The 58th Merdeka Celebrations had been on the grandest scale ever in the nation’s history – with some 400,000 Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, age, gender or even party politics in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu coming out freely and voluntarily, without any monetary inducements, in the past two days to give real and true meaning to “Merdeka”!
With today’s official Merdeka Day celebrations in the various states, let us ensure that Merdeka Celebations, like Malaysian nation-building, shall be inclusive to embrace diverse themes which make plural Malaysia full of such promise to be a great nation – whether “Sehati, Sejiwa”, “Bersih 4” or “Bersih, Cekap, Amanah”.
What lessons in Post Bersih 4 – “The Morning After”?
It is how to harness the patriotism, love and energies of the 400,000 Malaysians, particularly from the new generation of Malaysians, who had converged into Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu in the past two days to show their love, passion and commitment for the country in wanting a clean, transparent and good government to save Malaysia from the horrors of a rogue and failed state, instead of continuing policies which alienate them by treatinhg them as disloyal and anti-national elements out to destroy the country.
When can the leaders of the country have such a paradigm shift in their thinking and outlook?
Even the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has started in such a process, although it is still not advanced enough.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Merdeka Day Message yesterday was of no help nor was the lingo of intimidation by the new Deputy Prime Minster-cum-Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi muttering threats of action that may be taken against Bersih 4 rally participants.
The Police are to be commended for their new-found role as keepers of peace and not pawns to keep the present regime in power, and Zahid can only stain and destroy the public’s new respect for the police for their non-partisan role to uphold law and order, protect human rights and promote democracy if he carries out his threats of petty and punitive actions against Bersih 4 participants and supporters.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak has no intention to step down as Prime Minister of Malaysia as a result of the Bersih 4 overnight rally but if he cannot demonstrate greater respect for transparency, accountability and good governance principles, and continue to live in a world of make-believe which made him say that there were only 20,000 people at the Bersih 4 rally, there is nothing to save the Najib premiership or even the UMNO/BN government coalition.
Let Najib make a good start after the 58th Merdeka celebrations by keeping his earlier promise to open and give the key-note address at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Convention in Putrajaya from Sept 2 – 4, 2015, with the conference theme of “Ending Impunity: People, Integrity, Action”.
Najib could not have made any greater contribution not only to Malaysia but the global battle against corruption if he could come clean and break his silence on the two scandals which have haunted Malaysia and become the talking point of the 2,000 participants at the IACC in Putrajaya – the RM50 billion 1MDB (according to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his last speech as Deputy Prime Minister to Cheras UMNO division on July 26, 2015) and the RM2.6 billion “donation” in his personal bank accounts.
If not, the IACC should not have been held in Malaysia at all, and instead of being a pride and honour for hosting the 16th IACC in Malaysia, it has become a badge of dishonour and disgrace.
This will be the worst possible way for Malaysia to mark the 58th Merdeka Anniversary celebrations.