KUCHING, Jan 24: Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud urged all Sarawakians to use the upcoming Chinese New Year (CNY) festival as a time to renew friendships and interact with one another irrespective of race and religion in strengthening a multi-racial society.
In his CNY message to Sarawakians, especially the Chinese community, Taib called on Sarawakians of diverse races and religions to make visitations during CNY.
He believed CNY visitations were important to renew friendship with one another as social interactions provided people with opportunities to learn how to be more open towards one other.
“I believe we must consciously build a celebration that we have from something private to something that is going to draw us together and strengthen our friendship.
“Through this kind of friendship, Malaysians are able to find joy of celebrating own customs together with other races.
“In the process, of course, we pick up experiences of how other races are thinking and behaving in strengthening a multi-racial society.
“After many years we find out that we have been able to benefit much more from the customs that we have developed to become common events among all the races to celebrate together.
“Malaysia, therefore, is quite lucky to have within its society traditional occasions to renew friendships and to understand each other much more.
“In the process, we hold discussions on things that relate to as members of a mix society comprising Malays, Chinese, Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu and others,” he said in his CNY address to Sarawakians.
Taib noted the Sarawak Government was building the state and nation to become a land of opportunities so that everybody could enjoy the wealth and prosperity that could be created for them.
Thus, he stressed that continuous efforts must be made by everyone to create and build on the wealth and prosperity of the nation.
In this regard, Taib said he would continue to talk about getting all the races to come together and mix well with each other even though the people, regardless of their racial origins and faiths were friendlier and more considerate towards each other now.
He also noted that there have been lots of positive interactions and greater realization among the people of various races of the necessity to come and work together over the last 50 years.
Obviously, the social interactions provide the people with opportunities to learn how to be more open towards each other.
“Generally the people have open attitudes towards each other; this is particular so in Sarawak.
“That is the how this country can become a great nation.
“All the people whether they are Malays, Chinese, Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu or Indians have been playing contributing roles towards the greatness of the state and nation consistent with the theme ‘Accelerating Growth for the Wellbeing of All Sarawakians’,” he said.
He pointed out that the interaction among the various races has become a prominent feature in our country to make a celebration.
“That is the meaning of Gong Xi Fa Cai in a growing and ever intensively active developing society that we have built for ourselves.
“May God bless us and give us the courage, the wisdom and the goodwill to build a new future for the generations that will come after us.
“‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’.” —DayakDaily