FMT LETTER: From Dr Denison Jayasooria, via e-mail
Merdeka day and Malaysia day (Sept 16) celebrations must be events that unite us as Malaysians irrespective of our political, ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic differences as we celebrate our oneness because we are all proud to be Malaysians, free from colonial bondage and rule as free people.
Therefore, the Federal government must take every effort to forge solidarity among the various people groups. While it is true that both the independence negotiations and formation of Malaysia was led by political leaders of the Alliance (now the Barisan National), they served in their capacity as national leaders for all Malaysians.
We have in 2012, after 55 years of Merdeka and 50 years as Malaysia, now reached a threshold of our political history. Politicians from different parties and from government and opposition must transcend political differences as matured leaders and as elder statesmens. If you can’t, how can you as leaders expect the people to celebrate as One People?
Let’s not celebrate 2012 as a divided nation. Political leaders must see each other as fellow Malaysians, although with differing political ambitions. It is imperative that our PM mobilise all political leaders, especially those elected at the federal and state levels to work together in a joint programme of celebration. Let the Jubilee of 50 years of Malaysia forge a new beginning.
Parliamentary democracy calls for a new vision and action to foster oneness irrespective of our differences, including political vision and direction. It will be a sad, sad day if there are two different celebrations.
Therefore let’s rise above politics and forge a nation as a people loyal not to political power or be subjected to it but to the King as loyal Malaysians to the nation as true patriots. Long live the King. Long live Malaysia.
Dr Denison Jayasooria is the Principal Research Fellow at UKM’s Institute of Ethnic Studies and Secretary General of Proham a human rights organisation established by former human rights and Police commission members.