AS MALAYSIANS of all races prepare to commemorate the 53rd Merdeka anniversary, I would like to stress once again the very fundamentals that have brought us together which are the very principles contained in the Rukun Negara, our national philosophy.
Through its five tenets (Belief in God; Loyalty to the King and Country; Upholding the Constitution; Rule of Law, and Good Social Behaviour and Morality) the Rukun Negara has formed the principles of our nationhood and these should be inculcated in our younger generation who are the future leaders of our country.
The Rukun Negara is our guide for nation-building and should be respected by all. It is a shared vision for national unity and its principles should always be upheld and practised.
Many people are taking unity for granted. Even more saddening is that 40 years after the proclamation of the Rukun Negara, it appears that many have forgotten about its five tenets and what they stand for, while others still need to be reminded about the national philosophy. Some have again played to the race gallery for their own personal agenda and selfish ends.
This is not a healthy development for in a multi-racial, mutli-religious and multi-cultural country like Malaysia, continuous effort must be made by all Malaysians to nurture and reinforce unity.
We must be prepared to reduce our strong sense of ethnicity in order to achieve a “Bangsa Malaysia”. Malaysians should start accepting each other as Malaysians regardless of race and religion and we should not be preoccupied with ethnic origin.
I always believe that being a Malaysian does not make anyone less a Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan, Iban, etc. People should be proud to identify themselves as Malaysians, for such identification fosters patriotism and develops unity.
All plans for the nation’s economic growth and all corrective measures to address the country’s social imbalances will be meaningful only if they are geared towards national unity. Programmes of action for Malaysians of all races should continue to aim at nurturing and strengthening the spirit of love and loyalty for the country.
Malaysians cannot run away from the reality that to attain a cohesive and united Malaysia, we need to make a conscious efforts to accept and practise the concept of 1Malaysia to promote unity and harmony.
After having achieved independence for 53 years, we have no choice but to work towards achieving a 1Malaysia with a common and shared destiny for all where every Malaysian irrespective of race has a rightful place under the sun.
1Malaysia should have as its key elements, mutual understanding, respect and trust for one another in a multiracial country like ours, while upholding the Constitution and the Rukun Negara. The creation and sustenance of national unity must be given the highest priority because unity is vital to ensure the continued growth of Malaysia as a secure, peaceful, progressive and united nation.
Major policy issues and development projects must be studied to ensure that they benefit the nation in terms of forging unity among the diverse races other than achieving their development objectives.
Let us include every Malaysian in the building of unity in a 1Malaysia.
We must start speaking with one voice, one that is inclusive of Malaysians of every ethnic background. Let us all be committed to promote a 1Malaysia based on justice and fair play for all irrespective of race, colour or creed.