My fellow Malaysians, today, on August 31, we are celebrating our 63rd national day and the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the Kingdom of Cambodia.
Let us recall that historic day when our first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman hailed the word merdeka – “independence” – seven times before reading out the 1957 Proclamation of Independence in front of thousands of Malaysians.
As well as celebrating our independence, we also commemorate those who have made sacrifices to secure peace and harmony for our beloved nation.
We celebrate this year’s national day under the theme “Malaysia Prihatin” – “Malaysia Cares” – and in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic the importance of unity has never been more paramount.
While battling this common enemy, we must continue moving forward and working together for development based on the strength of our solidarity.
We will need this unity and solidarity more than ever.
Let us strengthen our resolve so that we can achieve all our goals so we can achieve greatness. The road ahead will be long, our climb will be steep and we may not get there soon, but I promise you that as a team we will get there one day. We can and we will get through this!
When we are facing a grave situation like Covid-19, we should support each other, and as well as our fellow Malaysians, we have not forgotten local communities.
It heartens me that the embassy’s “We Care, We Share” initiative has managed to reach out and help many Cambodians too.
In addition, “We Care, We Share” resonates well with this year’s national day theme.
Thus, I am pleased that many Malaysians have come on board and stepped in to be part of this noble programme to assist those in great need.
We also continue to engage our Cambodian friends through our Malaysian technical and defence cooperation programmes and alumni.
Such engagements have provided opportunities for me to keep abreast of the alumni’s progress as they are now officially members of “Friends of Malaysia”.
This year has also witnessed a series of repatriation flights managed by my team that saw more than 500 Malaysians return home safely.
This will not be the end of our work. There will be many more who will need help – and we will be there for them.
And now is the moment for us to demonstrate our undying patriotic spirit, pride and love for Malaysia.
My team and I fly the flag of Malaysia – the Jalur Gemilang – all around the embassy, and I would like to encourage all Malaysians in the Kingdom to do the same – let’s fly our Jalur Gemilang high!
Even though we are not able to celebrate this momentous event as usual, it should not be a reason for us not to enjoy, embrace and further promote our society, our harmony and our patriotism, and uphold the agenda of nation building.
What makes this year’s national day even more special and exciting is that 63 Malaysians – to emphasise the 63rd birthday of our nation – from all walks of life in Phnom Penh will have come together on Sunday as a nation in a foreign land to pedal their bikes and ride their motorcycles on a “Merdeka Ride” to pay tribute to all those who have fought for us against all odds.
So I would like to take the opportunity to thank my fellow Malaysians for their strong support for having made this event so successful.
Finally, I would also like to wish Selamat Menyambut Hari Kebangsaan to all Malaysians in Cambodia.
Let’s remember how grateful we are to have Malaysia as our home.
Everything from its melting pot of cultures, multi-ethnicity, diverse heritage, multiple languages and exciting food have become an integral part of our society.
And last but by no means least, please stay safe, and together let’s march to victory in our Covid-19 battle!
Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless our “Malaysia Prihatin” initiative.
HE Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim,
Ambassador of Malaysia to the Kingdom of Cambodia.