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This Saturday, we celebrate our 62nd National Day. We have come a long way since Independence in 1957. Economically, we have made great strides, as we evolved from an agrarian society to a manufacturing one and now, we are embracing Industrial Revolution 4.0.

Credit must be given to our founding fathers for laying the groundwork for this country to progress. Millions had been lifted out of poverty, thanks to the foresight and policies and programmes laid down by our past leaders.

But while we had made much headway in terms of physical progress, our social development still leaves much to be desired. Our unity has become more fragile as race and religion continue to dominate our national discourse.

Just last week, the Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin lamented that the police had recorded significant increase in cases of provocation involving race, religion and the royalty. It does not help that some politicians are stoking sentiments to score political points.

If we do not nip this in the bud, we risk the undoing of the progress we have made over the past 62 years. Around the world, we have seen many nations turning back the clock in terms of physical progress when they allowed extremism to creep in. We should be more vigilant and stand firm against forces out to rip the delicate fabric of this nation. Selamat Hari Merdeka!