TO be a family means its members support and uplift one another through thick and thin, which in multicultural Malaysia goes beyond ethnicity, religion and culture.
This was the merry spirit of Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) – emphasising unity, consensus and togetherness – that infused the recent Malaysia Day 2021 celebration held at the Sabah International Convention Centre in Kota Kinabalu, despite the small scale of the event due to current Covid-19 situation.
The event adhered to tight standard operating procedures, including two complete vaccination doses for event organisers and staff, as well as the 62 invited guests.
Although the public was not allowed to physically attend the celebration, they were nevertheless able to access live viewing through their television screens and the social media pages of the Malaysian Information Department, in its capacity as the media and publicity committee for the National and Malaysia Day 2021 Celebrations.
Graced by Yang Dipertua Negeri Sabah Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, the event was also attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan as the representative of Sarawak Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, among other honoured guests.
The event, which saw Malaysians bearing witness to the special Malaysia Day Celebration book-signing ceremony that commemorates the 1963 formation of Malaysia, also heard speeches from the nation’s top leaders, with the common message of the Malaysian Family coming together to protect their families and Malaysia from the invisible enemy of Covid-19.
“As a large Malaysian Family, we must be tolerant in all things, be respectful of one another and maintain unity across political ideology for the Malaysia that we love.
“Apart from cross-culture national integration, the unity of the rakyat with diverse races, religions and ethnicities is one of the foundations of our strength as a successful country,” said Ismail Sabri in his speech, a rallying call for Malaysians to do their part to unite in the continued fight against Covid-19.
Hajiji highlighted the value and importance of Malaysia Day as a cornerstone to creating a glorious future for Malaysia moving forward. He added, “The prerequisites for success against all tribulations are unity, togetherness and being united in the interests of our tanah air.
“We welcome the inclusive Malaysian Family concept that cuts across race and religion as one that wisely coincides with the principles we hold in driving the nation-building agenda and community development for the future.
“At the same time, it has the potential of fostering these prerequisites amongst the rakyat in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“We pray for the well-being and safety of Malaysia and the rakyat in strengthening their resolve in making Malaysia Day a success with high patriotic spirit. Together, let’s move towards achieving the aspiration of creating the Malaysian Family that is united in harmony, excellence and diversity,” said Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa in his welcoming speech, which was followed by a message given by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin as the co-chairman of the main committee for the Malaysia Day 2021 Celebration.
In line with this year’s theme of Malaysia Prihatin in celebrating patriotism, unity and love for the country, the night’s festivities featured an exciting array of cultural dances and patriotic song performances, as well as the Malaysia Prihatin video montage.
What attracted the most attention, however, were Merdeka Negaraku, Jalur Perpaduan, Kita Perwira, Warna Warni Malaysia and Malaysia Prihatin. Involving an 18-minute stage performance by cultural artists from the Sabah Cultural Board, the performance acted as a symbol of unity reflecting combined values across ethnicities, religion, culture in Malaysian society.