Invoking the spirit of 1957: Malaysia’s path to greatness

I WAS in Form 3 and the students of Batu Pahat High School were gathered at the school field to hear former premier Tunku Abdul Rahman declare the independence of the nation.

Before reading the Proclamation of Independence, Tunku called on everyone in the new country, regardless of race or religion,  “to dedicate yourselves to the service of the new Malaya: to work and strive with hand and brain to create a new nation, inspired by the ideals of justice and liberty—a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world”.

It was a new dawn for the country and everyone was excited by the new challenges for the country to take its place among the top nations in the world.

Lim Kit Siang

That was 66 years ago. Much water has flowed under the bridge but the country has never been more divided than today and Malaysia has ceased to be regarded as one of the top nations in the world.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s National Day Address could not be more apt when he said that Malaysia had a mediocre performance over the past 20 years and that the unity among the races was especially important, with the Madani government committed to upholding the rights of all citizens if Malaysia is to rise up again to become a great world-class nation.

The Anwar unity government is the only political coalition in the country that comprises political parties that are committed to the goal of Malaysia rising up again to be a great world-class nation.

As no other political coalition wants Malaysia to rise up again to become a great world-class nation, the Anwar unity government should be given four years until the 16th General Election in 2027 before a judgement is made as to whether it has failed or succeeded in its task to make Malaysia one of the top nations in the world.

For the sake of the country, Anwar’s call for an end to the sowing of doubts as well as racial and political hostility should be heeded, and all energies should be devoted to one single task: to invoke the Spirit of 1957 for national unity for Malaysia to rise up again to become a great world-class nation. – Aug 31, 2023


Veteran lawmaker and retired DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang was Malaysia’s longest serving opposition leader (29 years on three separate occasions).

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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