I wish a happy Deepavali to all Hindus in Malaysia, as well as to our brothers and sisters of different faiths who rejoice in the concept of unity in diversity.
As many of us know, Deepavali as the Festival of Lights is the symbol of the triumph of good over evil. It is a struggle between forces of evil and enlightenment, and we must never allow ourselves to fall into the trap of ignorance and racism.
We must ensure Malaysia’s diversity of cultures and beliefs, as well as our differences in views and political ideologies, will never be turned into an excuse to fight among ourselves. That is why Penang is working towards establishing a shared society that promotes social harmony, social inclusion and cohesion that allows us not only to manage differences but also make diversity a positive force for equal opportunity and social justice.
There are 4 essential elements in a shared society:-
1) Democratic participation in decision-making
2) Respect for diversity and the dignity of the individual
3) Equal opportunity
4) Prohibition of discrimination
We are fighting against corruption and abuse of power because it will provide development to the people. With this spirit of Deepavali, I hope to work with all sections of society including the NGOs and other organisations in ensuring no one would be left behind, regardless class or creeds. Let us show a thousand points of light of justice truth and freedom throughout Malaysia.