KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said his commitment to develop Batu Caves and Brickfields for the benefit of the Indian community showed that 1 Malaysia was not just talk.
Najib said the government’s RM6.9 million allocation to Batu Caves for landscaping and amenities upgrades as well as the Little India facelift in Brickfields showed that his administration “acknowledged and respected” Indian contributions to Malaysia.
“This is proof that the 1 Malaysia concept I introduced is not just a slogan [or] political rhetoric,” he said here.
The prime minister said his presence at Batu Caves today showed that Malaysia had gone beyond the first two levels of multiracialism — mere tolerance and then acceptance of diversity — to approach the third and highest level.
“If we are able to celebrate our diversity, we have reached the ultimate in terms of accepting diversity as a source of strength for our nation,” he said.
He called on the Indian community to ensure that Malaysia remained united, saying the country could only achieve greater success through firm belief in multiculturalism.
“If all races have one dream, one people, one nation, 1 Malaysia… we will be able to translate this into reality,” he said.
Najib today also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple committee and India-based Damodar Ropeways and Construction Company to build a cable car system for Batu Caves.
He said the cable car system, which will span 250m when completed in 2012, will allow the elderly and physically-impaired to visit the Batu Caves temple without having to first climb the 272 steps at its entrance.
Najib’s visit to Batu Caves today was his second to commemorate Thaipusam and his third overall since he became prime minister in 2009.
He was joined by MIC past president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, current president Datuk G. Palanivel, deputy president and Labour Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, former deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam, vice presidents S.K. Devamany and Datuk M. Saravanan as well as newly appointed information chief S. Murugesan.
Gerakan central committee member and Deputy Foreign Minister A. Kohilan Pillay was also present, as was the Indian ambassador to Malaysia.
Source : The Malaysian Insider