KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is looking once again to principles in the 33-year-old Rukun Negara to instil values which will foster unity among the people so that their spiritual and intellectual growth will be in tandem with the country's success in other areas.
National Unity and Social Development Minister Datuk Dr Siti Zaharah Sulaiman said Malaysians were reaping benefits from the country’s econo-mic and political development but there was an imbalance in spiritual and intellectual growth among the people.
Among the examples of imbalance seen in today's society was polarisation, which many said was on the rise, she noted.
“However, what is not discussed by people is intra-communal polarisation. How can we achieve unity among the races if unity within the communities has not been achieved?” she said yesterday at the launch of the ministry's Kamu, Aku Seiring (You and I Together) campaign.
Dr Siti Zaharah said that in order to further foster unity among the races, the ministry has embarked on this specially formulated campaign to bridge existing differences between them.
“We selected the Rukun Negara as a tool in this campaign to unite the people as our past leaders and forefathers have instilled these principles among the people,” she said.
However, she said that based on a recent survey conducted on over 1,000 respondents aged between 18 to 50, only fewer than 20% could recite the Rukun Negara in full.
People should be reminded of the basic principles found in the tenets of the Rukun Negara as adhering to them was part of being Malaysian, she said.
She added that the hibiscus, selected as a symbol for the campaign, would help Malaysians remember the five tenets of the Rukun Negara to help mould better people and create a society with positive values.
Dr Siti Zaharah said imbalances in society would lead to a rise in social problems and crimes such as rape, incest and triad activities.
“In any developed or developing nation, there is bound to be a lack of balance in terms of spiritual and intellectual development and we must work towards achieving balance in these areas,” she said.
Dr Siti Zaharah said several programmes, scheduled until the end of the year, have been lined up under the nationwide campaign to inculcate values such as mutual respect and tolerance among Malaysians.
She said they include picnics, shows and community-based activities to reach out to the people and remind them of the basic principles of the Rukun Negara, adding that a TV drama with its storyline based on these principles would also be screened.
The ministry would evaluate the success of the programmes at the end of the year, she said, adding that they would take place in six zones, namely Selangor, Johor, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak and Perak.
Earlier, at the official launch, a scroll was handed to Dr Siti Zaharah to be presented to the King under the campaign as a symbolic gesture based on one of the tenets in the Rukun Negara – Loyalty to King and Country.
The five tenets of the Rukun Negara are:
These tenets are to be achieved under the guidance of five principles, namely:
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