We are gathered here tonight on the 111th birth anniversary of Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman, to discuss the legacy of the founder Prime Minister of the country.
Tunku had always wanted to be remembered as the “happiest Prime Minister” of a multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural Malaysia, but if he is alive today, he would probably be the saddest person in the country.
For the past nine months since the 13th general elections in May last year, the country has been afflicted by a quintuplet of national crisis the magnitude of which had never been experienced by the country in over half a decade of nationhood – nation building and national unity; economic as reflected in the unchecked rise in prices and the increasing hardships of the low-income groups; educational with the unchecked decline in educational standards; security in terms of the safety of Malaysian citizens, investors and visitors; and good governance particularly in the losing war against corruption.
Never before has the country been more polarised both racial and religious as in the past nine months – because of a combination of two factors, a rudderless and directionless administration of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and a systematic and relentless campaign by an irresponsible and reckless group who are prepared to destabilise the country by ceaseless incitement of racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension to create the conditions for another May 13 racial riots.
I believe that the overwhelming majority of Malaysians, whether in DAP, PKR or PAS in Pakatan Rakyat, or in Umno, MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the other component parties in Barisan Nasional, do not want another May 13 riots in the country as they want, like Tunku Abdul Rahman, love, peace, harmony and prosperity to prevail in Malaysia.
But all the moderates in Malaysia, whether Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, must act to unite and isolate extremists and traitors of the country who want to foment racial chaos and religious conflagration through the incessant incitement of racial and religious hatred, conflict and tension – or they will lose by default and allow the irresponsible and reckless few to hijack the national agenda which can only lead to ruination and sent the country down the abyss of a failed state.
The best way to remember the legacy of Tunku Abdul Rahman whose Dream is a Malaysia of love, peace, harmony and prosperity for all, where there is no room for extremists and traitors out to destroy the plural fabric of the Malaysian society, is for the birth of a civil society movement dedicated to the promotion of Tunku’s ideas of love, peace and harmony in our plural society and takes up the battle to expose and defeat the nefarious and treacherous plot to create racial chaos and religious conflagration to perpetuate the traitorous political objectives of the few.
May I suggest that Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan, who has relinquished her position as co-chair of Bersih 2.0, to lead this new civil society movement – a patriotic commitment to mobilise Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation, to love and save Malaysia from the nefarious and treacherous machinations of those who want to keep Malaysians permanently divided according the separate and segregated racial and religious silos in the country.
(Speech at the forum “Legacy of Tunku Abdul Rahman” at New Era College, Kajang on Monday, 10th February 2014 at 9 pm)