PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysia Day celebration on Sept 16 every year serves as the best reminder that unity is the foundation of our country’s success, said National Unity Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang.
He said Malaysia Day is the only national celebration commemorating the unity between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
Aaron pointed out that since Malaysia was established on Sept 16, 1963, unity among the people has grown and become a crucial foundation in developing a progressive nation.
“The merger (of the three regions) resulted in a diverse population with varied races, cultural, religious and customary backgrounds that is united by a common goal of peaceful coexistence.
“In fact, we have turned this diversity into an asset for achieving prosperity, not only by accepting and coexisting with each other but also by celebrating our differences to the highest level as a recipe for success,” he told Bernama.
Aaron also said that the Malaysia Day celebration would set an example of solid unity in this region, where the uniqueness and diversity of races in the country become a symbol of strength and togetherness that is respected in the eyes of the world.
“Therefore, it is important to preserve and respect the culture and tradition of each ethnic group in Malaysia to maintain social harmony,” he said.
He also said the integration and social interaction among the Malaysian community based on mutual respect and celebrating diversity is the driver for the formation of a developed and civilised society.
To ensure unity remains strong, Aaron emphasised the need for intensified efforts to ensure that the well-being in Sabah and Sarawak is on par with Peninsular Malaysia.
He also stressed that a nation’s prosperity depends on the unity of its people, which will lead to stability, economic growth and social progress.
“Division weakens a country’s ability to deal with challenges, destroys trust in institutions and creates an environment that is easily exploited by external forces,” he said.
As such, he said better infrastructure development throughout the country also contributed to social harmony, including the construction of roads, ports, airports and other important facilities.
Another way is to improve the level of education, health and social well-being of the people, including reducing the economic and social gap between the three regions, he said.
The Malaysia Day 2023 celebration will be held at Stadium Perpaduan, Sarawak this Saturday.
This year’s Malaysia Day adopts the same theme as the National Day 2023 - ‘Malaysia MADANI: Tekad Perpaduan Penuhi Harapan’, (Determination in Unity, Fulfilling Hope), while the Iban phrase ‘Segulai Sejalai’ (Together in Unity) is used as the unity slogan across the country. -BERNAMA