Malaysia for ALL Malaysians!

“We are Malaysia. The friendships we build across our social boundaries, across our comfort zones and across racial and religious divides are what make Malaysia the nation that it is.”

Sep 14, 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: “We are Malaysia. The friendships we build across our social boundaries, across our comfort zones and across racial and religious divides are what make Malaysia the nation that it is.”

Archbishop Julian Leow said this in the Merdeka and Malaysia Day message released on August 31.

“Malaysia’s progress as a Nation must include the cultivation of essential values which are integral to the harmony and unity of its people.”

Writing on behalf of the Malaysian Arch/Bishops, “Let us recapture and retain the innocence of that first muhibbah spirit and the feeling of pride for our Nation – the same togetherness and pride our forefathers felt hearing the proclamation of ‘Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!’, he said.

-- See below for full text of the message

Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day Message from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia

Brothers and Sisters,

The theme for this year’s 61st Merdeka Day and 55th Malaysia Day celebration Sayangi Malaysiaku resonates most deeply with the beating heart of every Malaysian. It also marks a maturity of sorts for our Nation which had witnessed an unprecedented electoral tsunami and, most importantly, a peaceful transfer of power that took place on May 9, 2018.

We offer praise and thanks to God for blessing our beloved country with renewed hope. However, the work of Nation rebuilding is not only for politicians but also for every citizen.

Our role in nation-building
Our moral duty did not end at the ballot box. In fact, it was just the beginning. Much work is now needed to put our Nation back on the path of national togetherness where good governance, fairness and justice must no longer be mere slogans but become facts of everyday life. This is only possible if we, as faithful and responsible citizens, assume the responsibility of fostering this spirit of unity, trust, fairness and accountability in our own daily lives.

We must find our strength of action from our faith where civility and mutual respect are deeply entrenched in scripture, in our prayers and in the example of our Saints. It is upon this bedrock of faith that we must manifest our care for each other, irrespective of creed or colour and for the vulnerable, the discriminated and the marginalised in society.

Every choice that we make must take us ever closer and in favour of the common good and preserving Malaysia in all its colour, its worship, its diversity and in its uniqueness. For if we are to regard Malaysia as our shared home, we must learn to appreciate each other and learn from one another. We ought to avoid choices that only serve narrow and personal aims that are ultimately destructive to our spiritual life, to our social fabric, race relations and our environment:

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful one.” Proverbs 2:6-8

Redefining Nationalism
Nationalism isn’t about aligning oneself to the dominant narrative of the day. It is never about tyranny of a majority against a minority. It is never the misappropriation of National resources to the exclusion of others.

Perhaps we ought to return to the words of our founding father Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, in the Proclamation of Independence where he said that our Nation:

“shall be for ever a sovereign democratic and independent State founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations”.

It is perhaps timely that we reflect, advocate and act upon these founding principles of Nationhood that in time, may break the narrow and selfish Nationalism indoctrinated upon us in the past.

Build Bridges
Malaysia’s progress as a Nation must include the cultivation of essential values which are integral to the harmony and unity of its people. This translates to building strong bonds of understanding and unity among the various races and religions, thus ensuring that fairplay and care for all people form the cornerstone of our society.

We are Malaysia. The friendships we build across our social boundaries, across our comfort zones and across racial and religious divides are what make Malaysia the nation that it is. With God as our loving guide, may our love for our neighbour increase and may we continue to celebrate the diversity of this country – a place where we belong to. Malaysia needs every one of us to build on the good works of the past. Brick by loving brick we must ensure a just society, a bulwark against any future storm.

Let us recapture and retain the innocence of that first muhibbah spirit and the feeling of pride for our Nation – the same togetherness and pride our forefathers felt hearing the proclamation of “Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!”

Today, let us, as one united Malaysia, proudly declare that we ‘Sayangi Malaysiaku’.

SELAMAT MENYAMBUT HARI
MERDEKA DAN HARI MALAYSIA!

Devotedly in Christ,
Most Reverend Julian Leow Beng Kim, D.D, Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia
on behalf of:

Most Rev Dr Simon Poh, Archbishop of Kuching
Most Rev Datuk John Wong, Archbishop of Kota Kinabalu
Rt Rev Dato Sebastian Francis, Bishop of Penang
Rt Rev Bernard Paul, Bishop of Malacca-Johore
Rt Rev Datuk Cornelius Piong, Bishop of Keningau
Rt Rev Datuk Julius Dusin Gitom, Bishop of Sandakan
Rt Rev Richard Ng, Bishop of Miri
Rt Rev Joseph Hii, Bishop of Sibu

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