(Speech 4 in Dewan Rakyat when taking part in the debate on Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address on Thursday, 13th March 2014)
Malaysia’s future lies in the hands of ordinary heroes who dare to stand up for racial and religious harmony, clean elections and a better education system – ordinary Malaysians like Azrul Mohd Khalib, Ally Hazran Hashim, Siti Kassim, Major Zaidi Ahmad and Mohd Nor Izzah – who are the salt of the earth who will ensure that Malaysia will achieve her greatness and not become a failed state.
Azrul, Ally and Siti Kassim were involved in the “Walk for Peace” movement among ordinary Malaysians regardless of race or religion who care about the country to push for national healing in the face of the worst racial and religious polarization in the nation’s 56-year history.
It all started on Sunday, January 5 this year outside Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Klang where the nearly 1,000 Catholics who turned up for Sunday mass had expected an angry mob of Muslims protesting against the possible use of the word ‘Allah’ but instead met a group of progressive Muslims bearing flowers to express solidarity and preparedness to defend the Church from the planned protest.
Among the progressive Muslims who turned up was social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir.
This was followed by a “Walk for Peace” at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) park, Penang, Kajang and Ipoh.
Another unsung Malaysian hero is Royal Malaysian Air Force pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad who should be rewarded instead of being penalised for speaking up about the indelible ink fiasco in the recent 13th General Elections and is now awaiting court-martial for his great service as a patriot to the country.
Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari, the head of Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM), who is facing mean, petty and punitive persecution from the “Little Napoleons” in the Education Ministry with the Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin too “busy” to intervene, is one such unsung hero in Malaysia.
What is Nor Izzat’s crime? None, instead he had rendered great national service in spearheading the protest against the woes of the badly-planned and poorly-conceived student-based assessment (SBA) system. He should be rewarded for his positive contribution in forcing the Education Ministry to suspend the SBA instead of being subject to mean and petty punitive actions.
The nation must pay tribute to these unsung heroes who want the preservation of racial and religious harmony, a clean electoral system and a better education system for our children.
They are the true patriots who should be the role models for all Malaysians, even MPs and Ministers. Only then is there a real future for Malaysia!