http://dapmalaysia.org Forward Feedback
Abdullah should conduct a deep soul-searching as to why after three years as Prime Minister, and on the eve of 50th National Day celebrations, race relations “are not good”, fragile and brittle
(Parliament, Thursday) : The important first step has been taken by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in facing up to the harsh reality in Malaysia after three years as Prime Minister when he set aside his prepared speech last night and admitted that race relations in Malaysia “are not good”, “still fragile and brittle”.
Speaking off the cuff at the trade launch of the 50th Merdeka celebrations, Abdullah described race relations thus: “If it is knocked it might shake, but if it is knocked harder it might break. Don’t let it look all right from the outside but is not right inside.”
There is no doubt that the Umno General Assembly last month, with the second keris-wielding by the Umno Youth leader, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in the midst of extremist, racist, incendiary and seditious speeches threatening May 13 riots, bloodshed and running amok, was the major single cause in recent years in making race relations in Malaysia “fragile and brittle” and casting a great pall over the 50th National Day celebrations next year.
It is a great shame that the unprecedented March 2004 general election victory of the Prime Minister winning 91 per cent of parliamentary seats was not leveraged to promote greater national unity. Instead, the “feel good” euphoria progressively dissipated away with fissiparous and centrifugal forces in nation-building commanding ever greater sway, creating a new crisis of Malaysian national identity.
The 50th National Day celebrations should be an occasion for the greatest national unity in the nation’s history, to build on the progress achieved by five decades of nation-building to create a more united, dynamic and esilient Malaysian nation out of the diverse races, languages, cultures and religions in the country.
Instead, on the eve of Malaysia’s half-a-century of nationhood, and after 16 years of the 30-year Vision 2020, we hear influential voices in government questioning the very basis of Malaysian nation-building – a Bangsa Malaysia where every Malaysian would regard himself or herself as a Malaysian first and his race second.
It is not enough however for Abdullah just to be aware that race relations are “not good…brittle and fragile”.
He should conduct a deep soul-searching as to why after three years as Prime Minister, and on the eve of 50th National Day celebrations, race relations “are not good”, fragile and brittle” – and where his government has gone wrong.
But it is not just Abdullah who must conduct such a deep soul-searching, as all Malaysians must join in such a national introspection as to what has gone wrong with Malaysian nation building in the past three years, why national unity has become more brittle and fragile while externally Malaysia is losing out in the stakes for global competitiveness - if the 50th National Day celebrations next year are not to end up as a meaningless exercise.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman