The prime minister said such capability was also in line with the country reaching its maturity, and that it would serve as an impetus for the government to develop Malaysia so that the prosperity achieved could be shared by all.
“Malaysia has reached 62 years without the colonial grasp. Although there are times when voices of dissent seek to disrupt the peace of the people by raising racial issues, Malaysians as a whole reject such narrow beliefs and hold to the principle of tolerance and respect. Understanding has been cultivated since independence which enabled us to achieve national agendas aimed at prospering and advancing the people and the nation. I hope this rally will further fuel our spirit to jointly redouble our efforts to make Malaysia a highly respected country,” he said when launching the national-level National Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang (national flag) at the Dataran Pahlawan here yesterday (August 3) night.
Also present were Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo, who is also 2019 National Month Celebration Main Committee chairman, Melaka Chief Minister Adly Zahari, Cabinet ministers and state executive councillors.
Speaking to about 10,000 attendees, Dr Mahathir said various initiatives had been put in place by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in pursuit of the shared prosperity as announced in conjunction with the New Malaysia’s first anniversary.
He said they include measures to restore the integrity and improve governance of public services, government-linked companies (GLCs) for the benefit of the country’s economy, as well as the Felda transformation programme, Lembaga Tabung Haji recovery plan, the launch of the National Entrepreneurship Policy 2030 and the regional development programme.
“The people must rise together with the determination to help the government achieve this shared prosperity goal.
“The philosophy and framework for building a nation that is based on a unified society must be used as the basis of our consistent struggles,” he said.
In this regard, Dr Mahathir said issues of understanding and racial integration would continue to be the key agenda of the government.
“Practising good values in life and avoiding bad practices should also continue to be applied by the society in this country,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also called on all Malaysians to make this effort possible and to appreciate the theme of this year’s National Day celebration, ‘Sayangi Malaysiaku: Malaysia Bersih’.
The prime minister said the people should also be grateful for the peaceful and prosperous life they currently enjoy, while at the same time realising that today’s success was the result of the sacrifices of the previous generations.
The history of the country for the past decades, said the 94-year-old leader, should serve as the guide in shaping and determining the direction of the country.
“Every citizen needs to have a sense of responsibility because the image of the nation’s excellence depends on our ability to meet the challenges and obstacles in achieving the success. We need to focus on the next level of excellence by addressing all the shortcomings and weaknesses so that it will serve as a guide for the future generation.
“All of this can be carried out when we have the self-awareness pertaining to the country’s journey through the decades,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also emphasised that during the National Day celebration every year, it re-enlightened the people on the importance of patriotism and love for the nation, which were among the key features of building a nation of multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural society so that the people can continue to live in harmony and peace.
The Jalur Gemilang, the prime minister said, symbolises loyalty, unity and patriotism, so it is important that the spirit and values of nationalism and patriotism be instilled in all Malaysians.