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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Merdeka, let's wish upon a star ...


Malaysia Chronicle

Amid rocketing race and religious politicking, Prime Minister Najib Razak and Pakatan Rakyat leaders have called for cool heads to prevail and for unscrupulous quarters to cease fomenting hatred and uneasiness amongst the various ethnic groups.

But despite the common call for “true unity”, a rocky road still lies ahead and the destination out of reach until there is clarity on who is the "enemy" that must be tamed.

“There has been too much hypocrisy and doublespeak. Najib may referring to Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan as the people causing tension, while Anwar and Pakatan may be referring to Tun Mahathir, Muhyiddin, Perkasa and that gang,” according to a political analyst.

“So people get confused. They hear on TV and see in the newspapers conciliatory words but the fighting is only starting to intensify. Someone should actually ask the people - do a survey on who they regard as the real enemies to unity and national progress. These are the ones who need to be weeded out.”

Wishing on a star

But given the current political space where Najib’s BN is insistent on retaining a monopoly on power and refusing to accept a two-party system, such an idea is unlikely to see the light of day.

To those who have been following the country’s political scene, it seems impossible that some Malaysian leaders, especially former premier Mahathir Mohamad and his group, could be so out of sync with the society’s frustration and anger.

At an age where the majority call is for inclusiveness and to keep abreast with a fast globalizing world made smaller by the Internet and new technology, they seem to be still trying to foist on the country their own decades-old brand of 'nationalism' and 'patriotism'.

Nevertheless or perhaps because of the political commotion, this year's Merdeka seems to be more precious than the recent ones. It may seem surprising but the reason is easy to find. It is because the little unity that Malaysians still have was almost burnt away by irresponsible megalomaniacs during the past few months.

And until the next general election when the citizenry can again make their wishes known, Malaysians will have to get tougher with their leaders and pin them to their words. The rakyat will have to stay on their toes and keep questioning and challenging their politicians. They must not take for granted as they did in the past that all will end well. Or there may not be a Merdeka next year.

Starting with Prime Minister Najib, who on Merdeka eve had these very inspiring words for a nation fed with incessant politicking caused not by a two-party system but by ill-intentioned racial and religious bigots.

“Everything which we have achieved, everything which we have built, and things which are dear to us, will be destroyed. We should, therefore, value the prevailing peace, harmony and stability in the country," said Najib.

“Please remember that Malaysia is our homeland; this is the place where we were born, the place where we grow up, where we find our livelihood, a place where we find happiness and where we shall be laid to rest.

“Refusing to be contented with the status quo, and out of sheer determination, our forefathers took Malaysia from one success to another. Today, it is our turn to lead Malaysia to greater heights of progress and prosperity. The question is, are we courageous enough to break away from tradition and achieve the extraordinary?”

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