KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians should count their blessings and never allow the work of founding fathers like the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj in forging unity go to waste, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said last night.
Paying tribute to the country’s first prime minister on his 100th anniversary yesterday, Abdullah, said: “I would like all Malaysians to remember the one man who planted the seeds of unity and harmony among us which have blossomed into the unity which brings us here today as one family.”
Abdullah said Tunku was the man whose main platform in nurturing unity became the bedrock for nation-building.
“Today, we reap the benefits of those early years of drumming into our people’s mind that unity, solidarity, goodwill by whichever name you call it was the only way for Malaysia and its varied ethnic and multi-religious groups to survive and succeed,” he said in a statement in conjuction with the national-level Chinese New Year open house in Petaling Jaya.
Abdullah said Malaysians should be grateful for having had leaders like Tunku, who moulded an infant nation to believe in tolerance and unity.
“Without that early discipline, we may not be what we are today. Therefore, we must always count our blessings and we can never forget what Tunku Abdul Rahman instilled in us.”
Abdullah said there was no force on earth that can divide Malaysians if they uphold the values that have been instilled in them.
“For all that, we have a lot to thank the royal prince from Kedah, Tunku Abdul Rahman, and those who came after him,” he said.