Time for Reset of Nation Building Direction and Policies

For the past 60 years, the theme of Deepavali messages had been one on the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, hope over despair, knowledge over ignorance but after six decades of Malaysian nation-building, the country has backslided on many fronts instead of making steady progress towards greater unity, harmony, justice, higher quality of life and prosperity for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.

Instead of becoming a shining example to the world of how a nation of diverse races, religions, languages and cultures can unite and live in harmony to build a world-class nation in every field of human endeavor, we have fallen short of the Merdeka and Malaysia Dream in the past six decades, and even worse, plumbing the worst of human instincts and depravity to be regarded as a global kleptocracy and the makings of a rogue state by the rest of the world.

The plight of the Indians and Hindus is a case in point.

The revelation by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najbi Razak last month that he had to stand firm in his decision to appoint Datuk T. Subromaniam as the Customs Department Director-General despite receiving a petition not to appoint an Indian as the Customs Director-General highlights the worsening racial and religious polarization in our plural society.

Such a petition would be unthinkable 60 years ago when the country set out on our independent nationhood.

How many times had Najib received petitions not to appoint a Malay, Chinese, Kadazan or Iban to head a government department?

We have lost our way in the past six decades to be an exemplary economic, educational and political success, with countries more economically, educationally or politically backward than Malaysia, having overtaken us in the past six decades on these fronts, becoming not only richer and more developed and prosperous, but more democratic and more respectful of the principles of good governance and the rule of law.

Malaysians must Save Malaysia, which lost it way after failing to be an exemplary economic, educational and political success, to reset nation-building directions and policies in the coming decades to achieve our potential to be an example to the world of a successful nation building of a plural society of diverse races, languages, religions and cultures in Malaysia in the economic, educational and political senses.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah