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Make “Malaysia Prihatin” a reality

KENINGAU – Bishop Cornelius Piong has called on leaders to be exemplary role models who will inspire everyone to be upstanding citizens.

In his Malaysia Day message released Sept 8, Bishop Datuk Cornelius Piong of Keningau called for all Malaysians to have a sense of pride in their identity as citizens of a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation which respects and accepts others as they are.

He then went on to remind our leaders to be fair in the distribution of the country’s wealth and to ensure that everyone is treated equitably.

He said that it is vital that everyone, irrespective of race, religion or ethnicity, feel a sense of belonging to the nation. He warned that this is only achievable if leaders govern with fairness and justice and are attentive to the welfare of all.

As Malaysia Day falls during the month-long Season of Creation, Bishop Piong urged everyone to commit towards saving this planet that God created for us and for future generations.

He ended his message by urging everyone to always care for each other and for God’s creation.

See below for the full text of the message

Malaysia Day Message from the Bishop of Keningau

Dear People of God, We celebrate the 58th anniversary of Malaysia Day with a spirit of patriotism, taking pride in the theme, which is the same as last year’s — Malaysia Cares (Malaysia Prihatin). This is both timely and appropriate especially during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, when so many Malaysians from the various races, cultures, ethnicities and religions have stepped up to render assistance to fellow Malaysians in need.

How can we, as Christ’s followers and as Malaysians, make the slogan Malaysia Cares a reality and practise it in our daily lives? We know for certain that the formation of our character begins in the family. Parents are the first and primary educators of children. Therefore, they are responsible for instilling a caring attitude in their children through family life and later inculcating in them the values suitable to the context of social life in a pluralistic Malaysia.

To be able to shape and develop a caring Malaysian nation, it is our responsibility as church ministers, community leaders and political leaders to be exemplary role models who will inspire society and the community with the right values and attitudes to be upstanding citizens, and to instil a sense of pride in our identity as a multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation which respects and accepts others as they are.

We are proud to live in Malaysia with all the various religions and ethnicities. For us to have a sense of belonging, we look to our political leaders to ensure a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere where people will live together, respecting and accepting one another without prejudice. On that same note, these leaders must also focus on distributing the country’s wealth fairly and equitably to all states in the federation of Malaysia, especially to the states that are in dire need.

It is not easy to nurture a caring attitude, a spirit of goodwill and sense of belonging in a pluralistic society. If the leaders do not govern with a sense of justice and fairness and are not attentive to the welfare of all people, then the feeling of dissatisfaction will cause tensions and jeopardise future generations. All Malaysians must feel that they belong, since only then will they feel safe and be able to be concerned about the welfare of others, caringly and willingly participating in efforts to build society and the country for the common good.

In addition to the welfare of the people, what is the extent of our concern for the welfare of God’s creation? Climate change and global warming is worsening day by day. As a result, natural calamities are happening not only abroad but also in our own country. Are we mindful and concerned enough for this earth, our dwelling place and common home? Are we sensitive and willing enough to get involved in campaigns to protect our earth from being destroyed? As caring Malaysians, we need to realise that as long as we live on this earth, we all have a mission to contribute to and fight for harmony between people and God’s creation.

Dear caring Malaysian brothers and sisters, we are certainly aware that our lives are only temporary. We are created by God our Father and will someday return to Him who created us. As long as we live on this earth with our fellow human beings and God’s creation, we will be judged according to how we cared for and carried out our responsibilities to the nation, the people and our common home, in short, all of God’s creation, which has been entrusted to us to care for and manage carefully, justly and wisely.

As we celebrate Malaysia Day, may the theme Malaysia Cares instil within us the awareness, motivation and ability to always care for each other and for God’s creation.

Happy 58th National Day
+ Rt Rev Datuk Cornelius Piong DD
Sept 8, 2021

SOURCE: Herald Malaysia Online

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