The inaugural PIO Day, a significant event honouring the contributions of People of Indian Origin (PIOs) and their forefathers in Malaysia, took place on June 2, 2023, at the iconic Vivekananda School in Brickfields Little India, Kuala Lumpur.
This first PIO Day in Malaysia was jointly inaugurated by YB Tuan V. Sivakumar, Minister for Human Resources and His Excellency Shri V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs from India. Their participation added prestige and garnered noteworthy attention.
Several VVIPs, including YB Senator Saraswathy Kandasamy, Deputy Minister for Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development, were present during the inaugural ceremony. The High Commissioner of India to Malaysia, H.E. B.N. Reddy, and the High Commissioner of Malaysia to Mauritius, H.E. Jagdishwar Goburdhun, also graced the occasion.
The event drew participants from diverse overseas GOPIO Chapters, including those from Mauritius, Sri Lanka, and Singapore. Additionally, prominent Malaysian PIO ethnic NGOs and NRIs in Malaysia enthusiastically attended, underscoring the event’s global significance.
The commemorative PIO Day was marked by the PIO International Festival, a dynamic initiative held at the Vivekananda Ashrama and School. Approximately 500 individuals attended the inauguration ceremony, making it a pivotal moment in the narrative of PIOs in Malaysia.
The groundwork for PIO Day began with the PIO Day Forum in October 2022. Ethnic PIO NGOs and academics gathered to plan the celebration, deciding to hold it during the third week of April, coinciding with the traditional New Year of Indian communities in Malaysia. The PIO Day was coordinated by Organising Chairman Sashidharan Santhesegaran.
The inaugural PIO Day celebration, in recognition of the challenges, sacrifices and contributions of the forefathers of the PIOs in Malaysia stands as a landmark event, recognising the enduring contributions of PIOs while fostering cross-cultural interactions and inter-ethnic unity. It serves as a testament to the social and cultural richness of Malaysian PIO communities and marks a significant stride in celebrating their heritage and accomplishments.