Never before in 63-year history of Malaysia have there been so many negative messages as well as events which run counter to the National Day theme of “Malaysia Prihatin” and the Rukun Negara principles

It was quite a disastrous start for this year’s triple national celebrations – National Day, Malaysia Day and Golden Jubilee of Rukun Negara.

Never before in 63-year history of Malaysia have there been so many negative messages as well as events which run counter to the joint National Day and Malaysia Day theme of “Malaysia Prihatin” and the 50th year commemoration of Rukun Negara principles.

The Yang di Pertuan Agong said Rukunegara encapsulates Malaysia’s soul, spirit and national unity, but never before has the country been so depressed, disheartened and divided as one event after another demonstrates the uphill battle for the soul of Malaysia against the irreligious and immoral “Malu Apa” campaign – whether the Sheraton Move to usher in a “backdoor” government, the Slim River by-election or the nefarious plot in the durian belt of Pahang to deny justice to the durian farmers and to falsely target them as being opposed to the second Rukun Negara principle of “Loyalty to King and country”.

While the Yang di Pertuan Agong stressed that the five principles of Rukun Negara form the formula of how the various races, religions, cultures and languages can overcome differences and diversity to live in peace and harmony, irreligious and immoral voices are getting louder that while corruption is deplorable, one should support a Muslim leader who is corrupt than an non-Muslim leader who is clean, honest and upright.

The Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his 63rd National Day address, said the government would make “Prihatin Rakyat” its main guiding principle in championing the fate and prioritising the welfare of the people.

But neither the Prime Minister nor any of the six Ministers or Deputy Ministers in Pahang have shown any concern or interest for the injustice in the durian belt of Pahang, where there is a nefarious plot to deny the durian farmers their just deserts for their blood, sweat and toil over decades and, even worse, a nefarious plot to target the durian farmers as violating the second Rukunegara principle of “Loyalty to King and country”.

As a quick google search will show that the word “Royal” was one of the names which is prohibited under the direction of the relevant Minister in charge of the Registry of Companies, the immediate question arises why the word “Royal” was allowed to be used by the company involved in the dispute in the durian belt in Pahang.

The Prime Minister has urged all Malaysians to be exemplars of the five Rukunegara principles, but unfortunately, in the front-line violating the Rukunegara principles are none other than the Ministers themselves, whether in breaching the Covid-19 SOP or in promoting shariah-compliant lies and falsehoods.

We have probably the first Cabinet in the history of Malaysia with the most number of Ministers who do not fully accept or subscribe to the five Rukun Negara principles.

Is it any wonder that we have one Cabinet Minister who has got over 51,000 Malaysians signing an online petition calling for his resignation as a Minister?

One PAS MP went on a tirade against Christianity and refused to apologise for desecrating the Rukun Negara on the eve of its Golden Jubilee, while a young Bersatu politician violated an important Rukun Negara principle when he called for the closure of vernacular schools – expecting it to be a short-cut to political promotion and fame.

Hence, the avalanche of negative messages for the occasion, never seen in previous National Day/Malaysia Day celebrations.

Author Steve Oh said:

“A celebration of Merdeka is meaningless when the government of the day is seen as corrupt, unjust and dictatorial. The late Tunku Abdul Rahman –‘Bapa Merdeka’- was a strong critic of unfair, unclean and undemocratic governance. He died disillusioned at what happened to his Merdeka dream.

“That legacy of disillusionment like a polluted river still flows across the entire nation, corrupting everything in its path. The endless haze is a stark reminder of a region under the curse of corruption. We reap what we did not sow when the corrupt got their way.

“The image of a towering Musang King durian tree being chopped down symbolises the fall of the people's livelihood when the unilateral action of the state is deemed unfair. Today it is durian trees, what about tomorrow?”

Columnist Francis Paul Siah wrote:

“Who are those who have been stirring up racial and religious animosity in our midst? My direct answer - the sick politicians who think they belong to a supreme race and those who think they are the chosen ones sent by God to save the nation.

“To save the nation from who? Who else but themselves! Ordinary citizens like you and me, irrespective of our race or creed, do not indulge in racism and bigotry.

“It is unfortunate and sad indeed that just as we are about to celebrate our Hari Merdeka and Malaysia Day, which is about remembering our past and appreciating our freedom, came these prophets of doom who have brought nothing but gloom upon our auspicious and happy occasions.

“What is very worrying is that these self-proclaimed ‘messiahs’ are getting younger and younger and not the usual suspects among the veteran political elite.”

Retired journalist Philip Rodrigues wrote:

“When Tunku proclaimed independence to the 20,000 crowd at Stadium Merdeka on that ‘greatest day’ in the country's history, he passionately hoped that the peninsula, now freed from the chain of colonialism, would be a ‘beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world’.

“Today, the world is no better than in Tunku's time. It is not only disturbed and distracted but torn by internecine political conflicts, senseless wars, religious strife. And the light that shone from our new nation grew ever dimmer with the passage of time.”

I take comfort from Alwi Jantan’s poem: “Rejoice My Beloved Country” when Malaysians was given a second chance to rebuild Malaysia in the flush of the people’s unexpected victory in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018:


Rejoice o rejoice, victory is ours.
Let’s rebuild our beloved country.
The pride of our founding fathers,
For the benefit of all and sundry.

Let’s cleanse the administration
Of the corrupt and greedy.
Let’s rid of racial discrimination
And religious bigotry.

Let’s reestablish good governance
And remanage the economy.
Let’s reinforce law and order maintenance
And an independent judiciary.

Let there be freedom again
Of expression and assembly.
Only then will we regain
The fruits of our victory.

It behoves on all Malaysians to ask whether they have lost the opportunity to rebuild Malaysia, and if not, what they have to do to save Malaysia so that we can all be proud of being Malaysians once again.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri