Archive for August 7th, 2007

Merdeka statement – Cabinet should deplore the Zainuddin-led attack

With two Muslim groups joining the Information Minister, Datuk Zainuddin Maidin in his attack on the Merdeka Statement initiated by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli)’s Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS), which had the endorsement of 42 supporting organizations, the Merdeka Statement has proven to be more than right when it said “recently the state of unity has been fraying at the edges”.

The Merdeka Statement said:

“Ethnic, linguistic and religious divides have deepened, causing genuine pain and hurt to many in our nation. Such a fragile state of unity should not have happened after 50 years of nation building”.

The accusation of the two Muslim groups, Allied Co-ordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs (Accin) and Muslim Youth Movement (Pembela), which have opened their fire at those behind the Merdeka Statement for having a hidden agenda to renegotiate the social contract is most shocking, as it is clear that this was never the intention of the Merdeka Statement.

Such an accusation is most surprising coming at a time when the country is witnessing a blatant rewriting of the Merdeka social contract and Malaysia Agreement, totally in an arbitrary, undemocratic and unconstitutional manner, with regard to the fundamental nation-building principle of Malaysia as a secular state with Islam as the official religion and not an Islamic state.

The Merdeka Statement is a commendable roadmap to achieve a more united, competitive, innovative and prosperous Malaysia, which celebrates the nation’s diversity and avoids past pitfalls and mistakes.

If such a sincere, genuine and patriotic effort to help chart future nation-building directions could be the subject of a Minister-led attack for being “anti-national”, it raises grave questions as to whether any purpose is served in having grand and costly “sight-and-sound” celebrations of the 50th Merdeka anniversary without addressing the issue why Malaysians seem even more divided than ever before in the nation’s half-a-century history.

The solution is not to impose further clampdown on public debate on the future direction of the nation but to have trust and confidence in the maturity, good sense and patriotism of Malaysians after 50 years of nationhood to have open, rational and responsible discussion of the best nation-building policies for the country. Read the rest of this entry »


PM should invite Raja Nazrin as personal adviser

by Dr. Chen Man Hin

Raja Nazrin’s deep and superb insight and analysis of the country’s political situation makes him eligible to be personal adviser to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

This was demonstrated by his keynote address to students at the first Malaysian Student Leaders Summit 2007 on Sunday.

He deplored the lack of national unity and commented that “..yet, 50 years after Merdeka, we are still grappling with concerns about unity.”

This is happening because of the strains on unity by introducing a bumiputra policy in 1966, the NEP in 1970 and Islamic state during Dr Mahathir’s premiership.

To make matters worse, at the UMNO general assembly last year, the ultras rejected the concept of ‘bangsa malaysa’ and proposed the implementation of a ‘Malay agenda’ where Malays are conferred ‘ketuanan melayu’ status, while the rest are plain or ordinary Malaysians.

Then last month, the deputy prime minister heightened the unease amongst the people when he unilaterally announced that Malaysia was Islamic and not secular, claiming that the constitution did not state Malaysia was secular. This claim was contrary to the declaration by former prime ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn that the Malaysian constitution was secular.

Raja Nazrin called on the students (and the people) to get a copy of the Constitution. He said “the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It guarantees the rights of every Malaysian. The integrity of that document must be protected at all cost.”

This is the constitution which is the basis of the “Social Contract” agreed on by our forefathers. The contract knows only citizens as Malaysians and not bumiputras and non-bumiputras. Read the rest of this entry »