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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Merdeka: What our politicians are saying



  • Updated 5.20pm with messages from Najib Abdul Razak, Steven Sim, Howard Lee and Lim Kit Siang. 
As with all festivities in Malaysia, National Day is full of feel good messages from politicians and public figures.
Malaysiakini is compiling all that we can find and curating them all in one space as follows:
Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council

The leaders of all four Harapan parties issued a joint statement calling on Malaysians to recalibrate themselves to the centre, and to reject politically expedient extremism.
"Malaysia has no choice except to return to the middle ground, leaving behind all doubts and past beliefs that threatened the continuity of the rakyat's success to bring about significant change on May 9, 2018."
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang
Abdul Hadi released a video of him explaining Merdeka to his grandchildren, and finger-painting a Merdeka collage with them.
He says Malaysians have been able to live in peace and harmony, and this should be maintained.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu
Mohamad's Merdeka message was brief, and emphasised that peace and harmony in the country are maintained through the service of the armed forces.
"While we are comfortably going about our daily activities, more than 13,000 armed forces members are carrying out their duties, protecting the country's safety 24 hours a day on the field and at the borders."
Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali
Azmin wrote a lengthy Merdeka comment piece, published in Berita Harian, in which he touched on how the divide among Malaysians now is partly due to socio-economic gaps, which the government aims to repair through its shared prosperity policy.
"Wealth generates more wealth, and can be shared between investors dan workers, with friends and neighbours."
Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo
Gobind, who is also the DAP deputy chairperson, urged Malaysians to go back to the principles of the Rukun Negara and its values of peace, harmony, unity, loyalty to King and country, tolerance, and patriotism.
"... this is so we can live as one without strife in our efforts to build a modern country that can be seen by the world as an example of a successful diverse country."
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin
Besides urging Malaysians to reject elements that can divide them, Zuraida also pledge to ensure a good life for Malaysians.
"I will focus on holistic community development, a clean country, comfortable and affordable houses, and satisfactor service by local governments."
Health Minsiter Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad
Dzulkefly made a prayer for Merdeka, asking God to steer Malaysia away from corruption and to keep the country united and peaceful.
"(Ya Allah) steer us away from corruption and abuse of power that can destroy the country's wealth.
"Ya Allah, maintain the peace and unity of this country, keep us away from being embroiled in racial rifts and instability between religions."
Water, Land, and Natural Resources Minister Dr Xavier Jayakumar
Xavier stressed his ministry's mission to protect Malaysia's national animal, the Malayan tiger, and ensure that it does not become a "myth".
"We must appreciate and protect our rich natural biodiversity as our rainforest is our heritage. Let us maintain it for our future generations to come."
Agriculture Minister Salahuddin Ayub
Salahuddin, in a Merdeka video message, stressed his ministry's commitment to ensure the country's food security.
"Malaysia, with sufficient, healthy food that is affordable for its people, that is part of the independence which we fight for together."
Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar
Nurul Izzah published a video showing the spirit and meaning of Merdeka through the art of batik.
"We don't consider this as Malay, Chinese, Kadazan, Dayak, Indian batik, instead it is all Malaysian batik.
"Regardless of who we are, and whatever our difference, we are still the same."
Former premier Najib Abdul Razak
In a Facebook post, Najib lamented the state of unity among races in the country today.
He also took a swipe at Pakatan Harapan as allegedly being the source of disunity and unrest by playing up racial or religious sentiments.
"Malaysia is in a critical state under Harapan. It's true, now BN is in the opposition. But although we are in the opposition, we will never sabotage the country.
"No matter what the challenges faced, let us never allow Malaysia to fall," said the Pekan MP.
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim
Taking to Twitter after attending the National Day Parade in Putrajaya, Sim shared three stanzas of a Malay pantun on unity. 
DAP Youth chief Howard Lee
Lee shared his own interpretation of the meaning of an independent Malaysia through a Malay poem, or sajak:
Bangsa Malaysia bangsa merdeka
Kencana atau abu arang
Bencana mahupun senang
Pertama sehingga terakhir
Kemerdekaan bangsa Malaysia Kita Punya.
DAP MP Lim Kit Siang
Lim said in a blog post that, based on his interactions with Malaysians on the ground during the 62nd Merdeka Day celebrations, he found "social media Malaysia entirely different from real-life Malaysia."
"The perception created by social media is a Malaysia which has never been more polarised in racial and religious terms in the nation’s history, as if the country is teetering on the verge of violent race and religious relations," he said.
He wrote that instead of inter-racial animosity, distrust, fear and hatred, he found only goodwill, understanding, harmony and tolerance among Malaysians of all races.
"It is imperative that the government must not allow fake news and hate speech on social media to distort and poison inter-racial and inter-religious relations," said the Iskandar Puteri MP. - Mkini

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