I said last week that Malaysia is more than just a country. Malaysia is a set of ideal. And I also did ask as to whether we still subscribe to this ideal.
Our forefathers must have uttered to and among themselves that they had a dream. Did they see the same vision?
Did they think about the nightmares of making a plural society functioning? Probably, yes. But their dreams of, for and about Malaysia must have been sweeter.
In 1963, all the 4 regions of Malaya, Sabah Sarawak and Singapore were happy to be a part of a new nation.
Every ethnic and religious group in the country was happy to be a part of a new nation.
The country managed to fight off the challenge from the communist terror networks because the country was together.
The people of this country found a common value in defending the sovereignty of the nation.
For the past 50 years or so, we have been able to create and build a nation.
Building a great nation that consists of diverse groups, diverse interests, different ideologies, different philosophies of life and different regions is never going to be easy.
The origin of Malaysia is based on a common understanding between the 4 regions of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore.
The MA63, the IGC report and the Cobbold Commission report had led to the creation of this common understanding which was duly accepted by all as the basis for the formation and the creation of a new nation.
Is it right for politics to destroy this common understanding?
There is an awareness of common interest among the 4 regions. The relationship between the 4 regions is on a voluntary basis.
The country has evolved into a political entity that is recognised around the world for its progress and development in the last 5 decades? Should not we continue to make the country to be progressive?
The advancement of democracy for equality, fairness and equity has been good for national unity and integration.
The public policy that is going to be developed should support and encourage this progress.
A lot of the people in the media have described the recently concluded US election as the most divisive in their electoral history.
Divisiveness cannot make a nation great.
Donald Trump may have realised by now that perhaps it is easier to win the election than to create a team than can govern a nation. He is now turning to some of his adversaries to help in this endeavour.
Under the American spoils system, all members of the cabinet and the top government officials that were appointed by President Obama would have to resign before the new president is sworn in. Altogether, the new president of the USA will have to replace 4,000 officers, and of this figure 1,000 have to be approved by the Senate.
Our parliamentary system doesn’t operate in the same manner.
With the concept of the majority and a party discipline, a prime minister in a parliamentary system can get whatever he wants as he has the majority in the House. He can appoint anyone to any government positions without being vetted at all as in the US.
He can do as he pleases, but a great prime minister knows his limit.
The democratic culture of respecting the rules of law and ethics prevents him from doing the wrong things or the things that can harm the position of his party or his country.
He is held back by his conscience, by the spirit which has held his country together in the past, and by putting the interest of the country over his personal interest and ambition.
For the past 50 years the country has been united under the principle of consociational democracy with the BN leading the way on development, progress and unity.
The newly elected US president has nominated 2 women into his cabinet: Nikki Haley (the governor of Carolina and a daughter of an Indian immigrant) as the UN ambassador, and Betsy DeVos (a wealthy social activist and a champion of alternative schools) as his education secretary. Both women had passionately opposed him.
Willard Mitt Romney who had vehemently opposed his nomination has also been considered for a cabinet position. Even the democrats have also been considered for key government positions.
Why is he doing this? Why is he bringing in his known and staunched opponents into his cabinet?
Could this perhaps be due to the fact that rhetoric is not exactly the same as reality and vice versa?
Could this be due to the fact that a country needs the people who have excellent and progressive ideas about nation building to come together and to work together towards achieving the common good for all?
Is this the message that the people want to hear and see?
The people of Sarawak expect a message that can help the state to develop further and the country to move forward in the right direction, while at the same time, expecting the spirit of the formation of the nation to remain intact and not be destroyed by politics. – Sarawakvoice