Wishing all Malaysians a year of peace, progress and prosperity
2004 New Year Message
by Kerk Kim Hock
(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): The year 2003 is an eventful one for Malaysia. The nation witnessed the change of several key leaders, including the top offices of the Judiciary and the Police Force. The highlight was of course the passing of the premiership baton by Tun Dr Mahathir to his deputy Dato Seri Abdullah Badawi.
The new Prime Minister has orchestrated some bold initiatives Ė the fight against corruption, the promotion of efficiency in the civil service and the setting up of Royal Commission on Police Service.
It is the hope of the people that Abdullah Badawi will be able to implement policy changes which are compatible with the principles democracy, justice and equality.
In facing the era of globalisation which stresses on meritocracy and competitiveness, the Prime Minister needs to realise that the nationís educational policies must not continue to divide Malaysians and the quality education for primary, secondary, tertiary and mother tongue must be the top educational objective so as to ensure that our children will receive the education needed for the 21 st Century.
While Malaysians hope that the new Prime Minister will be able to possess the political will to carry out the necessary policy changes for the betterment of the country and the people, they must realize that what is most important of all is for them to exercise their right to vote in the coming general election to defend the nationís 46 year old constitutional secular and democratic basis enshrined in the 1957 Federal Constitution.
Our forefathers had the foresight and wisdom to give us a social contract which has served the nation and the people well.
Hence, it is the duty and responsibility of all Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, to continue to uphold the social contract reached by our forefathers when achieving the nationís Independence- the fundamental constitutional principle that Malaysia is a democratic and secular nation.
I wish to take this opportunity to urge all fellow Malaysians to reflect on what they have achieved over the years and what they hope to achieve in the year ahead.
I end my message by asking all fellow Malaysians not to rest on their laurels, not to be caught off guard and not to take for granted that their immediate comfort zone would not be threatened if they were not vigilant enough.
I wish all Malaysians a year of peace, progress and prosperity.
* Kerk Kim Hock, DAP Secretary General and MP for Kota Melaka