KUALA LUMPUR: Malay­sians should rekindle their patriotic spirit as the country celebrates the 60th anniversary of Malaya’s independence on Aug 31 and Malaysia Day on Sept 16, said 1Malaysia Foundation Trustee Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye (pic).

He said patriotism should not be a short and frenzied display of emotion, but a steady lifetime commitment and an everlasting feeling of pride in the country.

“Love for the nation should not germinate and grow only in August but must be kept strong in the hearts and souls of all Malaysians who must take pride in their nation,” he said.

He said Malaysia could be a role model for the world if the people respected and celebrated their differences.

“Given the issues and problems facing our young nation, differences of opinion are a fact of life. It is not our differences that cause disunity but the intolerance of such differences,” he said.

Lee pointed out that being a Malaysian did not make anyone less Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban or any other ethnicity, and that they should start accepting each other as Malaysians.

“We should be proud to identify ourselves first as Malaysians, for such identification fosters patriotism and develops unity,” he said.

He said it was the duty of all loyal Malaysians to work for peace and harmony.

“Everyone has a role to play by giving greater emphasis to the idea of Malaysian Oneness, based on the great values and virtues taught by all the religions and races instead of harping on and exploiting ethnic sentiments,” he said.

He said “unity in diversity” is a priceless gift that must be cherished by all Malaysians and every peace-loving citizen should be fully committed to promoting a culture of peace, harmony and unity.

He also urged the people to support the “Ekspresi Negaraku” campaign since its main objective is to help inculcate the spirit of patriotism.

Image source: https://thestar.com.my

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