This year, we shall celebrate Malaysia’s National Day 2016 by immersing in the spirit of the aptly phrased, and thus, retained theme, Of One Heart and One Soul. While increasing our love for the nation, the celebration will also call to mind reverent memories of the struggles and sacrifices of our leaders and freedom fighters of old who laid the crucial foundations for the formation of an independent nation.
The words of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, the Father of Independence, namely, “Don’t anyone think that we have reached our final destination: Independence is, indeed, a significant thing in history, but it is only the beginning of a new and sovereign endeavour,” remind us that this endeavour has no end to it and that each citizen has to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that our independence does not devolve into a fleeting phantasm.
In this context, the denizens of Universiti Utara Malaysia, be they students or members of staff, need to have a strong sense of integrity and accountability to make certain that the independence and the sovereignty of Malaysia as a nation are never threatened.
The narratives of the twists and turns in the country’s history must be preserved for use as lessons and examples. We must also take to heart the lessons of the current upheavals occurring all over the world, especially those involving foreign elements who infiltrate the national consciousness of unsuspecting nations and wreak havoc on their social harmony, political stability, and national security. In fact, we must be astute and adept at handling a myriad of challenges to safeguard Malaysia’s peace and prosperity.
In this regard, let us, together, give prominence to matters pertaining to the independence and sovereignty of our nation by cultivating a high level of patriotism and nationalism amongst ourselves. We should also recognise the truth of the statement that unity, the spirit of tolerance, and a culture of consensual agreement, together, constitute the key to the strength that drives the country’s progress in a variety of fields, no matter where we may be.
Hopefully, through divine grace and our honest and sincere efforts, our beloved homeland will continue to thwart the machinations of nefarious forces and always remain independent and sovereign.
Wabillahi Taufik Walhidayah, Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Professor Dato' Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak
Universiti Utara Malaysia
Translated by Ravi Rao
CORPORATE COMMUNICATION UNIT
UNIVERSITI UTARA MALAYSIA
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