Malaysians must unite to defend the bedrock constitutional and nation-building principles of openness, tolerance, moderation and inclusivity if Malaysia is to succeed and prosper as a nation
I was struck by a foreign news report that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had pledged a return to a moderate past and looked forward to a technology-driven future.
Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in Riyadh, the Saudi Crown Prince said:
“We are returning to what we were before — a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world.
“We will not spend the next 30 years of our lives dealing with destructive ideas. We will destroy them today.”
The crown prince addressed an audience of thousands of global investors and dignitaries who visited the Saudi capital to hear first-hand how the country’s society and economy are being transformed.
He said: “Saudi Arabia was not like this before 1979. We want to go back to what we were, the moderate Islam that’s open to all religions. We want to live a normal life.”
Although the Saudi kingdom still has a long way to go in order to represent moderate Islam and become an open society, this is in stark contrast to some Malaysians who want to take the country towards an extremist direction, completely at odds with the country’s bedrock constitutional and nation-building principles of openness, tolerance, moderation and inclusivity.
All Malaysians must unite to defend these bedrock constitutional and nation-building principles as they will decide whether Malaysia, a nation of diverse races, religions, languages and cultures, will succeed and prosper as a nation and be a model to the world or become a failed state.
It is most ironic that while the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had mooted the initiative of a Global Movement of Moderates in international forums, there has been a rise of extremism, intolerance and bigotry inside the country resulting in the worst racial and religious polarization in the country’s history.
All Malaysians, regardless of race, region or even politics, should reject such a dangerous trend of rising intolerance, bigotry and extremism, as they threaten the very basis of the nation’s Constitution and existence.
DAP remains committed to the Vision and Strategy for Indian Empowerment as contained in the 2013 Gelang Patah Declaration and will present it to Pakatan Harapan for endorsement
Before the 2013 general election, a Gelang Patah Declaration on the Vision and Strategy for Indian Empowerment was adopted by DAP Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen as the basis for the DAP’s continued espousal of the cause of the Malaysian Indians to end their deplorable status as the new underclass in Malaysia.
DAP remains committed to the Gelang Patah Declaration 2013 as part of the party’s efforts to uplift all marginalized communities, especially the Indian poor and the lower middle-classes, and the DAP will present the Gelang Patah Declaration to the Pakatan Harapan leadership for endorsement.
The 14-Point Gelang Patah Declaration, suitably amended, would now read:
- To resolve the problem of the stateless Indians within 100 days of a Pakatan Harapan administration;
- To establish a National Housing Board which will build decent and affordable housing for marginalized groups, especially for displaced Indian plantation workers;
- To ensure that all National School Type Tamil schools become fully funded and the infrastructure of every single school is up to par with Sekolah Kebangsaan;
- To invest in technical and vocational training coupled with apprenticeship programs to provide an alternative education and career path for school dropouts from low income Indian families;
- To provide jobs and raise the wages of low income Indians by implementing a RM1,500-minimum wage scheme;
- To increase the number of Indians in GLCs, local councils, and public services;
- To alienate land for existing Hindu temples and burial grounds and find replacement land for temples and burial grounds which have to be relocated;
- To provide microcredit and other financial assistance schemes to Indian small businesses, with a special focus on women, youths and home based business;
- To put in place the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) and to eliminate deaths in police custody and custodial deaths;
- To establish a special fund to promote Indian equity ownership in the country;
- To establish a Commission to address urban poverty and social problems faced by the community;
- To establish policies that could economically enable single mothers, including house ownership schemes;
- To establish or enrol in existing residential schools outstanding Indian students from plantation and urban poor families,
- To abolish all anti-rakyat legislation and to get rid of discrimination.