I believe that no matter what the colour of your skin or the language that you speak, there are universal values we all share and unites us.
Sehati sejiwa, or loosely translated as one heart, one soul.
Cabinet has decided that there will be no changes to this year’s national day celebration theme - Sehati Sejiwa, the Malay equivalence of togetherness. Appropriately so because if there is anything that Malaysia needs right now, it is that good old feeling of togetherness and a dedication of coming together celebrating a common cause.
As our nationhood approaches its 59th Merdeka celebration, such togetherness is crucial if we want to see our nation and its people progress over the next decade or so.
Few things can unite people like sports.
Besides the favourites, world champions Datuk Nicol David and Datuk Lee Chong Wei, we have a lot of other amazing athletes who have flown our Jalur Gemilang on world stage and brought honour to our country. Take for instance16-year-old Felicia Mikat who is visually-impaired but she won three gold medals in the 8th Asean Para Games last year. Any sportsperson will tell you that excelling in the field of sports is a formidable task but it is even tougher when you are born with a disability. Paralympic athletes, Mohd Ridzuan Mohd Puzi and Abdul Latif Romly too, brought gold respectively at the recent IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha.
And in the world of arts and entertainment, actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh elevates our country’s name with her acting chops, singer-songwriter Yuna joins entertainment icons such as Beyonce and Rihanna when her latest album was charted as one of the top R&B albums released this year and finally, we have filmmaker Nadira Ilana, who is the first Malaysian selected for a residency with Big Stories, an Australian documentary project exploring rural towns across Asia Pacific.
I could continue with more names in other different fields but there are too many to list down. This is very heartening to know that we have more Malaysians making waves on global stage and these success stories are the elements that can inspire a country and leave us beaming with pride of being a Malaysian.
We must protect our independence and conserve our spirit of togetherness.
Let us maintain a united spirit of togetherness and continue to strive for excellence and unity in all that we do.