31st August is the Independence Day of Malaysia. This is a significant day which marks the nation being free from colonization to be an independent nation. A day of great rejoicing because the nation is now free to choose her destiny and live out her unique nationhood identity.
On this Merdeka Day of Malaysia, we remember that our independence once obtained, needs to be preserved. We must not allow any forces to subject us once again to slavery. Forces such as hatred, disharmony, disunity, pride, insecurity, greed, poverty, etc, to hinder us from becoming a truly prosperous and progressive nation. Our independence by no means suggests that we do not need others to help us along the way. No nation can enjoy real and long-lasting prosperity without peace and harmony, without respect and honour for each other, without kindness and forgiveness towards one another. Our independence means that we need to live in interdependence in order to grow as a nation.
I wish Malaysia will preserve that interdependent relationship with mutual respect and honour among the various races, ethnic groups, religions and communities. We need each other. Without the other, we are not complete as a nation. I pray that the Church in Malaysia will be an example to the rest of the society in Malaysia, demonstrating love, respect, honour, value and kindness for our fellow citizens, because we are all fearfully and wonderfully created in the image of God.
On behalf of the Province of the Anglican Church of South East Asia, I together with the other Bishops in our Province, wish to say to Malaysia: blessed and happy Merdeka Day! May God’s peace, joy and grace be upon you, Malaysia!
In Christ’s Service,
The Most Rev. Datuk Melter Jiki Tais
The Primate of the Anglican Church in South East Asia
Bishop of Sabah