Sunday September 16, 2012
Malaysians speak of unity
Reports by RUBEN SARIO, SHARON LING, RINTOS MAIL, JOSEPH KAOS Jr, RAHIMY RAHIM, RUSSELL TING and STEPHANIE LEE
KUCHING: As we celebrate the 49th anniversary of the forming of Malaysia, The Star spoke to several people on their Malaysia Day wishes. Here is what they said.
“I wish that we would stop referring to each by race. We should no longer see ourselves as Indian, Chinese or Malay first. We're all Malaysians, so I'd like all Malaysians to think of themselves as Malaysians first and their race second.” said Rebecca D'Cruz, 48, chairman of the Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Kuching North City Commission community relations and development division head Basil Wee, 58, said: “We must maintain our environment and the green spaces that we have. This is a treasure and our heritage.”
“I would like better unity in the country and everyone to get along with each other. I would also like to see an improved economy and more work opportunities for locals.” said Kay Michael, 37, sales manager.
Assistant sales manager Martina Tennyson, 30, hoped for a better public transportation system in Kuching. “That will reduce congestion so people will not be stuck in traffic all the time. This will improve our quality of life. We also need to have better health facilities for the rural areas.”
Musician Rendall Ngumbang, 24, said his Malaysia Day wish was for the Government to take more interest in bringing up local talents such as musicians and entertainers. “Keep the Malaysian spirit strong as there's no place like Malaysia!” he said.
Art teacher Shaw Wee, 22, said: “I hope more development will take place throughout Sarawak. I would also like to see people of the country unite as one in a truly democratic nation.”
Student Nadilah Bolhair, 16, wished for the Government to hold more national events to bring the people together.
“I wish all Malaysians a rewarding and fruitful future, forged in harmony and cooperation, that will make our generations to come proud of our past and confident in facing the years ahead,” said Connie Loh, 52, a social worker.
“I wish that our country will be strong politically and economically so it can rise to become one of the most advanced countries in the region,” said self-employed Abang Hashim Shah, 46.
Accountant David Ling, 46, said: “I wish the crime rate in Sibu will start to decline significantly. And I hope that the establishment of the University College of Technology Sarawak would bring about dramatic and accelerated change to the overall development of Sibu.”
In KOTA KINABALU, retired journalist Lee Koon Yun said Malaysia Day festivities should also be held in the peninsula instead of being focused in Sabah and Sarawak.
“We need the celebrations to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, Kota Baru, Kuala Terengganu and Johor Baru to create more awareness about how important Sept 16 is,” Lee, 76, said.
Customer service executive Ashlie Mohd Leslie, 23, said the holding of Malaysia Day celebrations in Sabah and Sarawak would raise awareness of the two states among Malaysians in the peninsula.
Businesswoman Norainah Salleh, 37, said the celebrations were important to remind the people how Malaysia came into existence.
In PETALING JAYA, accounts manager Arin Askandar, 28, felt that the celebrations for Malaysia Day should be bigger.
“Malaysia Day is a celebration of a nation that finally came together,” he said.
Sports writer Nicolas Anil, 27, said Malaysia Day should be more significant than Merdeka Day.
“It is a chance to reflect on how far we have come since Malaysia was formed,” he said.
Videographer Uzair Sawal, 26, a Sarawakian based in Kuala Lumpur, said there was still not enough awareness among the people on the importance of Malaysia Day.