I have just read on the news portals of the call by the Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak on Malaysians to set aside their political differences and celebrate Merdeka.
He said Malaysians claim they are loyal Malaysians but we seem to have lost the spirit of nationalism.
He lamented that unlike in sports, where Malaysians have discarded ethnicity in favour of nationalism and the Malaysian spirit, this is sadly not the case with Merdeka celebrations.
He said the impression being given is that there are going to be two Merdeka celebrations, one for those who support the government and another for the opposition.
Salleh cannot be more wrong.
The Bersih 4 overnight rally in Kuala Lumpur, which is expected to be bigger than Bersih 1, 2 and 3, is in fact the highest expression of loyalty, nationalism and patriotism for Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, gender, age or politics, reaffirming the united national resolve to ensure freedom, justice and national unity in the country.
‘Bersih 4, with its objective “Save Malaysia” to prevent it from becoming a rogue and a failed state, is an integral and important part of Merdeka Celebrations.
The Merdeka Celebrations national theme of ‘sehati, sejiwa’ (one heart and soul) should be an inclusive one embracing Bersih 4 theme to “Save Malaysia” and others themes like “Bersih, Cekap, Amanan” (Clean. Efficient, Trustworthy” instead of being a narrow and exclusive one.
The Bersih 4 rallies, which should turn Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu into seas of yellow, must be embraced as high-points in this year’s Merdeka celebrations.
In the spirit of putting aside political differences to celebrate Merdeka, I want to make two calls tonight:
Firstly to the three million UMNO members and all members of BN parties to participate in Bersih 4 as an expression of patriotism and commitment to freedom, justice and national unity and most important of all, to join all Malaysians to “Save Malaysia” from our multiple political, economic, good governance and nation-building crises ; and
Secondly, to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to respond to my Open Invitation to make a joint appearance at Bersih 4 rally where he could hold face-to-face dialogue with Bersih 4 organisers and principal supporters on the state of democracy, economy and good governance in Malaysia.
Najib’s appearance at Bersih 4 will be a momentous message to the nation that the government and the opposition can put aside their political differences and stand on the same common platform to “Save Malaysia” – and may be a new turning point for Malaysia to avoid the horrors of a rogue and failed state!
My invitation to Najib to make a joint appearance at Berish 4 rally will remain open and I urge him to rethink his initial rejection of the invitation, when he said that he would rather discuss the RM2.6 billion “donation” controversy privately with UMNO members instead of issuing public statements – which unfortunately, he has yet to do.
The RM2.6 billion “donation” has raised very serious questions about our national sovereignty and the independence of the Najib government.
None of the previous Prime Ministers, whether Tengku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir or Tun Abdullah had received a single sen of foreign money to influence the outcome of our general elections from 1959 to 2008.
Najib should fully explain why he has received RM2.6 billion funding from an allegedly Arab source tin influence the outcome of the 13th General Elections in 2013, seriously compromising the independence of the Malaysian government and the sovereignty of Malaysia.
This is an important issue which Najib can explain and give full accountability if he comes to Bersih 4 to have a public dialogue on the state of democracy and the future of Malaysia.
(Speech at Ceramah Perdana Bersih 4 at Wisma Teng Ching, Klang on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at 9 pm)