Christians from different denominations gathered at a church in Miri on the evening of Sept. 8 to show their unity and to celebrate the upcoming Malaysia Day with hymns and prayers.
Ahead of Malaysia Day on Sept. 16, Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists, and other Christian churches gathered at the Miri Mei Ann Methodist Church as a show of their harmony and unity. They also sang the national and state anthems and church hymns and prayed that God would guard their country against extremism and injustice, The Star Online reported.
"We as loyal citizens pray for the continous well-being of Malaysia," said Miri Catholic Diocese head Bishop Richard Ng. "We seek peace and freedom from injustice, corruption and abuse of power."
Bishop Ng also called on Christians to always manifest the spirit of unity among themselves.
At the end of the interdenominational gathering, Malaysia Day car stickers were distributed to the congregants. These special stickers show the country's national flag and the theme "I am praying for Malaysia."
Last month, Sabah National Civics Bureau director Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said the Malaysia Day celebrations should not be concentrated in Sabah and Sarawak only. He said the event should be more inclusive and have a wider scope, especially since Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had declared it as a national holiday in 2009, The Sun Daily reported.
"With such a big scale and lively celebration to mark Malaysia Day, including in Peninsular Malaysia, it will symbolise the sharing of one of the key foundations in the formation of Malaysia by all Malaysians," Amirzan explained to reporters after he attended a program together with members of the Sabah Journalists Association.
Malaysia Day commemorates the day Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore formed Malaysia in 1963. The celebration this year will be held in the town of Sibu.