COLOMBO : As we celebrate the 66th National Day of Malaysia, we are not just commemorating our past but also envisioning a brighter future. A future that is inclusive, sustainable, and innovative. A future that is encapsulated in the recently launched Malaysia Madani as well as Madani Economy Framework.
This year’s theme, ‘Malaysia Madani: Tekad Perpaduan Penuhi Harapan’, which translates to ‘Determination in Unity, Fulfilling Hope’, is not just a random theme chosen for this year’s National Month in August. It carries a profound meaning, resonating with the aspirations and dreams of every Malaysian. It is a call to unity, a testament to our shared determination to fulfil the hopes of our nation. Madani is an acronym for a policy that embraces six core values – Sustainability, Prosperity, Innovation, Respect, Trust and Compassion.
The Madani Economy Framework is a beacon of hope. It signifies our dedication to creating a vibrant and resilient economy, even in the face of global challenges. We recognize the hurdles that lie ahead, but it is our unity, our shared vision, and our unwavering determination that will guide us to harness the boundless potential within our nation.
As we recall our independence on 31st August 1957, we also look forward to the upcoming Malaysia Day which we celebrate on 16th September every year, a testament to the unity and strength of our diverse nation. Our theme underscores the importance of unity, understanding, and collaboration.
Our 66-year journey with the beautiful nation of Sri Lanka is a testament to the deep-rooted bond of mutual respect and understanding that we share. In fact, for these 66 years, Malaysia and Sri Lanka have enjoyed excellent diplomatic relations. A journey that began as formal diplomatic relations has blossomed into a partnership that spans various sectors, from trade to culture.
Our intertwined histories, marked by maritime trading and strategic locations, have fostered economic growth and enriched our cultural tapestry. The thriving Malay settlements in Sri Lanka are a living testament to our shared past and a bridge to our shared future.
The migrations of the 19th century have left a remarkable mark on our shared histories. The contributions of the Ceylonese to Malaysia and vice versa have been monumental. This year, we saw this bond manifest in the form of collaborative initiatives, knowledge exchange, and mutual support.
Our trade relations, though momentarily affected by global challenges, have shown promising growth. The resilience of our economies, marked by an increase in bilateral trade, is a testament to our shared commitment to progress and prosperity. Malaysia, through Axiata, stands as one of the biggest investors in Sri Lanka, showcasing our deep-rooted commitment to improving trade and investment.
Recognizing the potential of Sri Lanka, Malaysian enterprises continue to invest and collaborate here. Ventures like Dialog Axiata PLC (Group), Edotco Services Lanka Private Limited – which is also part of Axiata, Public Bank and Amana Bank inspire confidence in further collaborations in sectors like technology, infrastructure, banking and education.
As we move towards a digital future, it’s imperative that our nations collaborate to harness the potential of the digital revolution. Together, we can pave the way for a brighter, more connected future, fostering growth and innovation.
Our shared love for culture, education, and tourism continues to be a cornerstone of our relationship. In our bid to foster closer ties, Malaysia is keen to continue developing programmes aimed at promoting understanding and appreciation of our rich heritages.
Building deeper people-to-people linkages, especially in tourism, has always been a priority. Furthermore, there are 4 Airlines serving the Kuala Lumpur – Colombo Route, namely Malaysia Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Air Asia, and Batik Air. In 2022, we took a significant step in this direction by establishing the Malaysian Authorised Visa Centres in collaboration with local Sri Lankan Company Jetwings and Win Win. This initiative is a testament to our commitment to making travel between our nations smoother and more accessible.
Finally, I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to His Excellency President Ranil Wikremesinghe for his unwavering support and keenness to improve Malaysia and Sri Lanka relations in every sphere. With that, I would like to end by wishing all Malaysians, Selamat Hari Merdeka dan Selamat Hari Malaysia!
Terima Kasih, Istuti, Nandri, and Thank you.
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