We ask for a conscience and the compassion to care for the disadvantaged and less fortunate.
If we were to offer a new year prayer (according to our respective religious beliefs) in Malaysia, it probably would be something like this:
Dear and most merciful Almighty God, please touch the hearts of all our politicians and leaders so they recognise that all of us are equal before your eyes.
Irrespective of our creed and origin and colour, we are all here because of your mercy and grace.
We pray that Malaysia declares a war on a scale never seen before against your enemy, ie corruption – the exploitation, sins of commission and omission, all of which hurt and deprive us on this land you have given us to call home sweet home.
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Oh God, give us all the strength and enabling will to be a productive nation of people not so easily lulled by handouts.
We ask for wisdom, the seeds of which are sowed in our education system. Let your heavenly justice strike at the hearts of all those who have the power to transform but kept failing, leading to our failing education system – from pre-schools to universities.
Rid our nation of greedy hearts.
May you expose all those who have no qualms about importing all kinds of substandard food that could be injurious to our long-term health or even passing off dubious frozen meat as halal for Muslims.
May the small minority of the population who hoard the wealth of the nation witness your anger in their lifetimes.
May the lessons we believers draw from our respective holy books be our beacon for change and reform in this beloved land of yours.
We want a united nation of people with equal rights to progress. We ask for a conscience and compassion to care for the disadvantaged and less fortunate.
Instil in our leaders a heightened awareness about the meaning of a duty of care.
Let not our leaders, public servants and business people become greedy nor be driven solely by self-interest.
May we all remain in your grace and profit from this land you have bestowed on us, including those who came here from near and far in search of just wages and a life of dignity.
After all, we are all but mere travellers during this time you have given us on this planet.
Dear God, if we are wrong in crying out to you, please open our eyes because the powers that be might say there is nothing really wrong in this land of over 30 million people and that enemies of the state are running the government down.
May our beloved country rise in your grace and forgiveness, because if we cannot transform and reform this country in 2021, we truly cannot fault you, the most Merciful One, anymore.