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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tee Keat: Go for unity this Merdeka-Aidilfitri, get rid of graft, excesses

Tee Keat: Go for unity this Merdeka-Aidilfitri, get rid of graft, excesses

Malaysians must seize this week’s twin celebration – Merdeka Day and Hari Raya Aidil Fitri – to embrace unity to face global socio-economic challenges.

While celebrating Hari Raya in the spirit of forgiveness (“Maaf Zahir Dan Batin"), let us translate this festive greeting into deeds that encompass not only our own siblings, community or race but more importantly the entire populace of diverse ethnicity and religion.

To fight poverty either in the spirit of sharing and caring that characterise the psyche of our social fabric, or in the name of social justice, should in no way be deterred by any form of religious bigotry and dogmatic norms.

Genuine charitable deeds in addressing pressing needs of the poor and needy irrespective of creed and religion should never be compromised or even demonised. The real challenge to the nation today lies primarily not in the perceived economic disparity between the various ethnic groups, but more starkly between the “haves’ and “have-nots” irrespective of ethnic origin.

The intensive interventions aimed at addressing the poverty issue are indeed timely and laudable. Nonetheless, the key challenge to the success of such interventions remains in the public delivery.

Public funds must be spent wisely

Public funds for welfare must be well spent on the target group timely, and not lavishly on ceremonial activities that are deemed to curry favour the dignitaries and celebrities.

As the global economic outlook may continue to appear challenging in the near future, Malaysians must resolve to face and overcome whatever that may confront us.

Believing in the idiom “Unity Is Strength”, we must be truly be united and work towards a prosperous future for our children and nation.

Get rid of graft

Any form of grafts and abuse of public funds perpetrated by anybody in public office is certainly our concern that warrants the concerted corrective action by all patriotic Malaysians.

We must think as united Malaysians and be reminded of how our forefathers (Malays, Chinese, Indians and others) fought for Independence from the British and, thereafter, against the various odds in the process of nation building. The successful “battles” and efforts are to be credited not to only one race but to all Malaysians.

Indeed, the success of a nation does not benefit only one race but all Malaysians. Likewise, failure will end in the misery of all Malaysians too.

Therefore, my wish for the country and the people of Malaysia is for maturity in thoughts and deeds, and unity to prevail.

I wish all Malaysians Happy Merdeka, and in particular Muslims, a Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.

- Ong Tee Keat is the MP for Pandan and the former MCA president

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