MALAYSIA celebrates its 65th National Day today, August 31, 2022.
Since its independence from Great Britain in 1957, Malaysia has risen to be – among others – a respectable economic player, an enduring bedrock of opportunities and a firm believer of multilateralism and regionalism.
Ever an advocate of "prosper thy neighbor," Malaysians say they appreciate and solidify win-win relations that stand the test of time.
In terms of trade and investment, Malaysia remains an attractive destination for global investors with the manufacturing sector, maintaining its position as a key pillar of the economy for 2022 generating significant multiplier effects on the nation's growth.
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Today, Malaysia is proud to have over 5,000 companies from more than 40 countries that have made the country their location for manufacturing and related services operations.
Moving forward, the Malaysian Government has lined-up strategic and focused trade and investment missions (TIM) targeted to capture investments in high technology, innovation and research-driven industries that will complement the Malaysian industrial ecosystem.
The pro-business administration continues to be prudent and pragmatic in its policies to ensure that Malaysia's investment climate remains attractive for businesses; not only to conduct business activities, but also expand and diversify existing operations.
Malaysia is also steep in culture and traditions that has been passed down from generations to generations. Thus the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) as the cultural diplomacy lead of Malaysia continues to promote and uphold the nation's culture, arts and heritage at national and international levels.
To showcase Malaysia's rich cultural diversity, Motac organized the exhibition of major ethnic groups' traditional costumes at Malaysian embassies and cultural institutions abroad. There is also a directory of exclusive Malaysian signature handicraft products.
And, what better way to experience a country than to visit it.
As Malaysia has officially reopened its borders starting April 1, 2022, fully-vaccinated inbound travelers can enjoy quarantine-free travel to the country and no longer need to undergo pre-departure and on-arrival Covid-19 tests, including children ages 17 and below. Travel insurance is also not a prerequisite for foreigners entering the country.
More festive National Day celebrations
The National Day celebration should be celebrated through efforts to color and decorate every premises with the Jalur Gemilang, to reflect the patriotic spirit and love for the motherland, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.
According to him, it is an additional way to prove love for the country, in addition to practicing good values in oneself, such as cooperation, tolerance, supporting all government initiatives and the practice of spreading true and authentic news.
"The symptoms of spreading fake news or untrue news, especially through social media should be controlled and curbed before it becomes a practice that can destroy the well-being of Malaysian families. Use social media wisely to fuel the celebration of the National Month with sincere words to your friends, employers and your own family," the Prime Minister said during the launching ceremony of the National Month and Waving of the Gemilang Flag 2022 at Dataran Putrajaya.
This year's celebration, themed "Keluarga Malaysia Teguh Bersama," reflected the harmony and peace in Malaysia as a multiracial country, he said.
He said that "Teguh Bersama" (strong together) referred to the resilience and the unity of the Malaysian Family in facing challenges while coming together as a family.
"The spirit in 'Keluarga Malaysia Teguh Bersama' should be livened up and embraced in our efforts to improve the well-being of the people in facing global economic challenges. I'm confident that nobody could disrupt our strong Malaysian Family when we do everything together," he stressed.
He said the National Day and Fly the Jalur Gemilang events were held in remembrance of the struggle for independence and to celebrate the nation's new spirit of nationhood.
While no longer under the control of colonial powers, Sabri said Malaysia continued to face external threats that could disrupt the peace and harmony built since its independence on Aug 31, 1957.
At the event, he flagged off the Kembara Keluarga Malaysia 2022 (KKM2022) convoy.
The Jalur Gemilang baton is passed throughout the KKM2022 journey from Putrajaya to many locations in the peninsula, as well as Sabah and Sarawak. The convoy ends today at Dataran Merdeka, the celebration venue for the National Day celebration.
Sabri joined thousands of Malaysians in 2.7 kilometres walk about from Dataran Putra under the Berjalan Teguh Bersama program.
He said, it is in line with the theme of this year's Merdeka Day celebration, the theme of "Malaysian Families Strong Together," which is very compatible with the commitment and concept of harmony of a large family, based on inclusion, togetherness and gratitude.
"Although no longer shackled by the colonialists, the Malaysian Family is always faced with challenges from the outside that can threaten the harmony that has been established over the years. After we have been fighting against Covid-19 for the past two years, the country is now in the transition phase to endemic and Malaysian families are beginning to enjoy the well-being of life as before the pandemic hit the world," he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Communications and Multimedia Tan Sri Annuar Musa expects the 2022 National Day celebrations to be much more festive.
He, as Chairman of the Main Committee for the Celebration of National Month and Malaysia Day 2022, expressed his confidence based on the excitement of the launch of the campaign.
"I can promise the celebration on August 31 to be much more lively than previous years with some unique features," he told reporters after participating in the launch of the program by the Prime Minister Sabri at Dataran Putrajaya, which was accompanied by over 15,000 people.
National Day 2022 takes place at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur after two years of being held on a small scale, following fears of the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic.
The National Day Parade was introduced in 1958, a year after the country achieved independence in the square which was previously known as the Selangor Club Field.
National-level celebrations have been held in certain state capitals and some were held in Parliament in 2009 with a small attendance due to the issue of flu at that time.
Annuar confirmed the theme "Malaysian Family Strong Together" in line with the principles of the Malaysian Family concept which is inclusiveness, togetherness and gratitude.
"I received many requests from various parties to participate in the parade, but we had to limit the number of contingents even though the response was extraordinary," he explained.
In an optimistic tone, he is also confident that the atmosphere of the celebration is very special after two years of the program having to be reduced following the pandemic issue.
At the same time, he invited the people to join together to enliven the celebration as an embodiment of national awareness and patriotic spirit as well as love of country.