Every year on 31st August, we celebrate the independence of our beloved country Malaysia. We get a public holiday for it, we hold a grand celebration at the Dataran Merdeka, we display with pride the Jalur Gemilang at home and at work – it is a day full of celebration, to commemorate the day our country acquired its freedom from western colonisation.
And while we celebrate Merdeka this year in a less celebratory mood as it falls during Aidilfitri, let us take this opportunity to observe the 54th anniversary with a slightly different approach. This year, let us focus the day’s significance to ourselves, observe how each of us play a role in the development of our country.
I feel that many of you do not realise that you are a valuable contributor to our country’s growth and progress. You may think what you do for a living is insignificant when compared to the country’s corporate heads and leaders. But in reality, every person in this country makes up the workforce of the country’s economic workforce, and each has an equal role in the creation and development of the country.
Whatever industry you are in and whatever you do to make an honest living, you must know that, you have an impact on the country’s economic development. It should not just be about making money for a living. Do know that whatever work you do, in one way or another, has an impact to the society and country. Each of you, whether you are a corporate executive, a taxi driver, a teacher, a student, a farmer, a shopkeeper, or a sanitation worker, are an integral part of an intricate socio-economic machinery that moves this nation forward.
Our forefathers took pride in their endeavours to secure this nation’s independence and ensuing development. They had a vision for a free and prosperous country. We now have a vision for a fully-developed, high-income country. It is now our turn at the reins. We inherited this country, and I believe, the same spirit to defend its prosperity. Therefore we must take pride in what we do. Take pride in the fact that, our success in our occupation contributes to the success of the country. This is our role as a Malaysian, our part in the country’s wellbeing. It is thus very important that this pride must come along with the spirit and determination to perform the best. It is not just a job for the paycheque at the end of the month. It is part of a patriotic struggle to take the country to greater heights.
If you are a taxi driver, be the best, most courteous and efficient driver you can be. If you are a farmer, do your best to produce top quality crops. If you are a sanitation worker, do your best to ensure the cleanliness of the cities, towns and villages. If you are a teacher, provide your students with the best skills and education to move ahead.
It is not just up to the country’s political and economic leaders to elevate the country to the next level. It is for each and every Malaysian, the whole nation, to truly believe that it is possible for us to make Malaysia as the forefront of all nations, and to turn that belief into deeds.