The role and place of Rukunegara, the first Caliph’s inaugural address and global kleptocralcy in TN50’s “shared vision for the future”
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has touted 2050 National Transformation (TN50) policy as a shared vision that will give everyone, especially young Malaysians, an opportunity to shape the nation in the years to come.
He said at the launch of the TN 50 at the first of Town Hall dialogues with 500 selected youths at the Universiti Malaya’s Dewan Tunku Canselor on Thursday night that TN 50 shared vision for the future, which is Malaysia’s roadmap for the next 33 years, must come from the people so that there is a sense of public ownership and belonging.
Very correct. How can a minority government, which has only 47% support of the popular electorate in last general election in 2013, have the locus standi to talk about creating a national vision for 2050 without the full participation of the 53% of the national electorate who rejected UMNO/Barisan Nasional government?
When former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad introduced “Vision 2020” when tabling the Sixth Malaysia Plan in Parliament in 1991, he had the support of the majority electorate in the 1990 general election, where Barisan Nasional secured 53.4% of the popular vote, which increased to 65.2% in the 1995 general election.
This is very different from Najib, who secured only 47% of the popular vote but 60 per cent of the parliamentary seats because of gerrymandering and a most undemocratic redelineration of electoral constituencies.
Be that as it may, there cannot be any meaningful national dialogue about a national shared vision for the next 33 years in NT50 unless there is national consensus on the fundamentals of Malaysian nation-building based on the Malaysian Constitution, the Malaysian Agreement 1963, the Rukunegara principle and objectives 1970 and Vision 2020.
Is NT50 a repudiation or fulfilment of Vision 2020 – and shouldn’t there be a national reappraisal whether Vision 2020 is a success or a failure?
For today’s purpose, I want to pose two questions:
My first questions is whether the TN50 will reaffirm the five Rukunegara principles of Belief in God; Loyalty to King and Country; Upholding the Constitution; Rule of Law and Good Behaviour and Morality and the five Rukunegara objectives (1) to achieve a greater unity of all her peoples; (2) to maintain a democratic way of life; (3) to create a just society in which the wealth of the nation shall be equitably shared; (4) to ensure a liberal approach to her rich and diverse cultural traditions; and (5) to build a progressive society which shall be oriented to modern science and technology?
I am reminded of the first Caliph Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq’s first but short and classic inaugural address. It fits into a paragraph but touched upon several critical issues, including Governance, Justice, relationships between the government and the citizenry, etc.
This was Abu Bakr’s classic inaugural address as the first Caliph:
“O people, I have been appointed over you, though I am not the best among you. If I do well, then help me; and if I act wrongly, then correct me. Truthfulness is synonymous with fulfilling the trust, and lying is equivalent to treachery. The weak among you is deemed strong by me, until I return to them that which is rightfully theirs, insha Allah. And the strong among you is deemed weak by me, until I take from them what is rightfully (someone else’s), insha Allah. No group of people abandons military/armed struggle in the path of Allah, except that Allah makes them suffer humiliation. And evil/mischief does not become widespread among a people, except that Allah inflicts them with widespread calamity. Obey me so long as I obey Allah and His Messenger. And if I disobey Allah and His Messenger, then I have no right to your obedience. Stand up now to pray, may Allah have mercy on you”.
“Wahai manusia, sesungguhnya aku telah dilantik menjadi pemimpin kamu, bukanlah aku yang terbaik dalam kalangan kamu. Jika aku betul, tolonglah aku. Jika aku salah, betulkanlah aku. Benar itu adalah amanah, bohong itu adalah khianat.
“Orang yang lemah dalam kalangan kamu adalah kuat di sisi sehingga aku mengembalikan haknya. Orang yang kuat dalam kalangan kamu, lemah di sisiku sehingga aku mengambil daripadanya hak (menghalang apa yang bukan haknya), insya-Allah. Jangan kamu meninggalkan jihad, kerana tidak ada kaum yang meninggalkan jihad, melainkan Allah timpakan mereka dengan kehinaan.
“Taatlah aku selagi aku taatkan Allah dan Rasul-Nya. Jika aku derhakakan Allah dan Rasul-Nya, maka tiada ketaatan untukku.”(Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, 1/361).
The lessons from Abu Bakr’s short inaugural but powerful and moving speech include:
- The right of citizens to scrutinize their leader and to hold him accountable;
- Truthfulness should be the basis of all dealings between a leader and his people;
- Establishing the principles of Justice and Equality;
- War against wickedness and shameful acts;
- Declaration that the leader is not above the law.
Malaysia is a confluence of great religions, cultures and civilisations in the world and it will do the character of Malaysian nation-building great good if the present generation are taught the wisdom from all the great religions, cultures and civilisations which meet in confluence in Malaysia – not only the inaugural address of the first Caliph, but the great sayings from the sages from the different cultures and civilisations.
My second question is whether maintaining Malaysia as a “global kleptocracy” will be an integral part of the shared national vision which TN50 is designed to be, and if not, what Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, politics, gender or age should do to cleanse and purge Malaysia of the ignominy and infamy of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.