Malaysian youths and school children must be encouraged to dream the Malaysian Dream — to be a first-rate world-class nation to contribute to global progress or to be a divided, failed, and kleptocratic state

Malaysian youths, those between 18 to 21 years old, and even younger ones, the school children, should be encouraged to dream the Malaysian Dream — to be a first-rate world-class nation to contribute to global progress or to be a divided, failed or kleptocratic state.

This is what struck me when I read the media reports that academician Mohammad Agus Yusoff had been appointed the director-general of the Community Communications Department (Jkom) under the Prime Minister’s Department to propel the Malaysia Madani concept with three thrusts to cultivate knowledge, create a society with digital skills and strengthen the people’s patriotic spirit; the digital dream of the Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil to create a new golden digital decade of the country; and the Nationl Unity Week programmes being formulated by the National Unity Minister Aaron Ago Dagang based on the theme of “Unity in Diversity” in multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural Malaysia.

The incidents of the segregated SPM workshop in a Johor Baru school and ugly comments of a social media influencer and the controversial postings of a national hockey player which caused a former Cabinet Minister, Radifah Aziz to fume and declare that “there is no place in this nation for those who belittled a racial group or race” have highlighted the need to reset and return to the nation-building principles of the nation’s founding fathers and the failure of the Rukun Negara to unite the nation, particularly the ability to differentiate right and wrong and not to believe in lies, falsehoods and fake news.

Jkom, the National Unity Ministry and the Education Ministry should creatively re-launch the Rukun Negara in schools to ensure that the schools do not become the hotbeds of polarisation, but instead become nurseries for the creation of a Malaysian race where Malaysians, regardless of ethnicity, religion or culture do not just take public holidays on the various ethnic and religious festivities, but could celebrate in each other’s festivities and holidays — whether Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Chinese New Year, Hari Gawai, Hari Kaamatan, Vesak, Deepavali or Christmas.

The Anwar unity government must begin to resolve the serious problem of racial and religious polarisation in the country.

It has been said that Malaysians must choose whether they want to become cow herders or pig herders.

Malaysians do not want to be cow herders or pig herders but want to be on the cutting edge of technology, leveraging on the best values from the four great civilisations which meet in confluence in Malaysia, to build a first-rate world-class nation.

It is a great fallacy that the political choice before Malaysians is whether to be cow herders or pig herders

We must encourage the new generation of Malaysians to have the .commitment ‘to create a Malaysia that is inclusive, moderate and respected globally.

Expose them to the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukun Negara principles of nation-building “to achiever a more perfect unity amongst the whole of her society; preserve a democratic way of life; create a just society where the prosperity of the country can be enjoyed together in a fair and equitable manner; guarantee a liberal approach towards her rich and varied cultural traditions; and build a progressive society that will make use of science and modern technology”.

Instead of focusing on fallacious and misleading choices for Malaysians, as whether they want to be cow-herders or pig-herders, it would be more productive and responsible to challenge the new generation of Malaysians in schools to transform Malaysia into a first-rate world-class nation which could contribute to global progress as well.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Veteran