With the sunrise marking a new day tomorrow, Malaysians will once again be in a festive mood. I myself will look forward to enjoying Indian sweets and delicacies, especially murukku, thosai and paal appam. It is interesting to note that while cooking styles differ, the ingredients used for the various dishes coming out of an Indian kitchen are common, and familiar, to us all.
As it is with food, having much in common is what Malaysia is all about. As a country, we brought together our unique cultures and traditions to enrich the national fabric and have worked hard and made sacrifices to make the nation what it is today. This is only possible because all Malaysians share a similar aspiration to live in harmony and prosperity with one another. Of course, we may not always agree on the way to achieve our common goals, but we must remember that we have common ingredients to succeed. These ingredients are a love for our Malaysia, compassion for our fellow Malaysians and moderation in everything we do.
Our formula for success has been acknowledged not only by our neighbours, but also by the wider world. The latest manifestation of this was our recent resounding election to the United Nations Security Council. Our success in securing a seat is testimony to the respect the international community has for Malaysia, and, our moderate approach in overcoming domestic, regional and international challenges.
In our journey to achieve our common goals, let us not be distracted by extremist views. Let us prevail over those few who sensationalise narrow and sectarian views by recognising and reaffirming our commitment to each other. What will keep Malaysia strong and stable is not the few who say things to divide us but the many who do things to unite us.
As we share the joy of Deepavali together, let us remind ourselves that this Festival of Lights enjoins us to look forward to the future and embrace it with all our hopes and dreams. I urge the Indian community to continue your partnership with the Government based on “nambikei”. We still have much to do to ensure that light and hope reaches all those in the community who need it.
I take this opportunity to wish “Deepavali Vaalthukal” to all Malaysian Hindus. Let us extend hands of friendship to each other during this meaningful time and once again, bring our diverse country together in harmony and happiness.