Failure of Rukun Negara after 50 years – best proof is the present Cabinet which has the least number of Ministers who are Malaysian first and their ethnicity or religion second and the most number of Ministers who are first in their ethnicity or religion and Malaysian second

The best proof of the failure of Rukun Negara after 50 years is that the country has now a Cabinet which has the least number of Ministers who are Malaysian first and their ethnicity or religion second and the most number of Ministers who are first in their ethnicity or religion and Malaysian second.

Is the Cabinet prepared to hold a public event where every Cabinet Minister declares that he or she unconditionally and unequivocally accepts the five Rukun Negara Principles as the basis for the building of a Malaysian nation and that he or she is Malaysian first and their ethnicity or religious affiliation second?

Ten years ago, the Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he was Malay first and Malaysian second. Has he developed with the times to become a Malaysian first and Malay second? Is he a Prime Minister for all Malaysians or Prime Minister for only one group of people?

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

  1. Rise of the “Malu Apa” mentality and campaign;
  2. Infamous Sheraton Move which brought in a “backdoor” and illegitimate Government;
  3. Creeping return of corruption and kleptocracy, with the replacement of professionals by PN MPs in government-linked companies and the spread of the entitlement mentality by political cronies, as evidenced by a deputy minister recommending that his son be appointed a board member to a GLC;
  4. One PAS MP who went on a tirade against Christianity and refused to apologise for desecrating the Rukun Negara on the eve of its Golden Jubilee;
  5. An up-and-coming Bersatu politician who violated two important Rukun Negara principles on “national unity” and “liberal approach towards the rich and varied cultural traditions” by calling for the closure of vernacular schools – expecting it to be a short-cut to political promotion and fame;
  6. 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”.

The Yang di Pertuan Agong has 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 but 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.

Although the Prime Minister said that while the Perikatan Nasional has no election manifesto, it does not mean it has no accountability.

Firstly, how can Muhyiddin so simply and easily disclaimed and reneged on the Pakatan Harapan manifesto of the 14th General Election when he was one of the architects of the Pakatan Harapan coalition at the time?

Secondly, if the Perikatan Nasional government upholds the principle of accountability, why is he been silent on the above-mentioned six violations of the Rukun Negara principles.

Muhyiddin said he is responsible to the people and the ministers are responsible to the people.

Two congratulations to Muhyiddin are in order.

Firstly, for continuing to have a Minister who had unabashedly violated the Covid-19 quarantine SOP and who created history in having over 51,000 netizens endorsing an online petition started by Taufiq Latif calling on him to resign from Cabinet.

Secondly, for the latest Merdeka Centre survey finding of his 69 per cent approval rating. The survey found that while 9 out of 10 Malay and Bumiputera from Sabah and Sarawak gave the Prime Minister the thumbs up, 65% of Indians and only 33% Chinese were satisfied with him.

Muhyiddin has admitted that his administration faced its greatest test in the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the crisis is unprecedented in Malaysia and across the world, but with the tenacity of the government, the support of frontliners, civil servants and volunteers, and the people’s discipline, the nation was up to the challenge.

I do not agree. The Covid-19 pandemic presented the Muhyiddin government an opportunity to hide its weaknesses and internal contradictions, for Malaysians rallied behind the government in the face of the global disaster.

The Muhyiddin government had at first mishandled the Covid-19 pandemic, causing a second wave of Covid outbreak in March, which reached its peak on April 3.

If not for the Sheraton Move, there would not be a second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown of the country.

It is fortunate that Malaysia had contained the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak, although like the rest of the world, we must be prepared for any resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak – a second wave for most of the countries of the world but a third wave for Malaysia.

Thailand has reported zero local transmission of Covid-19 for 100 consecutive days - a feat which Malaysia had not yet achieved.

Thailand, the first country outside China to report Covid-19 cases in January this year, has reported 3,425 cases and 58 fatalities as compared with a cumulative total of 9,360 cases and 128 fatalities in Malaysia. With a smaller population, Malaysia should have a better record on the Covid-19 epidemic than Thailand.

But the vision for the future of Malaysia is not completely dark and hopeless, and I am most encouraged by a letter to his 75-year-old classmates from the Royal Military College written by an RMC alumni, Yusof Hashim on the occasion of the 63rd National Day.

Yusof wrote:

“I am a Malaysian first, and a Malay second. I pray to God daily, and I believe in the hereafter where all of us will all be asked to account for what we did or did not do while we were alive.

“But I am not excessively and destructively religious. I am unhappy with how my religion has been hijacked for political purposes, and I am angry with the people doing it. I am also angry with the charlatans and titled people who call themselves our leaders.

“I am unhappy with the creeping Arabization of my multi-racial and multi-cultural Malaysia. And I am angry with the dumbing down of the Malay rural population by politicians without integrity, without honour, without honesty and without conscience…

“If you choose silence, and to die without conscience for the state of the country that we are leaving behind for our grandchildren, and their grandchildren, that is your cowardly choice. I choose to say what I feel and although alone I cannot do much to change things, I hope by speaking out, enough people will have their conscience pricked, and our numbers may swell enough to outnumber the living dead. And hopefully, the enlightened will be large enough in number to make a difference.

“For a start, this affirmative action policy has gone on for far too long. Although it has helped a lot of Malays, as a double-edged sword, it is starting to hurt the Malays more than it helps. It has bred a crutch mentality among us Malays, to an extent that initiative and entrepreneurship have atrophied among the Malays. We have become risk-averse. Our people have now come to believe that they cannot achieve anything without government help. Our race has become the object of derision by the more independently successful Chinese. Let us wean the Malays away from affirmative action.

“Let us embrace meritocracy. We need to taste hard work and some failure, for us to learn how to walk without needing crutches.

“The affirmative action policy, when it was first mooted after the dark days of the May 13 affair, was the right thing to do. But half a century later, this policy has bred a cadre of Malay rent seekers and politicians, who exploit this policy to enrich themselves immorally and illegally.

“In the name of helping the Malays, GLCs and GOCs have become instruments to steal and to siphon money from public coffers. The positions of heads of these GLCs and GOCs have systematically been given not to capable and qualified persons, but are rewards reserved for politicians to entice them to leap from one party to another.

“In addition, these positions are also dangled in front of many senior civil servants to buy their complicity in nefarious schemes to bleed the country’s coffers. At the trial of a previous Prime Minister, we heard how senior civil servants meekly carried out the orders of the sitting PM, without acting as the check and balance that there were intended to be.

“No doubt they were eyeing titles and cushy positions at GLCs and GOCs post their retirement from the civil service.

“I say GOCs and GLCs ought to be privatised. Government should only govern, and the private sector should be tasked to do businesses. This will remove the insidious opportunity for politicians to use the GOCs and GLCs as a political tool.

“The effects of this disease is so entrenched today, that we are now derisively labelled as the country with the biggest kleptocracy in the entire world. One of our past Prime Ministers have even been convicted of felony, and yet the dedak-infused still kiss his hands and scream, what is there to be ashamed about, whenever he makes his police-escorted rounds. What have become of these people?

“I worked in the oil industry, and I know that Norway and us started developing our oil and gas industry at about the same time. In fact, both Norway and Malaysia have about the same size of hydrocarbon reserves beneath our land and our seas.

“But while Norway managed their bounty carefully, and today they have one of the world’s largest sovereign fund from oil and gas resources, exceeding one trillion USD in value, Malaysia has a sovereign debt exceeding one trillion.”

…And more.

This letter has given me sustenance in re-energising for the long and hard battle to save Malaysia and confirmed my belief that Malaysia deserves better.

Let all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, gender, age or station be committed to the quest for Malaysia to become an united, top world-class nation by leveraging on the values and assets of the diverse races, religions, languages, cultures and civilizations which meet in confluence in Malaysia!

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri