Venomous words indeed.
'Uncalled for'That's what Malaysian Information Minister Zainuddin 'Perigi Zam-Zam' Maidin has called the New Malaysian Agenda (ref Sun2Surf).
'Clever attempt to disunite the people in the country'
'Bordered on racism'
'Ignores the reality acknowledged by the world and the people'
'Removed from the heart and pulse of the people'
'Did not consider the values accepted by Malaysians all this while'
'Majority of the people in the country are offended'
42 NGOs put their heads together to come up with a "wish list" that they want the government to adopt as the New Malaysian Agenda.
Initiated by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI)'s Centre for Public Policy Studies to mark the country's 50th Merdeka, the Merdeka Statement has 8 thrusts, representing what the people want the government to do:
1.Strengthen national unity.Now, I'm not sure if Zam can read English, but I don't see one word that even remotely advocates disunity, chauvinism nor racism. ON THE CONTRARY, this first recommendation of the New Malaysian Agenda outlines several steps to combat disunity, chauvinism and racism. It revolves around equality, transparency, giving each and every one of us a place under the Malaysian sun (to paraphrase HRH Raja Nazrin).
In the struggles towards forging a national identity, great efforts have been taken to strengthen national unity in the country, which must be supported by all.
However, recently the state of unity has been fraying at the edges. Ethnic, linguistic and religious divides have deepened, causing genuine pain and hurt to many in our nation. Such a fragile state of unity should not have happened after 50 years of nation building.
New sustained efforts are urgently needed to rebuild our National Unity.
WE BELIEVE THAT:
(i) The current National Unity Advisory Panel, under the Jabatan Perpaduan Negara & Integrasi Nasional, should be made an independent National Unity & Integration Commission, empowered to review legislation, policies and practices that impede on national unity, investigate complaints of ethnic, linguistic and religious discrimination both in Government and the private sector; made answerable to Parliament and chaired by reputable and credible individuals; and include a Truth and Reconciliation Committee, which will serve to grapple with key incidents of conflict and hurt in the country’s past, which is an important and necessary part of the healing of the national psyche, in the road towards a peaceful shared future.
(ii) All new policies should be tested against the tenets of the Federal Constitution and the Rukunegara - no policy formulated should be contrary to the spirit of the values contained therein.
(iii) An independent and transparent National Consultative Council on Vision 2020 should be established immediately, for representatives from the Government, private sector businesses, academia, media and civil society to discuss progress towards Vision 2020 and beyond.
(iv) A National Research Institute on Ethnic Relations should be established as a centre that co-ordinates in-depth research on Ethnic Relations and Culture, compiling stories of inter-ethnic cooperation and mutual assistance.
(v) Public-Private Partnerships to strengthen National Unity should be launched at all levels and in all sectors.
(vi) Islam is the religion of the Federation of Malaysia as clearly set out in the Federal Constitution. The freedom to profess and practice the religions of choice as enshrined in the Federal Constitution does not threaten this position. The Government has committed itself to the principles of freedom, protection of minorities and universal values, values of which must be continuously and relentlessly upheld for the sake of all Malaysians.
(v) Any extremism in the form and shape of ethnicity, religion and gender should not be propagated or tolerated at any level.
WE BELIEVE THAT THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AS SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND IS THE PRIMARY REFERENCE POINT FOR STRENGTHENING NATIONAL UNITY, AND THAT ALL NATIONAL POLICIES SHOULD BE TESTED AGAINST ITS CENTRAL TENETS.
And who exactly is this 'majority of the people' who have been thus offended?! UMNO General Assembly delegates, Class F contractors and PPIM is it?? IMHO, the only people who can find it in themselves to object to this are those who seek to be more equal than others, those who have something to hide and those who seek to deny their countrymen their rightful place in this country of ours.
To me, the fact that Zam, and by extension UMNO, their BN lackeys and the govt, finds these recommendations so offensive and in direct conflict with their policies and philosophies - proves to me conclusively that they are the real racists and chauvinists, hell bent on pursuing their selfish agenda to the detriment and destruction of the country and its citizenry.
You know, the best 50th anniversary present that each citizen of Malaysia can give to our country, is a vote for the opposition.
Below are the remaining 7 principles of the Agenda:
2.Enhance international competitiveness.Download the PDF of the entire Merdeka Statement and New Malaysian Agenda here.
The country must remain engaged with global economy, rapidly and continually adapting to maintain competitiveness by adopting international best practices;
3.Create an innovation economy.
An innovation policy should be developed as part of existing plans and policies within trade and services industries;
Imbalances -- poverty, intra-ethnic and inter-gender income inequalities -- need to be redressed with newer strategies and more vigorous effort;
5.Reinforce the institutions of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.
The government needs to further strengthen the key institutions and ensure their independence in reflecting values of good governance;
Radical change of mindset is needed to bring about a paradigm shift in rethinking education, in developing a world-class Malaysian education system;
7.Ensure quality of life
The government needs to ensure the people's quality of life can be improved through sustainable development initiatives; and
8.Improve governance, fight corruption.
The principles of transparency, integrity, accountability and responsibility must be strictly upheld and enforced in all sectors of society.