PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians need to strengthen national unity and integration, which are among the core values that the country’s second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein believed in and fought for.
His son Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said this was important because the process of nation building that began with Independence is a journey yet to be completed.
“The work of nation building that my father and Tunku Abdul Rahman started isn’t finished, even now during my tenure as Prime Minister.
“The journey to strengthen our national identity (jatidiri), integration and unity will be long, spanning generations.
“This is why we must continue to inculcate an understanding of these core values in our society,” the Prime Minister said in an interview with RTM in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of his father’s passing.
Najib said that he, on his part, introduced the approach of wasatiyyah (justly balanced) while emphasising mutual respect and the need to appreciate the diversity of our multi-racial, multi-religious society.
“We must impress all these values so that Malaysia can truly become a successful country,” he said.
Tun Razak succeeded Tunku Abdul Rahman as Prime Minister in September 1970 and died in office on Jan 14, 1976.
During his five years as prime minister, Tun Razak left an indelible legacy in the form of institutions and policies he set up and introduced to tackle poverty and to develop Malaysia.
These include the New Economic Policy, Mara, Felda, the Rukunegara (National Principles) and the formation of Barisan Nasional.
Najib said that other than their many contributions, Malaysia’s past leaders should be remembered for their good and noble values.
These values, which include sincerity, honesty, compassion and a dedication to develop the country, should be rekindled especially among the younger generation.
“What our past leaders left us, apart from their contributions, are their belief in good and noble values.
“If we hold to these principles, Malaysia will continue to be a success story,” he said.
Najib said that as a leader, Tun Razak was a person who did not talk much, preferring to spend his time working in order to produce results.
“He was not like some leaders who use every opportunity to make all sorts of statements.
“This is why when we study his legacy there really is a lot in terms of policies and institutions.
“He was someone whose priority was putting in the work and achieving results,” Najib said.