Panel and USM team to create national unity index

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 09 Mar 2005

KUCHING: The National Unity Advisory Panel is working with a consultancy team from Universiti Sains Malaysia to produce a national unity index. 

The index would give an in-depth gauge of the level of unity in the country, panel chairman Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said. 

“There are many measurements (of unity) but they are very rough. For example, the absence of racial conflicts indicates a peaceful environment, which is one way to measure unity. 

“Another way of measuring unity is the level of interaction that one community has with other communities. But we want to go deeper than that,” he told a press conference after launching Kelab Rukun Negara for schools nationwide at the Civic Centre here yesterday. 

He said the index would most likely be based on the measurement of unity in various zones in the country, which would then be averaged out to give a national figure. 

“Unlike the consumer price index, the national unity index has to be zone-based because the situation in Penang, for instance, is quite different from Sarawak,” he said. 

Dr Ongkili, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, also said that a “feel-good” sentiment was one of the measurements to be used in the index. 

“How to quantify it on a scale of one to 10 – that's what the academicians are trying to do,” he said, adding that the panel hoped to be able to agree on the use of the index by May. 

On the Kelab Rukun Negara, which would be set up in all primary and secondary schools as well as institutions of higher learning, Dr Ongkili said its aim was to enable students to internalise the principles of the Rukun Negara. 

“At the end of it, we’d like to see students leaving school as better citizens who are very patriotic,” he said.  

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