Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ku Li must take a bold stand

Ku Li must take a bold stand

April 4, 2013
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah must decide whether he should stand as an Umno candidate or on some other platform, and to announce this decision to the public as soon as possible.
By Koon Yew Yin
As the election date draws nearer, it is important that all politicians wishing to take part should make known to the public what they stand for.

Among our political leaders, there are few that have earned the respect of Malaysians in the same way that Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has.

Through his actions he has struck many as a man of honour, decency, good sense and ability. These qualities – not superhuman virtues – are the ones needed at the helm of the nation to guide us through this difficult time of racial and religious extremism, and unquenched opportunism and power craze.

On what Tengku Razaleigh stands for, there is little or no doubt. However, given his marginalisation in the mainstream media, many Malaysians may not be aware of his political philosophy.

This philosophy which I heard him elaborate on in Ipoh in 2012 could serve as the template for the nation’s political development.
It has served as the template for my book, “Malaysia: Road Map for Achieving Vision 2020”.
I call on all election candidates – as well as parties – across the political divide to read and endorse Tengku Razaleigh’s 10 principles contained in his speech to the Perak Academy event.
Golden principles
These “10 Golden Political Principles” are necessary to ensure Malaysia’s political future, irrespective of whichever coalition party wins the election.
Tengku Razaleigh’s 10 Golden Political Principles:
  • All political parties are required to include in their constitutional objectives the equality of citizenship as provided for in the Federal Constitution.
  • An economic and political policy that political parties propagate must not discriminate against any citizen.
  • All parties shall include and uphold constitutional democracy and the separation of powers as a fundamental principle.
  • It shall be the duty of all political parties to adhere to the objectives of public service and refrain from involvement in business, and ensure the separation of business from political parties.
  • It shall be the duty of all political parties to ensure and respect the independence of the judiciary and the judicial process.
  • All parties shall ensure that the party election system will adhere to the highest standards of conduct, and also ensure that the election is free of corrupt practices. Legislation should be considered to provide funding of political parties.
  • It shall be the duty of all parties to ensure that all political dialogues and statements will not create racial or religious animosity.
  • All parties undertake not to use racial and communal agitation as political policies.
  • To remove and eradicate all barriers that hinder national unity and Malaysian identity.
  • To uphold the Federal and State Constitutions and their democratic intent and spirit, the Rule of Law, the fundamental liberties as enshrined in Part II of the Malaysian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Taking a principled stand
If adhered to by the winning coalition, these principles – not what are in the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat election manifestos – can provide an important foundation for rebuilding our Malaysian unity which has been undermined by the likes of Ibrahim Ali, Perkasa and sadly too, former prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

While Tengku Razaleigh does not need to publicly restate his political philosophy, there is an urgent need for him to decide whether he should stand as an Umno candidate or on some other platform and to announce this decision to the public as soon as possible.

Now is the correct time for him to put his principles into practice.

Should Tengku Razaleigh decide to stand as a candidate of Umno – a party lacking in the political integrity and ethical standards that he has espoused – I and many other Malaysians who have the deepest respect for him will feel badly disappointed and let down.

We are sure he is aware of the saying, “It is better to die with honour, than to live without.”
Koon Yew Yin is an investor and philanthropist. He is the founder IJM Group, Gamuda and Mudajaya.

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