PETALING JAYA: Malaysians have once again shown their deep compassion for others through their response in helping the tsunami victims, said MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.
Although the new year spirit has been dampened by the tragedy, it has touched me deeply to see that our Malaysian spirit, which is full of benevolence and kindness, still lives on, he said in his New Year message.
With aid and prayers pouring in from people of all ages and background, Ong was confident that Malaysians would continue to show their inherent concern for humanity in times of crisis.
He added that despite the uncertainties caused by high oil prices, the avian flu and elections in major countries around the world, the country has established itself as one of the fastest growing nations in Asia.
Economically, Malaysia registered at least a 7% growth in 2004.
The year also saw improving business and consumer sentiments with job opportunities abound and unemployment rate relatively low at 3.8%, he said.
MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said Malaysians would prevail and emerge even stronger and resilient as they leave behind a year that ended with an unforeseen tragedy.
The Works Minister said that while the nation would continue to enjoy political stability and better economic growth in 2005, the people must not despair but strive to be courageous and determined.
We have to be ready to face challenges especially now that we have witnessed an unforgettable and unimaginable tragedy that claimed many, many lives only a week before we ended 2004, he said.
DAP national chairman Karpal Singh extended his condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones in the tsunami.
Let us hope 2005 will be a year which will bring about better luck for all Malaysians, he said in a statement.
Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye called on the Government and people to embark on a Values for the Nation programme in the new year to promote the consciousness of moral values in society.