PETALING JAYA - Malaysians will persevere due to our resilience as a nation despite a challenging year, said Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The Transport Minister said it had been a trying year, particularly for the next of kin of those on board MH370 and MH17.
"Moreover, we are deeply saddened by reports of fatalities in relation to Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501.
"We stand in solidarity with the families and loved ones and we have been committed to providing all available assistance to the Indonesian authorities and will continue to do so throughout this tragic time," he said in his New Year message yesterday.
He added that our tanah air (homeland) had also been impacted by the recent floods, with homes, lives and families lost.
"In the face of these challenges, I am touched by the fact that Malaysians have come together to support the flood victims in kind and cash.
"Once again, we have demonstrated that regardless of our political and religious beliefs, if we put our hearts into it we can indeed come together and help our fellow countrymen," he said.
Liow, who is MCA president, said Malaysia had always strived to be a moderate nation.
"This is something very close to my heart, and as the MCA president, I will continue to champion it. Our forefathers fought, struggled and sacrificed much to give us a strong foundation in this land of ours.
"Many like-minded Malaysians have upheld this legacy, and most of all, nurtured moderation, peace, unity and progress in our country," Liow added.
He also said that the responsibility to revive civic-consciousness fell squarely on our shoulders, especially via one of the more tangible ways - on the roads.
"Towards this end, the Transport Ministry has implemented, amongst other initiatives, the Road Safety Plan 2014-2020 that incorporates aspects such as education and enforcement," he said.
On another matter, Liow said the Road Transport Department (JPJ) would conduct a study to allow pick-up trucks to have higher barriers at the back of the vehicle to allow them to transport more produce.
Liow said he had instructed the JPJ to do the necessary after receiving requests from the transportation operators to modify their trucks for the purpose, "on condition that they are used only at the highlands".