KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has urged Malaysians to approach this year with optimism and a renewed sense of purpose in conjunction with the Ponggal festival.
In his Ponggal message posted on his www.1Malaysia.com.my blog, Najib said the Tamil harvest festival was a special time for the Indian community.
“We are reminded of the rich diversity that our country proudly supports and nurtures.
“As we share in the culture of our friends and their tradition of boiling milk and rice to mark the overflowing bounty of our land, all Malaysians can indeed be grateful that this is a country of plentiful harvests and food.”
Najib said as Malaysians, we should continue working together to transform the country and ensure that there is enough for all communities.
“I am happy that the commitment and the trust, or nambikei, of the Indian community to work with me is strong as this trust is vital when we transform Malaysia together.”
Najib wished all Indian Malaysians Ponggal Vaalthukal and a very happy Ponggal day.
“In the true spirit of 1Malaysia, let us once again come together and join our friends to celebrate this festival with the hope that, together, we will have many more bountiful harvests for all in the years to come.
“Ponggal is about new beginnings as it marks the start of the auspicious ‘Thai’ month in the Indian calendar, and it also happens to be the first major festival for Indians this new year.”
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Malaysians should be careful not to let any irresponsible parties break down the walls of unity built by their forefathers.
He said Malaysians should learn the cultures of their countrymen to get a clearer picture and understanding of what was being celebrated in each festival.
“For instance, during Ponggal, surely there are those, especially among the younger generation, who don’t know or understand the importance of this festival for Indian Malaysians.
“Only by learning and understanding can we appreciate the festivals and cultures of others and consequently, strengthen the relationship between the different races in this nation,” he said.
Source : New Straits Times