This weekend, the Chinese community welcome the 9th day of Chinese New Year, also known as Bai Tian Gong. This day is one of the most important celebrations for the Chinese community, especially for the Hokkien community. Did you know that for the Hokkiens, the 9th day of Chinese New Year is celebrated with more grandeur than the first day celebration itself?
Our country, Malaysia, is blessed to have a plethora of festivities for us to celebrate together. The Chinese community is the second largest ethnic group in the country, making up 23.4% of the population. The traditions they brought along from their ancestors’ homeland are now uniquely adapted and celebrated together by us as a nation.
The festivities, faiths and traditions each community brought with them all make up who we are as a nation. A nation that celebrates and embraces diversity.
Here in Malaysia, our diversity is not only celebrated, it is a right enjoyed by all segments of society. Our Constitution states that every person has the right to profess and practice their religious beliefs in peace and harmony regardless of their faith be it Islam, Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism and many more. It is a right that I will continue to defend for all Malaysians.
Diversity is our greatest strength. So to those celebrating, enjoy the festivities! Once again, I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous year ahead.