KUALA LUMPUR, 13 April 2009: MIC president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu has called on the Indian Malaysian community to embrace the “One Malaysia” concept mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
In extending greetings to Tamils, Malayalees and Sikhs celebrating their respective new year tomorrow, Samy Vellu said the need for unity among Malaysians, particularly among Indians, was vital if “One Malaysia” was to become a reality.
“Unity is the top priority of the new administration and, as such, we as Indian [Malaysians] must do our part to assist in the unity process. We must have strong will and determination to make this happen for the sake of our country,” he said in a statement.
He said the MIC would lead the way in embracing the “One Malaysia” concept by working with all sections of the Indian Malaysian community and non-governmental organisations.
“We have already embarked on this mission to ensure that the Indian [Malaysian] community will have a stronger voice,” he said, urging Indians not to waste time quarrelling over petty and unproductive issues.
Samy Vellu said the government had promised to find new ways to resolve many problems affecting the Indian Malaysian community “but we too have to work hard and become independent”.
MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S Subramaniam said the Tamil, Malayalee and Sikh communities have contributed immensely to the nation and that they have been instrumental in the Indian Malaysian community becoming an advanced society on par with the other communities.
“We have come a long way but we must remain united to ensure peace and stability are sustained,” he said.
The human resource minister called on the Indian Malaysian community to grab the many opportunities provided for it by the government “as failure to do so will result in us losing out”.
Malaysia Hindu Sangam president Datuk A Vaithilingam said that with all Indian Malaysian groups celebrating their new year together this year it was “definitely going to be an excellent opportunity for the ‘One Malaysia’ concept to start off”.
“Let us all pray together for peace and harmony in a united ‘One Malaysia’,” he said and wished Tamils “Puthandu Valthukkal”, Malayalees “Happy Vishu” and Sikhs “Happy Vaisakhi”.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, in his message, expressed the hope that the new year would be prosperous and rewarding, and wished the Indian community “the very best” in the upcoming year.
“I understand that the past year has been trying given the global economic crisis and its effect on Malaysia. The Indian community in Malaysia is the largest outside India and has made significant progress in an independent Malaysia,” the Gerakan president said in a statement.
“However, I understand that there are many issues that need to be addressed including poverty, education and economic opportunities. These issues must be addressed and I will do my level best (in this aspect) as the minister in charge of unity and performance management,” he said.
He also said that the celebration of the Indian new year must not only be confined to the respective community but must involve all Malaysians, reflecting the country’s multi-ethnic landscape.
“To all Malaysians, we must continue to strive for greater unity and harmony under the ‘One Malaysia’ agenda of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak,” he said. — Bernama