Over the next two days beginning 14 April, Indian Hindus will be celebrating New Year. This special day is known by many names; to the Tamils, it is Puthandu, and this day marks the year known as Vikruthi while to the Malayalees, it is known as Vishu. Furthermore, Malaysia’s Sikh community will be celebrating Vesakhi on 14 April which commemorates the birth of the Khalsa – the most important event for Sikhs the world over.
I take this opportunity to wish all Hindus a very Happy New Year and to all Sikhs, a very Happy Vesakhi and hope that you are able to share these auspicious days with family and friends. As has been our practice as Malaysians, these festivals are a time for all of us to know and understand each other better. The more we know about each other, the more we will come to admire the very rich and strong cultures that we all have. Despite the diversity in form and shape, the common values underpinning our different cultures means that we also have much in common with each other. In the spirit of 1Malaysia, let us all take the opportunity to celebrate these special days together.
I once again wish all Malaysian Hindus in Malaysia all the very best in the New Year. To Malaysian Sikhs, my warmest greetings to all of you on the occasion of Vesakhi. I also hope that many Malaysians will join me and the Malaysian Sikh community at the 1Malaysia Vesakhi Open House Celebrations in Ipoh on Friday, 23 April 2010.