SEREMBAN, Feb 10 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak called on Malaysians to be resilient in character and open minded.
Using the tree as an anaology, Najib said their character must be as strong of the roots so that the tree is “unshakeable”.
He said this trait could be shown through taking pride in one’s heritage, culture and traditions, religious beliefs and practising noble values.
“That is why it is important for us to adopt a line of thinking whereby our character can be equated to the roots of a tree, and these roots must roots that are strong and resilient.
“If our roots are strong, nobody will be able shake us in this blessed land of ours,” he said when opening Pertubuhan Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia’s golden jubilee celebrations here Friday.
The prime minister said in having a strong character, one must also be open-minded and receptive to acquiring knowledge towards facing the challenges of a globalised world now.
“Our mind must be open, as nationalists and internationalists, and hunger for knowledge irrespective whether from the west or east or whichever corner because our brains must be filled with the latest knowledge,” he said.
However, he reminded that the knowledge must also be compatible with local culture so as to ensure Malaysian traits were not lost.
Likewise, he said, the trend among the younger generation which was more into a western lifestyle including in food choices like opting more for fast food and foreign branded goods could also cause a loss in identity or character.
Reminding the people of the importance of history, Najib, referring to the fall of the Malay sultanate in Melaka to the Portuguese, said it was due to two factors, lack of knowledge and disunity among the people.
“We lost because the enemy (Portuguese) came with a higher level of knowledge, for example they had canons…when we only had keris and spears. The outcome, though we had the warrior spirit, but without the needed knowledge was a foregone conclusion.
“The fall of the Melaka sultanate was also because of infighting among the locals,” he said in reminding those present that fighting spirit alone was not enough to face warfare in this age but also the right knowledge and skills.
The prime minister said he also hoped members of the association would be an important component in forging greater unity among the people in the country.
Source : Bernama