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Friday, August 30, 2013

Do your duty for the nation

We have got to put aside our political differences to work together so that Malaysia can move forward and face the coming global challenges.
COMMENT
It is our duty as Malaysians to do the best that we can to serve the nation and work for its common good. On this anniversary of the 56th Merdeka celebration, we have much to be proud of and much to be thankful for.
Admittedly though, things could be much better so we must work towards that aim because we deserve better.
Despite some immature people displaying their insensitivity in some crazy publicity stunts (Alvivi’s bak kut teh issue and the dog-handler case comes to mind), Malaysian society is now matured enough not to react angrily by rioting over such issues.
This shows that we have come a long way in race relations and as a matured society we can now stand tall and work together towards bringing progress to the nation.
The black mark in race relations in 1969 is now buried in the Jurassic past and anyone who raises this matter in order to gain publicity or shore up support for himself or herself is frowned upon as someone stuck in the age of dinosaurs.
Yes, it is to the rakyat’s credit that despite our racial diversity, race relations are still good and anyone who harps on race and religion to gain political mileage will fail.
A case in point took place in the parliamentary constituency of Shah Alam in the 13th general election.
PAS candidate Khalid Samad who is known for his fair, just and rational views won this seat for the second time, by a majority of over 10,000 votes against BN’s Zulkifli Noordin.
Malaysian society has no place for racial bigots. People who utter “balik China, balik India” or “If you don’t like it here, then get out” are so yesterday.
These people will be duly slammed and castigated by netizens via the social media.
The fact that 51% of the informed society voted for Pakatan Rakyat shows that we have moved beyond race-based politics.
As society becomes more educated, voting patterns will be more matured and people will vote across racial lines.
Fearing the unknown
In the 1986 general election, the PAS candidate for the state seat of Puteri Wangsa in Johor, Abdullah Husin lost his deposit due to massive rejection by the Chinese voters.
This time he contested and won the same seat after 27 years by garnering 20,357 votes to defeat the BN candidate who obtained 16,888 votes.
The voters in the state seat comprise Chinese 47.2%, 40.3% Malays and 11.8% Indians.
Those voters from all racial backgrounds who still stick to BN is because they are uninformed. They also fear to make a change as they fear the unknown.
In every society there is always such a group of extremely stubborn voters who reject change so that is nothing unusual but now that the polls are over, we have to work together, one and all.
Lee Lam Thye who has done a lot for the nation and now in his capacity as Trustee for 1Malaysia Foundation has wrote in the letters page of an English daily on Aug 27 that we as citizens can offer constructive criticism for the good of the country.
There are many ways in which we can do our bit for the nation. One of it is to offer ideas to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to be incorporated into Budget 2014 which is scheduled to be tabled on Oct 25. Let us make this a People’s Budget which we can all be proud off.
Another contribution which we can give to the nation is to furnish ideas to the Election Commission (EC) for the re-delineation of electoral boundaries which will be done end of this year.
Concerned citizen Emmanuel Joseph from Klang has suggested to this columnist that a Boundaries Commission be set up to ensure that the re-delineation is done properly and fairly with equal weightage being given to rural and urban seats.
Esteemed members of society together with Bersih committee members plus politicians from both sides of the political divide can make up the members of this Boundaries Commission.
Volunteering one’s time and service in helping out at soup kitchens or participating in Rukun Tetangga patrols to keep the community safe are also ways we can contribute to the nation.
Certainly everyone has a role to perform to make this nation a better place for all.
A duty for our nation
We have got to put aside our political differences to work together so that Malaysia can move forward and face the coming global challenges.
Let us all put our weight together to make this nation great. Each and everyone has to forge greater bonds of unity amid this diversity of races and cultures by acknowledging everyone’s contribution towards nation-building.
Only when we really stand united can we count ourselves as truly blessed. By then we would have arrived!
As of now, we have come a long way but we still have a long way more to go. We are proud of ourselves as Malaysians and we the rakyat can bring this nation forward.
We can, we must and we will do it for that is our national service: a duty to our nation. A Happy Merdeka to one and all.
Selena Tay is a DAP member and a FMT columnist.

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