KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 (Bernama) — The Malaysian Sikh community’s contribution to the history and development of the country is very important and significant, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Najib said that although the Sikh community was relatively small, in the region of 100,000 people, they had served the country well.
He said they had served as members of the security forces such as in the police and armed forces, in professional fields as doctors and lawyers, and also entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens.
“So I wish to thank the Sikh community for all that they have done (for the country). You have indeed contributed much to the development of Malaysia and I hope you will be with us in future as we develop Malaysia,” he said at the Sikh community’s Vaisakhi (New Year) celebrations at the Guru Nanak Darbar Tatt Khalsa Diwan Selangor at Jalan Raja Alang here today.
Thanking the Sikh community for the warm welcome, he said he was happy to be able to share the joyous occasion with them. “I have decided to visit you today because I want to show and indicate very clearly that this government stands for all communities…all races and all religions. I want to underscore that I am the leader and I am the Prime Minister for all communities. My presence here is also to recognise the contribution of the Sikh community in the development of Malaysia,” he said to applause from the 2,000-odd crowd.
Najib said he introduced the “One Malaysia” concept as he believed that if all Malaysians stood and worked together and be one family and one team, “we can indeed make Malaysia a stronger and more prosperous nation, based on the principles of trust and mutual respect among all communities in Malaysia”.
“That is the essence of what One Malaysia is all about,” he said.
Najib said Malaysians must break down the barriers between them and must not look at each other on the prism of skin or colour.
“We must help one another. Whether a person comes from whatever community…if the person deserves help, then that person should and must be helped by all of us.
“If we have this attitude, Malaysia will be a much stronger and united nation as we move forward, facing the challenges of the 21st century,” he said.
Najib said he only informed the hosts yesterday evening about his visit because he did not want all the pomp.
“Because I don’t want all the pomp…I don’t want bunga manggar. I just want to be one of you in a natural way to see you taking part in your daily activities, so that I can better understand your aspirations and the hopes of the Sikh community and of course all the other communities in Malaysia.
“That is the approach I have intended for this government and for this Cabinet and I hope you will be together with us in the journey of making Malaysia a more prosperous and successful nation,” he said.
Najib said he enjoyed the breakfast of Sikh traditional food such as prata, pakoda and barfi (sweets) which he had with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and the Federal Territories Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin and the local community.
Meanwhile, the acting president of the Tatt Khalsa, Rejinder Singh, said the Sikh community was honoured to have the prime minister at their Vaisakhi celebrations.
He said Najib told them to see him or Dr Koh directly if the community have any problems or matters which needed the attention of the government.
“We appreciate this because although we are only a small minority the prime minister has shown concern for us,” he said.
Najib is the third prime minister to visit the Tatt Khalsa, after Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-haj and Tun Hussein Onn.
Source : Bernama