The Year of the Dragon was a historic and mementous year for us in Malaysia: It was the year of the birth of Malaysia. However, our young nation at the moment of its birth had to face a National crisis which was brought about by Indonesian aggression and confrontation. I hope some time in the year of the Snake, a peaceful settlement will be found which will end the Indonesian aggression.

I would like to extend to every Malaysian citizen of Chinese origin my best wishes and greetings for the New Year and I hope, despite confrontation and continued Indonesian aggression, this year’s cele- brations will be just as happy and gay as in previous years.

It is more than a year now that we have been the object of Indone- sian aggression and I am very glad that there has been, since the first time Indonesia violated our integrity, a change in the attitude of many newly emergent nations in Africa and Asia. During my recent tour of North Africa the countries there showed that they have now understood the real situation in South-East Asia and they have all recognized us as an independent and sovereign Nation. This has erased completely Indonesian propaganda that we are a Neo-colonialist coun- try. After the Chinese New Year and Hari Raya I intend to visit a number of countries in East Africa. It has always been the policy of our Government to maintain close and friendly relations with all friendly countries in the World and it is our intention to especially strengthen our ties and our relations with the newly emerging Afro- Asian nations.

As a young nation, we have no other wish than to live in peace and give our people of all races a better deal, a better and higher standard of living and to guarantee everyone a rightful place in this country. This is our dearest wish and our aim and we are doing all we can to achieve this. Malaysia is a wealthy country and there are enough resources for everyone who works hard to live a decent standard of living.

Indonesia, in confronting us, expects to disintegrated our people. Their agents are working hard to create racial discord in this country because they know once the Malays and the Chinese start fighting each other Soekarno does not have to lift a finger to crush us. We will be crushing ourselves. It is important that everyone, irrespective of racial origin and who is loyal to this country, must come closer toge- ther and must stand solidly behind the Government to face this threat from Indonesia. I was indeed glad to see that the National Solidarity Week held last year manifested fully and unmistakably that the people of Malaya of all races are determined to fight this confrontation and aggression by Soekarno. I am touched by their pledges of loyalty and their readiness to sacrifice their lives for the defence of freedom and democracy. We are very proud of the way in which our people have responded to the Government’s call for unity and solidarity. With this determination and unity, I can say there is no force in the world, much less Indonesia, which can dominate or conquer us. Any people who are determined to live as a free and independent nation can survive any challenge. Let us continue to solidify our country strength and to continue building harmony and prosperity in our country. Our unity will see us through Indonesian aggression. Our salvation is unity.

As I said in Malaysia there is a place for everyone whatever our racial origin may be. The agents of Soekarno are now working very hard to create racial misunderstanding and chaos. I ask you to be always on the alert against these subversive elements who are bent on seeing chaos in Malaysia. They want to destroy the prosperity and harmony that have been achieved by the Alliance Government. They want to destroy, for their own ends, the political partnership among the Malays, Chinese and Indians — a bold concept of racial partner- ship in the political leadership of Malaysia. This concept has flourished. It must sustain if multi-racial and multi-cultural Malaysia were to survive and succeed. This concept not only be maintained by streng- thened from time to time. To enhance this concept, we must have a spirit of compromise. We must appreciate each other’s sensitivity and we must be patient while we have to make adjustments from time to time as we march forward towards one nationhood. We must not rush things and there must be no talk of one race trying to dominate another. We must talk more of our similarities rather than those which divide us. The need for unity and restrain is never more urgent than today when we are facing an external aggression. We must forget sectional, communal and provincial interests and must not magnify imaginary or otherwise grievances or injustice at a time when all our efforts and energies should be utilised in consolidating our nation to fight our enemies. All other interests must be subordinated to our national interest – the survival of ourselves and the maintenance of our way of life. It is only by this means can we hope to win over the enemies and survive and prosper as a Nation.

I wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year.