the trust or “nambikei” between the Government and the people. Through this partnership centered on mutual understanding and hard work, we have together brought the light of hope to families and individuals, enabling them to live better and happier lives.
The continued “nambikei” between the Government and the Indian community will empower the Government to continuously bring growth and progress to the community. This will be done through various focused initiatives that will ensure our assistance and services reaches every Indian in Malaysia that needs some help to stand on their own two feet. To achieve all our shared ambitions for the Indian community, we must realise that we still have a lot of work to do together. I cannot do this alone and only with the support and trust of the Indian community, and all other communities, can we make this journey of transformation a meaningful and successful one.
As the results of the country’s rapid growth and development made possible through our transformation programs begins to show results, we will ensure that every Malaysian, including Malaysian Indians, will have better incomes and importantly, a better quality of life for current and future generations. This commitment is entirely in line with the spirit of 1Malaysia where no one under the Malaysian sky will be left behind in the development and progress of our country. In the spirit of Deepavali this year, I would like to take the opportunity to assure Malaysian Indians that the Government will fully honour the hope and trust you have placed upon us to walk hand-in-hand with you, and together realise your individual dreams and aspirations. I sincerely believe that Malaysia’s best times are ahead of us and to scale those great heights of progress and prosperity, we must all unite behind the vision of a just, fair and successful country.
In ending, I take this opportunity to call upon my fellow Malaysians to join me in wishing Malaysian Hindus “Deepavali Vaalthukal” and a very happy Deepavali. Let us continue our unique Malaysian tradition of coming together and joining our Hindu brothers and sisters in celebrating this special festival of lights.