Resetting the button for Malaysia

24-Oct-2018 Intellasia | The Sun Daily | 6:00 AM Print This Post

I ALWAYS feel privileged and honoured that I am a Malaysian, having this blessed land, Malaysia, to call my own, to commit my loyalty and allegiance to, and to sacrifice for. My nationality is Malaysian, although my heritage, and ancestry, as far as I know, is of the Malay race.

As a Malay, I am actually ‘stateless’, because people of the ‘Malay stock’ are all over the place as citizens of countries such as Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia and South Africa.

Their nationality, ‘kebangsaan’, would be of the country to which they belong and owe allegiance to.

Similarly, an Indian national is from India, not from Malaysia. As also a Chinese is a citizen of China, not of Malaysia.

Citizens of Malaysia are Malaysians, regardless of ancestry and heritage. That is the undeniable fact. I am proud to be a Malaysian. I am certain my fellow Malaysians must feel the same way.

The dawn of New Malaysia brings with it new hopes and aspirations, a new beginning. Our nation is so blessed.

What is needed is good social and economic governance by those in whom we, the Malaysians, have put our trust and faith, to steer our nation successfully, through challenges and headwinds, in the ever changing environment in which we operate into the next century and the distant future.

The reset button had been pressed on May 9, 2018, setting in motion the various processes and measures, which needed to be undertaken to put Malaysia back on the right track. Expectations are high. But Malaysians must be realistic. Development does not happen in a vacuum.

Malaysia is an integral part of the global economic community and civil society.

With the erosion of borders, catalysed by the pervasive influences and advancements in all aspects of information and communications technology, there are both domestic and external factors and imperatives to take into account.

Policies need to be adaptable and able to successfully meet new demands and situations.

The government must govern, and not allow itself to be distracted by unrealistic, selfish and even petty demands of some quarters.

The voice of the majority must be allowed to prevail and not to allow the fractiousness of discord among the small minority to perpetuate.

Already such pettiness and inward-looking attitudes have begun to seep in, into various dictates and rules, which border upon intervention into personal freedoms.

While other countries, which seek to be highly competitive and advanced, find ways to innovate and reengineer, and to forge strong forward-looking mindsets there are moves already in Malaysia to reinterpret religion and social interactions, which will set us far back.

We mistake Arabisation for Islamic virtues, focusing upon attire and veneer thin facades, instead of on positive mindsets and good universally accepted good values.

We must all begin thinking of ourselves as being integral parts of Malaysia, as truly Malaysians.

We must rid ourselves of prejudices arising from narrow-mindedness and subjective considerations, which give room for xenophobic tendencies.

We must avoid divisiveness and intolerance, and accept the diversities in our differences in religion and racial and cultural heritage, and forge national strengths and resilience from the diversities.

We must appreciate the fact that though we are different, yet in many ways we are one as Malaysians, with similar aspirations and dreams, and hopes for ourselves, and for those coming after us.

National policies must be based on needs. There are bound to be differences in issues and needs among us.

These should be addressed specifically and in effective, targeted ways and approaches, and never based merely upon race.

Regardless of racial heritage, the needs of specific target groups of Malaysians should be addressed.

In the context of education, it should be education for all. The only justification for differentiation is between rural and urban populations.

Emphasis should always be on needs and recognition must always be based on excellence and meritocracy, especially when justifying specific and special support and consideration. Young Malaysians must benchmark performance against the global best.

Surely the well-to-do and the already successful, from any racial heritage, cannot be expected to invoke any reason whatsoever to justify ‘special attention’ and ‘privileges’ to be given, or worse still, to continue to be given.

The government of 2018 cannot be expected to carry out restructuring policies which were initiated by the government of 1970. The policies then were premised on the cogent and pressing needs and demands of that era.

Moving on towards 2020 and beyond, we must see Malaysians as one people belonging to our country Malaysia.

We cannot afford to be divided as we live and operate in an increasingly challenging and competitive regional and global environment.

It is detrimental and counter-productive to Malaysia and its people if some among us continue to play the old ‘race supremacy’ tune. Supremacy must always be that of our beloved nation, Malaysia, not of any group, race or religion.

We, as Malaysians, will only be highly respected globally when, from among us, rise young Malaysian citizens who are competent and skilled, and whose performance and achievements in their chosen field of endeavour are regarded as excellent, when measured by global benchmarks and standards.

When they can be proud to carry the Malaysian flag and be recognised by the world as successful Malaysians.

The New Malaysia must clearly be gender, colour and heritage-neutral, where the only priority is the good of the people and their nation.

We must constantly distance ourselves from the influence of the narrow-minded who continue to operate in archaic soot-covered and smoke-emitting chimneys.

We must forge ties that build and strengthen national resilience. Avoid divisiveness and fractiousness as these are recipes for erosion of unity among us. Embrace the politics of unity and national development.

Endeavour to prevent and eradicate the politics of hypocrisy, which clearly can never be premised upon the common good in this unique and diverse spectrum we call Malaysia. Malaysia is for all Malaysians. Sejahtera Malaysiaku!

http://www.thesundaily.my/news/2018/10/23/resetting-button-malaysia

 


Category: Malaysia

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