As the country gears up to celebrate National Day on Aug 31, we should re-dedicate ourselves to building a better Malaysia. Let National Day be of hope and national reconciliation, bridging racial, religious and geographical divides and boosting unity, social cohesiveness and social harmony. Let us end divisiveness and celebrate our diversity. We need to overcome divisive politics.
We must boost the 4Ts — trust, tolerance, transparency and truth — and the 4Ps — peace, people, partnership and prosperity. The 4Rs are also important: racial harmony, religious tolerance, reconciliation and rights-based governance. The latter will ensure the rights of Malaysians are protected.
Equally important for the nation to move forward are the 4Is: integrity, innovation, inequalities and investments.
A better Malaysia must also address the 4Ds: development divide, debt, digital disruption and devolution of state powers for better federal-state relations. No one must be left behind. We must adopt and pursue policies that are fair and just. More importantly, we should ensure that no new injustices are created.
People would like to see the Pakatan Harapan government end internal politicking and start delivering and boosting governance.
We have been engulfed in controversies that could have been avoided with better communication, coordination and planning.
In developing and implementing policies, government leaders should bear in mind the 3Cs: clarity, consistency and certainty.
I hope the government will continue to offer the people the 4Hs: hope, harmony, humility and honesty.
In celebrating National Day, let us re-commit ourselves to upholding the Constitution and Rukun Negara. Let us remember and continue to uphold former prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s independence speech: “We shall forever be a sovereign democratic and independent state founded upon the principles of justice and liberty and ever seeking the welfare and the happiness of the people.”
In this Merdeka month, I call on Malaysians to raise and salute the Jalur Gemilang.
Let us salute our founding fathers as we celebrate National Day as a day to unite people and heal the nation.
This article was published in the New Straits Times on 21st August 2019 and The Star on 22nd August 2019.