Christmas is here again and, like all other festive seasons in Malaysia, it is a time for celebrations.
Besides the opportunity to share quality time with family and friends, we reflect on many issues prevailing in the country.
Some are memorable, while others are best forgotten as they reflect the misgivings of the less inclusive and narrow-minded.
One episode that must be disregarded is the recent controversy over Christmas greetings on cakes. Such trivial issues are a stain and a strain on our society. For the life of me, I could not comprehend how a festive greeting could create so much hullabaloo.
I am gratified though that, against the backdrop of this hubbub, diversity is still conspicuous in Malaysia. On 18 December I went for my regular check-up at the National Heart Institute (IJN). There, I found the entrance to the institute decorated with Christmas adornments.
This gesture by the hospital reflects well on its management and staff and revealed its recognition of the country’s diversity.
Malaysia’s draws its strength as a from its multi-racial, multicultural and multi-religious mosaic. Diversity is a source of strength for any country. We should celebrate our differences while cherishing and valuing unity.
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We should always tap the best ethos of the people if we want the nation to make headway. Our ancestors believed in making compromises to solve problems when building this country.
Such compromises are a sign of strength in character, not weakness. This is the right approach if the country is to progress.
Kudos to IJN for this magnanimous gesture as it speaks a lot for the wisdom of the institute.
Merry Christmas to those in Malaysia who are celebrating the festive season. To others in Malaysia who are on leave, happy holidays.
God bless Malaysia and its people always.