Merdeka Day of reconciliation


  • Letters
  • Thursday, 22 Aug 2019

AS the country gears up to celebrate our National Day on Aug 31, we should rededicate ourselves to building a better Malaysia. We need to move beyond new Malaysia to a better Malaysia.

Let our National Day be a day of hope and national reconciliation, bridging our racial, religious and geographical divides and enhancing our national unity, social cohesiveness and social harmony. Let us end the divisiveness that divides us and celebrate our diversity. We need to heal the country and overcome divisive politics.

We must enhance the 4Ts – trust, tolerance, transparency and truth – and the 4Ps – peace, people, partnership and prosperity. To me, the 4Rs are also important – racial harmony, religious tolerance, reconciliation and rights-based governance. Taking a rights-based approach to development and governance will ensure that the rights of all Malaysians are protected and taken into account.

Equally important for the nation to move forward are the 4Is – integrity, innovation, inequalities and investments.

A better Malaysia must also address the 4Ds – the development divide, debt (in particular household debt), digital disruption and devolution of state powers to better balance federal-state relations.

Hopefully, these can be the core values for us to reunite the nation and build a better tomorrow and beyond 2020. If these principles are upheld, we can together build a better Malaysia.

A better Malaysia will have a place under the sun for all of our citizens. No one must be left behind. We must adopt and pursue policies that are fair and just. More importantly, in the quest to end historical injustices, we should ensure that no new injustices are created.

The people would like to see the Pakatan Harapan government end its internal politicking and start delivering and enhancing governance. We have been engulfed in several unnecessary controversies that could have been avoided with better communication, coordination and planning.

In developing and implementing policies, I hope government leaders will continue to bear in mind the 3Cs – clarity, consistency and certainty.

It is my hope that the Pakatan government will continue to offer the people of Malaysia the 4Hs – hope, harmony, humility and honesty.

In celebrating our National Day, let us recommit ourselves to upholding our Federal Constitution and the Rukun Negara. Let us remember and continue to uphold Tunku Abdul Rahman’s words in his speech proclaiming our independence: “We shall be forever a sovereign democratic and independent state founded upon the principles of justice and liberty and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of the people.”

In this Merdeka month, I call on all Malaysians to raise and salute our flag, the Jalur Gemilang. Let us rekindle our love for our nation and strengthen our unity and sense of purpose as Malaysians.

Let me wish all Malaysians Selamat Merdeka! Let us salute our Bapa Malaysia and all our founding fathers as we celebrate our National Day as a day of hope and reconciliation to unite our people and heal the nation.

TAN SRI MICHAEL YEOH

President

Kingsley Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific

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