Merdeka Dialogue: Whither Bangsa Malaysia?

50 years ago, we were promised democracy. We were promised justice. We were promised equality. We were promised to be treated with human dignity. We were promised freedom.

In 1963, we became Malaysians and the notion of a Bangsa Malaysia was born. This was given form and substance by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his Vision 2020 that set out 9 challenges for Malaysians to achieve a developed country.

No mention is made of Bangsa Malaysia by the Abdullah administration. Is the concept of Bangsa Malaysia still important or relevant in the light of failed promises in our original social contract?

The DAP is holding a Dialogue in conjuction with the 50th Merdeka Anniversary celebrations this coming weekend.

Date: 19 August 2007 (Sunday)
Time: 2.00pm
Venue: Crystal Crown Hotel, Petaling Jaya

The panel of distinguished speakers include:

*Tunku Abdul Aziz, former President, Transparency International Malaysia

*Datuk Param Cumuraswamy, former Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, United Nations

*Yeo Yang Poh, former Malaysian Bar Council Chairman

*Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader

*Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General

Following the session, a dialogue will be conducted with the participants hosted by another distinguished panel (subject to change):

M Manogar, President, Malaysian Tamil Education & Research Foundation

Haris Ibrahim, Human Rights Lawyer

Jeff Ooi, Prominent Malaysian Blogger

Oh Ei-Sun, East Malaysian Socio-Political Analyst

To ensure sufficient seats allocation, please register in advance with Lim Swee Kuan (03) 79578022 or via email at limsweekuan(at)

  1. #1 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 15 August 2007 - 6:51 am

    “We were promised freedom.”

    No, we were not.

  2. #2 by sotong on Wednesday, 15 August 2007 - 7:18 am

    Until good and proper leadership and governance of the country are in place to fight rampant corruption, abuse of power, gross abuses and excesses and etc., the country is not ready for anything.

  3. #3 by smeagroo on Wednesday, 15 August 2007 - 9:50 am

    Instead we got a bunch of liars and crooks and thick face politicians.

  4. #4 by Godfather on Wednesday, 15 August 2007 - 11:26 am

    Ghani says no Bangsa Malaysia. Najib says no Bangsa Malaysia. Badawi who was asleep at this time says we should celebrate Bangsa Malaysia. Mat Taib says don’t push us or we will have a situation worse than May 13.

    This is clearly the most inept administration in the history of Bolehland. Threats, cover-ups, slip-ups, stupid remarks – these are the hallmarks of Barisan Nasional.

  5. #5 by AntiRacialDiscrimination on Wednesday, 15 August 2007 - 12:18 pm

    Our corrupt UMNO leaders won’t like to see the words ‘Bangsa Malaysia’.
    They prefer to divide Malaysian into ‘Bangsa Bertongkat’ and ‘Bangsa Asing’.

  6. #6 by bumi-non-malay on Wednesday, 15 August 2007 - 12:20 pm

    Then Encourage on 31 August wear Black and Line the streets especially near Dataran merdeka to be telivised to the world and captured by eager U-tubers!!

    This is for Freedom of Religion

    Freedom from Racism

    Freedom of Press

    After all we should be free to show our displeasure on this Merdeka as it is not worthy of any celebration when basic rights above are virtually Obliterated. Come on Malaysian don’t feel quity defending the 3 basic rights given by Allah/God to mankind….

    Tell the Rulers, UMNO-BN racist

    its Racism not Racial Problem
    its Freedom of Religion Not Religious Intolerance

    There is a difference

    None condone by Allah…….so does the people of Malaysia have the courage to come out and defend Allah’s given freedom to mankind on 31 August??

  7. #7 by dawsheng on Wednesday, 15 August 2007 - 12:41 pm

    We were promised promises that will later become all lies.

  8. #8 by k1980 on Wednesday, 15 August 2007 - 1:48 pm

    Mirror, mirror on the wall
    Who is the poorest of ’em all?

    It is said that despite Indian Malaysians making up about 8% of the country’s population, they own less than 2% of its national wealth. The community also faces severe problems of hardcore poverty and crime. Thousands of our Indian-Malaysian brethren grouped under the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) wanted to see the PM last Sunday. Hindraf chairperson P Waytha Moorthy later read out the content of the resolution, which was drawn up in a forum on July 30, where some 1,000 people unanimously supported the move to submit the resolution to Abdullah.
    Among the points that were highlighted in the resolution are:
    * End Malay privileges on the 50th Independence celebration
    * Call for affirmative action plans for all poor Malaysians
    * Pass Protection of Ethnic Minority Malaysian Indian Act 2007
    * All Tamil schools to be made fully government-aided schools
    * All homeless are to be provided affordable homes and not low-cost flats by law
    * Call for a minimum wage of RM1,000 for each and every Malaysian
    * To initiate a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the violation of Federal Constitution by the government.


  9. #9 by k1980 on Wednesday, 15 August 2007 - 3:29 pm

    Bought at RM2 psf, and sold at RM25 psf. Who’s the Bangsa Menipu and who’s the Bangsa Tertipu?
    In the early 90s, the Selangor state government gifted 405 hectares of land to some fishermen’s co-operative. The co-op sold the land to some company (whose current chairman is the treasurer of UMNO) for an average price of RM2 per square foot..This same company sold that land to the Port Klang Authority for RM25 per square foot. PKA also granted this company a contract to develop that same land. PKA is now in debt to the tune of RM5 billion. With no source of revenue to pay off this amount, it goes to the government to pay off its loans.

    This isn’t an isolated event. Almost every other day scandals like this break. But still, not everyone cares about this. I mean, maybe the government is just so stupid that they keep investing in projects that are bound to fail, right? Let’s not kid ourselves, folks. This is not a government that is just a bunch of nice bumbling fools…I really don’t see how you can attribute these disasters, these scandals, to just government ignorance.

  10. #10 by undergrad2 on Wednesday, 15 August 2007 - 7:47 pm

    Whither Bangsa Malaysia?? Bangsa Malaysia has long withered.

  11. #11 by k1980 on Wednesday, 15 August 2007 - 10:40 pm

    There’s something Rotten in the State of Denmark, errr… Malaysia
    Hamlet creates a parallel between the diseased state of Denmark and a diseased body. His thesis seems to be that Claudius’ usurpation is an offense against God and that this brings a disease to the whole nation.
    Dr Mahathir renewed his attack on Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad’s administration and his mainstream media today, telling bloggers, web-site owners and on-line writers in Putrajaya during a 3-hour meeting that, paraphrasing Shakespeare, “There is something rotten in the state of Malaysia.”
    “If you read the mainstream media, everything smells like roses … but there’s a definite stench from the rot in the current administration, in politics, social as well as economic matters. “Take the crime rate, for example. There are people who will not leave the safety of their homes. And according to former chief of police Tun Haniff Omar in his column in the Star, the police force is divided into two: – one led by the IGP & the other by a police director and a deputy minister.”
    On the economy, Dr M said the media have painted an extremely optimistic picture of Malaysia, with the announcement of mega projects and economic corridors. “But on the ground, nothing is happening.”

    VW offer to buy Proton’s stake for RM1?

  12. #12 by Mr. on Thursday, 16 August 2007 - 12:44 pm

    Mr. Speaker err Blogger Mr. Lim! What can we expect from this dialogue? Is there a clear cut agenda behind it from which affirmative action can be followed up with?
    Or is it more of a general dialogue… for expression of ideas/grouses ?
    Personally do prefer if there is a set agenda, that the attendees can be guided on … specific issues that we can work together on/towards.
    I think what i meant was we need a leader . . .
    how can we come together as one and effectively be a force (besides casting votes) how can we exert pressure and get our msg through and acknowledged & leading towards a compromise ?

  13. #13 by St0rmFury on Thursday, 16 August 2007 - 2:49 pm

    Mr. Lim, I’m only 22 so I hope I won’t be out of place at this dialogue. I have already reserve a place but I would like to ask this in advance. Can I take a picture with you at the event? I would love to add it to my friendster account. And how should I address you? I’m still wet behind the ears when it comes to formalities like this.

    William Leong

  14. #14 by wtf2 on Thursday, 16 August 2007 - 10:25 pm

    Bangsa Malaysia????
    When Umno stop exhorting race, religion into every sentence during election and their “supreme council meeting”. Maybe the dialogue should discuss if this can happen???

  15. #15 by ReformMalaysia on Friday, 17 August 2007 - 6:21 pm

    Bangsa Malaysia?

    Bangsa Malaysia means:

    **all Malaysian citizen must be treated equally
    **Let the best people lead the country regardless of the race and religion
    **there should be equal opportunity in education, economy & politics
    **Freedom of speech and expression
    **religious freedom
    **Same standard of Law applicable to everyone
    **We can have a Chinese, Indian , Iban, Kadazan, Senoi or Jakun prime minister if he/she is the best person to lead the country
    **civil services position should not be ‘reserved’ for certain race only…

    or else, Bangsa Malaysia never exist

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