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National Unity Can Be Achieved By Common Values Of Democracy, Justice, Freedom, Peace, Ethics And Fighting Corruption Together With Economic Progress Attained On The Basis Of Competition, Merit And Equal Opportunities

48th Merdeka Day Message

by Lim Guan Eng  

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): National unity can be achieved by common values of democracy, justice, freedom, peace, ethics and fighting corruption together with economic progress attained on the basis of competition, merit and equal opportunities.

Whilst celebrating our annual rite of freedom of our country from British colonial rule, Malaysians must not forget that freedom is never freely given but must continuously be protected and nurtured. Failing to continuously strive for Merdeka would make freedom meaningless because Malaysians would only be replacing foreign colonial masters with local warlords who are more oppressive and clever in practicing “divide and rule” for the benefit of themselves at the expense of the population.

Such tactics of emphasizing racial identity over a national identity is an extension of the British colonial policy of “divide and rule”. For bangsa Malaysia to have any significance, there must be common values shared by all Malaysians.

The term `bangsa, agama dan negara’ should not connote one race or one religion but many races and many religions. There should be a celebration of unity in diversity in recognition that Malaysia is a secular country that is both multi-cultural and multi-religious.

Such common values should be accepted by every one in our multi-racial setting. DAP believes that national unity can be achieved with common values of democracy, justice, freedom, peace, ethics and fighting corruption. Economic progress can only be attained on the basis of competition, merit and equal opportunities that create wealth and ensure equitable distribution.

South Korea is a very good example of making the correct choice based on these common values as well as adoption of economic polices that ensure economic progress   In 1966 annual per capita GNP was less than US$ 150 as compared to Malaysia’s US$350. By 2003 according to the World Bank, GNP per capita in Korea had far exceeded Malaysia at US$12,033 as compared to Malaysia’s US$3,880. From a situation where Malaysia is twice more prosperous than Korea in 1966, Korea is now more than 3 times more prosperous than Malaysia. 

DAP calls for a National Malaysian agenda that benefit and unite all regardless of race and religion to build a harmonious society and seek social justice for all Malaysians whether poor bumis, poor Malays, poor Chinese, poor Kadazans, poor Ibans and poor orang Aslis?

The time has come to build a nation of global champions that is self-reliant and excellent on the bedrock of needs, merit, hard work, moral and ethical values instead of appealing to keris-wielding and extremist emotions. The BN government should practice what it preached in its Introduction to the Third Outline Perspective Plan 2001-2010:-

“High on our priority list is forging a united nation consisting of a progressive and dynamic Bangsa Malaysia that lives in harmony and imbued with strong moral and ethical values. Diligence, discipline, credibility, pride in one’s work and achievements, as well as the relentless pursuit towards continuous self-improvement and output are important values and attitudes for all Malaysians to develop. It is also important for the Malaysian society to show political maturity by avoiding extremism or parochialism. We must never cease to remember that the vital ingredient for sustainable growth is a harmonious society.           “



* Lim Guan Eng, DAP Secretary-General

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