August 19th, 2014
I REFER to your very commendable article “Rekindle the spirit of unity” (Sunday Star,Aug 17). Indeed it’s a pity and so ironical that we have to rekindle the Spirit of 1957, on our 57th National Day and 51st Malaysia Day?
It’s a shame that we have now to admit that we “were one people with one purpose”.
However, I believe that most Malaysians feel that we are less united today than we have ever been. I was privileged to have been at the Merdeka Stadium on Aug 31, 1957.
I had retuned home with hundreds of Malayan students from the University of Malaya in Singapore, to celebrate the declaration of Merdeka by our beloved Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman.
We all, regardless of race and religion, shared the same exhilarating Spirit of 57 that signalled freedom and a great future.
We were thrilled to proudly and joyously shout on the top of our voices, “Merdeka!, Merdeka!”, all together with our dear Tunku. So what has gone wrong in this blessed and happy country?
Those responsible for our unhappiness are all those who have undermined our national unity.
They are the extremists, the supremacists, the racists and the religious bigots.
Unfortunately, we the silent majority have failed so far to effectively counter the vicious and vociferous minority of hate-mongers.
Too often these hate inciters have been allowed to rave and rant and to go scot free, despite the poison they spew. Why, we wonder?
But we all wish that from now on, our Government and Opposition leaders will faithfully adopt and implement policies and practices that are moderate and fair to all Malaysians.
This is why most Malaysians warmly welcome the timely, bold and brave campaign to promote moderation before the extremists in our midst gain more ground.
Then it may be too late to overcome them!
So on our 57th Merdeka and 51st Malaysia Day, let us all, as true and loyal Malaysians, re-dedicate ourselves to reject and counter the extremists and vote against the racists, bigots and supremacists.
Then we will be able to enjoy a real Happy Merdeka this year and God willing – Always!
TAN SRI RAMON NAVARATNAM
Chairman, Asli Center of Public Policy Studies
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