31 DECEMBER 2014
THE MALAYSIAN SPIRIT SHINES THROUGH
After a tumultuous year, 2014 is drawing to an end, and even in the final days, Malaysians are faced with unfortunate and tragic events. In the midst of the trauma and loss caused by the massive flooding in West Malaysia, another plane associated with our country has crashed, and many lives lost. It is hard to comprehend why such suffering happens, and even harder to accept that we have lost 3 airplanes within a year, but this is a time for Malaysians to rally around those who grieve for their loved ones and those who have lost their homes and possessions.
Indeed, the light that shines bright amidst the grief and sadness is the coming together of all Malaysians. When we lost MH370 and MH17, all Malaysians prayed together and grieved together, as we do now for those in QZ8501. When the floods happened, Malaysians came together to bring relief to those stranded by the floodwaters. The outpouring of donations and other forms of help has been tremendous and heartwarming.
At times like this, the true Malaysian spirit emerges without any prompting by political parties or slogans. Differences between races and religions cease to matter when we are faced with disasters and suffering. This is what we must remember once our lives return to normal – we must build on our mutual respect and concern for each other, and bridge the gaps that have been forced upon us by those who would use race and religion in their power games. The response of Malaysians to the sufferings of their fellow Malaysians show what is truly in the hearts of the majority of those who call this country home, regardless of race and religion. The disasters that struck this country have brought out the real Malaysian spirit which the expensive 1Malaysia slogan and campaign failed to do.
In the final month of 2014, as I take stock of the events that have marked the year, I am thankful for many things – for the voices of reason and moderation that have arisen, led by the ‘Eminent 25’; for the judges of this country who have upheld the rights of Malaysians, in particular those of the indigenous people and the latest being the ‘Borders’ case; for the many activists and NGOs who continue to speak up for the disadvantaged, including our indigenous people who are fighting for their lands; and most of all, for the outpouring of love and kindness of Malaysians towards those who suffer.
As we greet the New Year, I pray for those who have lost their families in the tragic events of 2014 that they will find the strength to carry on. I pray for the families of those who were on MH370, that we will know what happened to the plane and for some peace for those left behind. I pray for a better 2015 for this beautiful country of ours, that we may live in harmony and mutual respect, that we may accept our differences, embrace our diversity and strive to build a better future for our children.
I wish all Malaysians a Blessed New Year.
Chairman, PKR Sarawak/
N70 Ba’ Kelalan