We can­not be mere pas­sen­gers in na­tion-build­ing, says Salleh

New Straits Times - - News -

PUTRAJAYA: The scorch­ing heat did not stop Malaysians from com­ing out in droves to take part in the launch of the Ek­spresi Ne­garaku event at Dataran Putrajaya yes­ter­day.

More than 4,000 peo­ple ar­rived from as early as 6am, in­clud­ing those par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Ne­garaku Flag Run, held in con­junc­tion with the event.

Sev­eral hours later, more peo­ple be­gan mak­ing their way to the venue, with many decked in red, white, blue and yel­low — the colours of the Jalur Gemi­lang.

Hun­dreds then took part in Se­nam­ro­bik Ne­garaku, where the young and old alike grooved to up­tempo mu­sic blast­ing from the speak­ers, with in­struc­tors cheer­ing them on.

Soon af­ter, some 600 youth marched into the square, bear­ing plac­ards listing the tenets en­shrined un­der the Rukune­gara.

The Ek­spresi Ne­garaku ini­tia­tive is a first-of-its-kind plat­form, spear­headed by the peo­ple to demon­strate their love for the coun­try.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said de­spite com­ing from dif­fer­ent walks of life, it was im­por­tant for Malaysians to re­main united for the sake of the coun­try’s sta­bil­ity.

“Some­times, while we are busy go­ing about our daily lives, we for­get how im­por­tant it is to be pa­tri­otic.

“Even though we have dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal be­liefs, and are of dif­fer­ent races and re­li­gions, Malaysia is ours.

“We must be united to en­sure the sta­bil­ity of our na­tion and we must al­ways be in har­mony.”

Salleh said he was proud to see so many young Malaysians here.

“This coun­try is for them. The gov­ern­ment can en­sure that the in­fra­struc­ture is there and the coun­try is de­vel­oped as planned. But, at the end of the day, it is up to us to par­tic­i­pate (in na­tion­build­ing).

“We can­not just be pas­sen­gers in build­ing the na­tion. We must take part in this process.”

Chief Sec­re­tary to the Gov­ern­ment Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa said the ini­tia­tive would in­cul­cate the spirit of pa­tri­o­tism in the peo­ple.

“We don’t have to wait for Merdeka Day to be pa­tri­otic. It should be in­stilled in all of us wher­ever we are.

“Civil ser­vants are also the main pil­lars of loy­alty to the gov­ern­ment. They work and serve the peo­ple, and give their best for Malaysians.”

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