KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday (Feb 14) expressed his gratitude towards the Chinese community, which he said had played an "important role" in nation-building since independence.
In a Chinese New Year message posted on his blog, Mr Najib said the community's "tremendous contribution" - be it culturally or economically - was evident in every part of the country.
"Indeed Malaysia is home to many, and all have played important roles in building this great nation especially our Chinese brothers and sisters as fellow sons and daughters of Malaysia," he wrote.
Mr Najib also stressed that he was committed to ensure that no Malaysians would be "left behind".
"I am committed to ensure that no Malaysians will be left behind, that the future of our children will be better than ours and that we will grow stronger and together as one," he said.
In Malaysia, religious and cultural festivals have become joyous occasions not just for particular segments of the society but are celebrated by all, said Mr Najib.
"Perhaps it is the food, the culture and the laughter that unite us in festive celebrations like the New Year," he said.
"But I believe it has been ingrained in us since independence. We live harmoniously as one regardless of race and creed. It has become a way of life and this bond between us is what I believe to be the true spirit of 1Malaysia."
He said this celebration was a perfect reminder of the many cultures and faiths that "make us who we are as Malaysians".
"Our vast array of traditions and perspectives, our melting pot is what makes us unique, keeping us fresh and dynamic," he said.