August 4, 2007
Launch of the Merdeka Statement
It is utterly confounding that the Merdeka Statement, whose very spirit is to unify and positively contribute to the country’s development can be targeted as being racist. These efforts have been done in the utmost of sincerity. But the pave to hell is paved with good intentions, right?
I am bemuddled and amused.
And yet, what could I have expected? Some points to note:
- For someone to criticise it as merely the views of an elite intellectual group, this means that he has discounted the views of the intelligent. Not a very good move to make. If society’s visions cannot but begin from the very educated man and woman, what then can they be based upon? Whose strategies then are relied upon when formulating policy – are these not the intellects of society – if not, I shudder to imagine the future of the country in the hands of “gobloks”, in Zainuddin’s own words. Funny.
- We should expect it because this comes as a convenient target tool. Shoot at whatever they do not understand and use it to their advantage. Smart. It’s all a game, and we must learn not to respond likewise.
- He said that Agenda 1 borders on racism. Agenda 1 is entitled “Strengthening National Unity”. The only part I can think of that touches on race is this: “new sustained efforts are urgently needed to rebuild national unity as ethnic, linguistic and religious divides have deepened, causing genuine pain and hurt to many in the nation.” How to strengthen when we cannot be honest about identifying real problems?
I am disappointed with him, not that I expected any more.
Disappointed because it is the role of a minister to make intelligent remarks. I long for the day that other politicians/Government leaders can stand up and defend the honest and the brave, without fear or favour, and not even being insulting or derogatory about anything. I long for the day that the Prime Minister would say something like this,
“Let’s not jump to conclusions, Zam. Furthermore, you cannot dismiss the views of these 42 organisations because indeed they are equally citizens of Malaysia too. They represent an important section of society, and I think it’s crucial to listen to them. I want to listen to the heartbeat of the people, and if this is what is happening I would like to know. Let’s hear them out first, they may have a point somewhere in that Statement of theirs. They might be wrong in some areas, but I’m sure they have good sound recommendations too. Apparently they spent a long time deliberating on issues that we too care about. Let’s do some things to discover the real situation.. First, let’s read the whole Statement in its entirety and examine it properly before jumping to conclusions. Second, let’s call the members of the Centre for Public Policy Studies in for a presentation and to consult with them about its contents. I’m sure they would be willing to speak to us in person. Let’s not demand of them anything, the way we don’t like it when the opposition demands things from us. Let’s think step by step and rationally before we come to any firm conclusion, especially since they say they are still inviting inputs and that the Merdeka Statement is a live document.”
When oh WHEN will we be able to witness something so noble?
My soul bleeds.
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