Like the yearly Mothers’ Day celebration Malaysians have come to embrace, many of us also look forward to the third Sunday of June to show our appreciation to our fathers and father-figures.
A father’s active and positive participation in a child’s life will increase the likelihood of his or her development into a valuable adult. It is not about lavishing gifts and material wealth. Rather, it is about equipping the child with the right tools, values and upbringing to manage their well-being after they leave the comfort of the parents’ care. Education of a child begins at home; as fathers let us not forget to frequently be proactive in our childrens’ activities, be it in school activities, hobbies, sports or competitions they participate in. Ultimately, our sons and daughters will be our legacy and testament to the distance we have gone to achieve prosperity and unity in this nation. They are the ones that will reap the fruits of 1Malaysia and our desire to be a fully developed nation. How well they do later depends upon the guidance we provide for them now. Guide and yet enjoy every precious moment that a child goes through.
I believe many of you, like me, have suffered the loss of a father. My recent trip to China, as I have mentioned, and my visit to Kampung Pichin in Sarawak had certainly invoked memories of how loved and respected my late father was by so many people. While shooting the video messages on the 8 Values of 1Malaysia, I related this particular recollection of my late father, Tun Abdul Razak.
“For example, when I was at boarding school, in those days there were no cellphones, certainly no internet. The only communication was through the aerogramme letters that I used to write home. I was amazed that eventhough he was the Prime Minister and so busy, if I were to write I would get a reply within a week or ten days, without fail. It was something that I appreciated. To me that is a sense of loyalty in the sense that you show your appreciation, you show that you value someone by doing that.”
I hope that, beyond this weekend, all young Malaysians will continue to show appreciation and understand the lessons taught by their fathers, and that all Malaysian fathers will continue to forge a path that their children may follow.
Happy Father’s Day!