Amid heightened concerns by Malay rulers, national unity continues to take back seat

RETIRED DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang is spot on when he expressed perplexity of having to talk about “national unity” for six decades, yet Malaysia faces the irony of being more divided today than in the country’s entire history.

The veteran lawmaker who described the situation as a “great paradox” attributed the root cause to people who do not accept all the five principles of Rukun Negara (National Principles) becoming Cabinet Ministers when those principles were formulated to achieve “a greater unity for all Malaysians”.

He is lost for words as to how Malaysians – and especially politicians – have refused to heed the notion of Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) Sultan Abdulllah Sultan Ahmad Shah that the five principles of Rukun Negara form the formula of how the people of various races, religions, cultures and languages in Malaysia can overcome differences and diversity to live in peace and harmony.

Lim Kit Siang

“In his Royal Address in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the Rukun Negara and National Day 2020, the YDPA said the core principles outlined in the Rukun Negara are universal in nature, hence cuts across noble values of all nations and religions and are capable of becoming a guide for the citizens of an independent nation,” shared Kit Siang.

“The YDPA was prescient when he advised the formation of a unity government to end the political crisis in the country post the GE15 (15th General Election) by undertaking a reset of the nation-building principles which had inspired Malaysia’s founding fathers but from which the nation had deviated from, causing it to fall from a first-rate world-class nation to a second-rate mediocre country.”

The Raja of Perlis Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail is the latest ruler who had spoken up with warning of the divisive and toxic politics of lies, fear, hate, race and religion, according to Kit Siang.

“The proliferation of hate speech on social media has also been a major cause for concern,” lamented the 81-year-old former Opposition leader whose political career spanned 57 years.

“Last month, Perak ruler Sultan Nazrin Shah said he would not tolerate attempts to incite racial and religious hatred which could provoke hostilities in his state whose 2.5 million subjects comprised 61.5% Malays, 26.7% Chinese and 11.3% Indians who observe various religious beliefs, inherit diverse cultures and are proficient in multiple languages.”

Elsewhere, Kit Siang said the Yang di-Pertuan Besasr of Negri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir has urged politicians to stop using racial or religious issues to incite Malaysians against one another.

“The Selagnor ruler Sultan Shrafuddin Idris Shah has advised all quarters, especially politicians, not to fight with each other or focus on personal interests to the point of neglecting their responsibilities to serve the people,” noted the former Iskandar Puteri MP.

“He urged all parties to work together to re-build the country that is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and elevate it to a better level to all aspects, including social, political and economic.”

He added: “The importance of maintaining harmony and unity among the diverse people in the country has also been a consistent theme of the Sultan of Johor.” – Jan 12, 2023

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