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Deepavali Can Foster Spirit Of Unity – PM Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wished Hindus a Happy Deepavali and expressed his hope that this year’s festivities would be memorable for all Malaysians.

“May the Deepavali celebrations this year be a wonderful memory for us all as a family,” he said on his Facebook page.

In an accompanying video, Najib said Malaysia’s achievement had placed the country at a level it could be proud of.

And although it is fast becoming modernised, with various readily available facilities, Malaysia has maintained its unique culture.

“Deepavali has brought forth a cheerful atmosphere with lighted oil lamps and kolam that mirror a joyous peaceful occasion.

“Like the light shining in our lives, let us foster the spirit of unity in line with the success we strive for each and every day,” he added.

The kolam is a mandala pattern made from rice flour or coloured powder.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also wished all Malaysians a Happy Deepavali.

He took to Twitter yesterday to extend his greetings to the public, saying he hoped Deepavali would shine brighter this year.

“Happy Deepavali to all Hindu adherents. May this year’s festival of light shine even brighter. May the country further prosper,” he tweeted.

Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the Festival of Lights is an opportune time for Malaysians from all walks of life to unite as one rakyat and uphold their rich multicultural heritage.

The MCA president said in a statement that the special occasion should be enjoyed as a way to strengthen and renew bonds as families and friends gather in celebration.

“As we celebrate the victory of light over darkness this Deepavali, let us be reminded about the importance of embracing peace and unity for a better nation.

“In the same vein, it is imperative that we continue to stand strong against discordant voices and divisive forces that attempt to tear the fabric of our unity,” he added.

Liow, who is also Transport Minister, reminded all those who are travelling to prioritise safety and drive carefully.

“Remember to rest if you are feeling tired, stay alert and take the proper precautions for a safe journey,” he advised.

Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong hoped that Deepavali would “lighten up” Malaysian hearts and help them strive towards strengthening national unity.

“We should be strong advocates of peace and justice for all people regardless of race, religion or culture.

“The very first step is to understand and respect people other than ourselves,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said that the Government is committed to fostering deeper and more inclusive interracial and inter-religious harmony in the country.

Gerakan vice-president Datuk A. Kohilan Pillay also extended his Deepavali greetings to all Hindus and Sikhs in the country.

“I hope more will be inspired by the Deepavali spirit and try their best to ensure that no one is left behind as the country continues to progress and prosper,” he said.

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