Dear Brother and Sister Malaysians,
We need to reflect upon and re-establish our rules of interaction and engagement.
We need guiding principles that are above everyone, every party, every grouping; be they ethnic, age, background or geography. We need this so we can really communicate with one another.
We need a Social Contract.
Yes we have struggled and debated, some say we do not have a Social Contract and of those who say we do, some are for it and some against it.
I propose a Social Contract that synergizes our past, present and future. A Social Contract based on our shared values, Rukun Negara and Federal Constitution.
I propose a Social Contract that...
1. See wrong as wrong and right as right, no matter who did it.
2. No individual or community is left behind, regardless of race or geography.
3. All Malaysian children receive a first rate education, every child is supported and encouraged to achieve her or his maximum potential.
4. We DO NOT introduce racism and division to our children at home or at school.
5. We recognize that Malay customs form our core culture and the Indigenous, Chinese, Indian and other traditions play strong supportive roles to make our nation a unique and exciting brand.
6. While we practice our own religions, we learn about and try to understand the religions of our fellow Malaysians.
7. We work towards zero poverty – it’s superfluous to have skyscrapers and state of the art structures when there are Malaysians who do not have a place to call home.
8. We help each other in business and transfer knowledge and skills from one community to another.
9. We practice sustainable development without corruption.
10. We provide adequate health care for all and care for those with special needs.
11. We treat non-Malaysians serving in our nation, Asians or Europeans, with equality, respect and dignity
12. We look at our constitution as a whole and not pick and choose out of context to suit an argument.
13. Do unto your Malaysian brother and sister as you would like them do unto you, after all,
14. We are Many Colors but One Race; Bangsa Malaysia.
17 Special Days
Since 1996, I proposed that the seventeen days from Hari Merdeka Aug 31st to Hari Malaysia September 16th , be days of reflection and understanding, when we suspend all partisan biasness and embrace each other as One. Seventeen days of truce and understanding and the celebration of our Many Colors, One Race.
Let’s spend the seventeen days expanding our ability to empathize and increasing our capacity to open up and understand others. To look for shared values and embrace the beautiful differences.
Let’s stop pointing fingers and take definite ‘can do’ actions which are within our capabilities, like making an effort to learn about the other first, instead of demanding that others understand us. Let’s Google about each other’s religions and customs and learn the basic tenets of each tradition.
If you do not have many friends from the other ethnic or religious groups, make a few this seventeen days – start on Facebook, take the important first step.
Listen to the other side. Learn and appreciate similarities and differences. Find solutions, not to make the other look bad and to prop up your position and feed your Ego, but to rise above partisan politics, to act as a human being and Malaysian first, and reform ourselves, and our country.
It is not about which party and who wins, it is about making things better. It is about bringing back our beloved nation to the original ideals of Rukun Negara and the Federal Constitution. It is a time to think for everyone, not just your own little grouping, choose to see yourself as part of a larger entity, as one of the same.
Do your best to live up to the ideals of your tradition and of our collective traditions. Be like Gandhi and learn ‘To hate the Sin and not the Sinner.’ Practice Christianity’s “turning the other cheek “, emulate Buddha’s practice of not hurting others, and remember, Prophet Muhammad himself declared that those who hurt non-Muslims, hurt him.
When we open our hearts and practice Unity, we talk to each other better.
Dear Brother and Sister Malaysians, we can do it!
Let us add value,
Have a meaningful Hari Merdeka