Call for launching of a “I am, you are, we are Malaysian” campaign or movement on the occasion of the 62nd National Day/56th Malaysia Day celebrations

There have been too much negative vibes in the country in the past 15 months, which have seen the rearing of the ugly heads of distrust, suspicion, fear and hate, as a result of the Internet phenomenon enabling lies, falsehoods, fake news and hate speech to travel at the speed of light to pit race against race and religion against religion.

This is most anomalous for the past 15 months should be a season of hope and expectation of change for the better in Malaysia, with the historic decision of the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 to democratically and peacefully change the Federal Government first time in six decades.

Malaysia has been described as one of the six countries where “some light shined through these gathering clouds in 2018” against the backdrop of “13th consecutive year of decline in global freedom”, but these hopes seems to have dimmed suddenly in a matter of 15 months, to the extent that there are claims that the Pakatan Harapan is similar to Barisan Nasional – with a former Malaysian Bar President penning an article entitled: “What we have now is BN 2.0”.

It is fallacious to equate Pakatan Harapan as BN 2.0, disregarding the ground work that has been done for further institutional and political reforms and to transform Malaysia into a top world-class nation of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity, with a “tiger economy” and far-reaching educational reforms.

But the Pakatan Harapan government must heed the increasing impatience of the people that there should be greater progress in the reforms in various aspects of national life.

But one thing is for sure, that everything will come to nought if Pakatan Harapan fails in its fifth pillar-promise to “create a Malaysia that is inclusive, moderate and respected globally”.

A lot of work awaits to be done in every field if we are to succeed to establish a New Malaysia – nation-building, political, economic, educational and socio-cultural – as the resetting of nation building policies is no ordinary or easy work and could not be achieved overnight or even be completed in one general election cycle.

What is important is that Pakatan Harapan government must be inexorably set in the trajectory of a New Malaysia as envisioned by the five pillar-promises of the Pakatan Harapan 14th General Election Manifesto to develop a top world-class nation of unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity.

Malaysia is the confluence of four great civilisations – Islamic, Chinese, Indian and Western. Let us leverage on the best qualities and values of these four great civilisations to build a great Malaysian nation.

For a start, let Malaysians come out of their separate racial or religious shells to celebrate that we are all Malaysians, that “I am, you are, we are Malaysian”, to trust, interact, understand and appreciate the best values of each other’s ethnicity, religion and culture.

This is the path of Malaysian nation-building based on integration as distinct from assimilation or segregation.

The 62nd National Day/56th Malaysia Day celebrations from August 31 to Sept. 16. 2019 would be most meaningful if every Malaysian adopt and celebrate the theme of “I am, you are, we are Malaysian” campaign or movement!

Malaysians must get out of the extraordinary trap where every race and religion suspect, distrust and fear other races and religions.

Every community fears that its culture and ethnicity is facing an existential threat.

If all communities, whether Malays, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan and Iban, feel threatened by other communities, who is doing the threatening?

Not only the various ethnic groups feel threatened, Islam feels threatened and the non-Islamic religions feel threatened.

Malaysians must develop a new self-confidence of “I am, you are, we are Malaysian”, “reach for the stars” and a new “Malaysia Boleh” spirit, to exorcise the various fears and demons – contrived, imaginary or otherwise – for Malaysia to excel itself in various fields of human endeavour so as to achieve a golden age for Malaysia.

Let us launch the “I am, you are, we are Malaysian!” campaign or movement!

(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on Tuesday, 20th August 2019)

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