KUCHING (Bernama) — Anthony Ramanair, was 22 years old when the Malaysia declaration was proclaimed in Padang Central, now known as Padang Merdeka, in Kuching on 16 Sept, 1963.
The young man attached with Radio Sarawak clearly recalled the euphoria then and the big number of people who turned up at the field literally to witness the cornerstone of Sarawak’s modern history unravel.
Now, almost 51 years later, the President of the Indian Association of Kuching, a body representing the miniscule Indian population there, lives to tell that the Federation provided a meaningful place for everyone, even for the extreme minorities anywhere under the Malaysian sun.
“My parents originated from India, but I was born in Kuching, I’m a Sarawakian, a Malaysian. I love my country, I’ll die for my country, anytime, anywhere”, said Anthony.
As far as Anthony is concerned, leaders at the state and federal level have done their level best for the well-being of all, including the Indians who are miniscule in their number in Sarawak.
THE MALAYSIAN FEDERATION, A LONG TERM VISION
The same positive note on the Malaysian Federation was shared by an army officer turned academician, Lt Col Saiful Anwar Md Ali, who felt the nation’s forefathers were far sighted in their vision of the Malaysian Federation.
This is because the Federation not only united Peninsula with Sabah and Sarawak, but also strengthened the national resilience in the economic, cultural, security and social spheres.
“Their hopes and goals have been achieved, but the original ideals are being tested by the changing times, thus efforts have to be taken to ensure the efforts of establishing the Federation does not go to waste”, said the senior lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sarawak.
Thus the patriotic fervour on the Federation has to be inculcated right from young to ensure the Malaysian Federation remains strong as envisioned by the forefathers.
THE FEDERATION PROVIDED THE FUNDAMENTALS
Saiful’s views were also shared by the executive council member of the Pertubuhan Belia Kebangsaan Bersatu Sarawak (Saberkas) Abang Abdul Aziz Abang Abdul Rauf who opined that the youths of the present generation should capitalise on the strong national fundamentals established by the forefathers to continue developing oneself and the nation.
The present and coming generations should appreciate the sacrifices of the nation’s forefathers and they should preserve what they are enjoying now for the future.
There are many ways to inculcate patriotism among youths of today and a strong patriotic fervour will create the next generation of leaders who will take Malaysia to greater heights.
Abang Abdul Aziz also pointed out that Sarawak with numerous ethnic groups, in fact the most compared with any other state in the Federation, truly reflects the 1Malaysia spirit with a great sense of unity and harmony prevailing throughout the state.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem recently said the present generation have to be grateful to the forefathers of the Federation that paved the way for self governance and development of the state.
“We thank them for developing this land, the land of the hornbills, and we should not look back and instead should look ahead to take on the future challenges”, he said.