KUALA LUMPUR: A group of civil society leaders launched an initiative Monday to make the Rukunegara, or "national principles," the preamble to the Federal Constitution.
The initiative, known as "Rukunegara sebagai Muqadimmah Perlembagaan" (RMP) or "Rukunegara as the Preamble to the Federal Constitution," is aimed at including the national document as the opening statement to Malaysia's most supreme law.
RMP chairman Dr Chandra Muzaffar (pic) said the Rukunegara has been sidelined, giving way to other trends that threatened national unity and integrity.
"If such trends gain more influence in the future, the characteristics of our country will change.
"This is why we Malaysians have to remind ourselves of the Rukunegara and how important this ideology is in a whole and inclusive society," Chandra said at the launch at the Malaysian Institute of Integrity.
The Rukunegara encompasses five ideals: Belief in God; loyalty to king and country; supremacy of the Constitution; rule of law; and courtesy and morality.
RMP has been endorsed by more than 100 prominent members of civil society, including constitutional expert Prof Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, social activists Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and Zainah Anwar, academicians Prof Datuk Dr Tan Chong Tin and Assoc Prof Dr Madeline Berma and lawyer Firdaus Husni.
The group is inviting adult Malaysians to come forward to support the movement over the next three months until April 30.
Their signatures will be compiled and presented to the Conference of Rulers with the hope that the Rulers would advise the Cabinet and Parliament to adopt the Rukunegara as the preamble to the Constitution.
The Rukunegara was formulated by the National Consultative Council following the riots on May 13, 1969, and presented to the nation on Aug 31, 1970.
It is an ideology to establish a common platform for Malaysia's diverse communities to live together.