Sunday, February 09, 2003

Don’t allow Tunku’s work go to waste,
Malaysians urged

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians should count their blessings and never allow the work of founding fathers like the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj in forging unity go to waste, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said last night.
SPECIAL MOMENT:The King marking the eyes of the lion before the start of the lion dance to mark the start of the open house at Dataran Petaling Jaya yesterday.

Paying tribute to the country’s first prime minister on his 100th anniversary yesterday, Abdullah, said: “I would like all Malaysians to remember the one man who planted the seeds of unity and harmony among us which have blossomed into the unity which brings us here today as one family.”
Abdullah said Tunku was the man whose main platform in nurturing unity became the bedrock for nation-building.
“Today, we reap the benefits of those early years of drumming into our people’s mind that unity, solidarity, goodwill by whichever name you call it was the only way for Malaysia and its varied ethnic and multi-religious groups to survive and succeed,” he said in a statement in conjuction with the national-level Chinese New Year open house in Petaling Jaya.
Abdullah said Malaysians should be grateful for having had leaders like Tunku, who moulded an infant nation to believe in tolerance and unity.
“Without that early discipline, we may not be what we are today. Therefore, we must always count our blessings and we can never forget what Tunku Abdul Rahman instilled in us.”
Abdullah said there was no force on earth that can divide Malaysians if they uphold the values that have been instilled in them.
“For all that, we have a lot to thank the royal prince from Kedah, Tunku Abdul Rahman, and those who came after him,” he said.

CNY open house a memorable event

The National Chinese New Year Open house
held at Padang Timur in Petaling Jaya

PETALING JAYA: The sight of Malaysians of various races gathering at the national Chinese New Year celebrations here yesterday was memorable to those who attended the event.
Personal assistant Lisa Mohamad, 30, said it was really good to see so many people enjoying themselves.
“I thought it would mostly be attended by the Chinese as it is a Chinese New Year get-together so it was a pleasant surprise to see all other races here too,” she said.
Agreeing with her was Lisa Maslina Mastor, 32, who said such an event was an excellent opportunity for Malaysians to enhance inter-racial ties.
“It gives me a good feeling to know that Malaysians can freely and peacefully get together like this,” said the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council employee.
Englishman Andy Austin, 42, was also very impressed with what he saw.
“Malaysia is always portrayed as a multi-cultural country. This occasion drives home that point,” said the computer engineer who is currently working here.
Many also took the event as an excellent opportunity for the family to get together.
“It’s a good way to spend quality time with my wife and children,” said Onitha Chandran Chantiran, 47, an accounts clerk from Shah Alam
He said such events were very rare in Petaling Jaya and should be held more often.
Retired businessmen K.S. Toh, 68, said he was impressed with the organisation of the event.
“There is lot of food and the distribution was done orderly,” he said.