HARMONIOUS: Celebration encapsulates 1Malaysia, reflects efforts of the people
KUALA LUMPUR: THE spirit of peace, charity and forgiveness observed by Malaysian Buddhists during this time of camaraderie truly encapsulates the 1Malaysia spirit, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He said Malaysians had gone through good times and bad times together, and it was through unity and reconciliation that the people stood tall and continued to strive for a better nation.
“Malaysia is at a crucial juncture and the effort we put in today will be reflected in our growth and achievements in the years to come.
“Malaysia’s aspirations to be a developed, high-income nation by 2020 must be demonstrated by the collective commitment of our efforts.
“God willing, we will reap what we sow today.”
Wesak Day is one of the most meaningful celebrations for Malaysian Buddhists to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and passing of Gautama Buddha.
On this auspicious occasion, Malaysian Buddhists will revel in joy, peace and forgiveness as they seek blessings for themselves and their loved ones.
“In our harmonious, multicultural and multi-ethnic nation, this celebration will begin before dawn in temples throughout the country.
“Malaysian Buddhist devotees will gather in temples to release doves and to offer prayers.
“Wesak Day is also an occasion to offer alms to monks and give free meals to the less-fortunate,” Najib said.
He also thanked all Malaysians, especially Malaysian Buddhists, for their valuable contributions to society.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the rights and liberties of minorities had always been protected under the constitution and laws of the country.
“We are very fortunate because the mutual understanding and tolerance between people of different religions, languages and cultures, nurtured over the years, has brought harmony and unity.
“But there were people who wanted to destroy the unity by creating chaos in the country through outrageous attitude, street riots and racial strife.
“We are lucky that the majority of people are still rational and supportive of the government’s efforts to maintain peace in the country.
“In conjunction with Wesak Day, I hope all Buddhists in Malaysia will seek to strengthen ties between the communities and the spirit of unity and love for the country as well as contribute to the development and prosperity of our country,” Muhyiddin said.
He said,in Malaysia, many religious events were celebrated and this was a manifestation of the principle of freedom of religion practised in the country, regardless of race.