Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Unity through fair and just policy

When launching the Kibar Jalur Gemilang campaign, themed "1Malaysia Transforming the Nation" at Stadium Utama in Kangar yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin reminded Malaysians not to gamble with unity for the sake of popularity or narrow-minded politics.

He said the country's foundation had to be strengthened with mutual respect for all races and religions.

Understanding and unity would generate a prosperous economy and political stability, he said, adding that it would help Malaysia emerge as a model of a multiracial nation.

No one will disagree with Muhyiddin‘s view that Malaysians must not gamble with unity for the sake of popularity or narrow minded politics.

But his reminder will be meaningful if he has called a spade a spade and named PERKASA as a group that has been gambling unity with extreme and racial politics.

Let me remind Muhyiddin that government policies play an important role in forging unity and hence, government policies must be fair and just to all Malaysians.

The Prime Minister has been saying that his 1 Malaysia concept is one that will forge unity among Malaysians. But till today, many people are still not clear what this slogan is all about.

Is 1 Malaysia a dream, an objective, a target or a slogan or a mere gimmick? Is there an implementation plan?

In August last year, it was reported that a recent survey by Merdeka Center showed that 76 per cent were aware of the 1 Malaysia concept but 39 per cent did not know what it meant; 23 per cent believed that it meant unity among races; 18 per cent felt it signalled fairness and equality among the races and 6 per cent thought it sketched a Malaysia with no differentiation of races. For other Malaysians polled, 1 Malaysia was a political gimmick, a plural society, etc.

Last year, Dato Sri Najib promoted his concept to the world through his speech at UNESCO Conference and told the world forum that his clarion call for Malaysians is 1 dream, 1 people , and I nation.

I have asked this question before and I will ask again today-- why can’t Malaysia have 1 Policy that is fair and just to all Malaysians, irrespective of race and religion?

How can all Malaysians enjoy an equal place under the Malaysian sun if the BN government continues to implement policies which are divisive and discriminatory?

Unity is indeed important to the nation’s peace and prosperity and the BN government must be reminded that an effective way to forge unity among Malaysians is through the implementation of fair and just policies.

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