May 13, 1969, is a solemn reminder of the importance of our Perpaduan.
On that day, Malaysians lost their lives. At the same time, we must not forget that the majority of Malaysians helped and protected each other with no thought of ethnicity, religion, background. We must remember that though some of us lost our balance, the majority of Malaysians stayed true to Unity.
This is the force we need to keep going. This is the potency of Unity we must celebrate and keep strengthening. As with other days to commemorate our nation like Hari Merdeka, Hari Malaysia and other Malaysian festivals, let’s make each May 13 a day to breathe new spirit and re-launch our quest for Unity; a time to remember Unity as our priority.
On May 13, let’s organize gatherings, Unity parties and kenduris; let’s meet on the middle path of empathy and reconciliation with one another. Let’s share stories between the older generation and the younger ones, reflect on where we are today, and remember - whatever our differences, we share One destiny.
Each year on May 13, zubedy tries to do a small part to breathe new life into our spirit of Unity. We have done this since 2009 through books – books to deal with our issues, speak to Malaysian hearts, and call for reconciliation – books to Unite people. In the same way, this year we want to recolor May 13 with three new books to
1.PERJALANAN… ke arah Satu Malaysia by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar.
A collection of essays in Bahasa Malaysia written between 1996 and early 2011 on Unity among Malaysians. This book addresses the challenges we must face in our quest for Unity, the importance of understanding our nation’s history and background, and the key to solutions we must find in our journey… towards Unity.
“Keadilan yang menyeluruh, yang tidak hanya cenderung pada kaum X atau kaum Y adalah kunci penyelesaian yang dikehendaki dalam masyarakat berbilang kaum. …Tetapi mesej yang lebih penting ialah usaha untuk menyatupadukan masyarakat berbilang kaum adalah suatu perjalanan – suatu perjalanan yang berliku-liku; yang penuh dengan rintangan dan halangan. Ini adalah perjalanan yang akan mengambil masa yang mungkin tiada destinasinya… Namun, kita harus terus beriltizam untuk memperbaiki tahap kemesraan kaum dari semasa ke semasa.”
2. The Middle Path by Anas Zubedy.
Easy-to-read articles explaining issues that have concerned us as a society in the past few years, taken from a middle path perspective. This book revisits subjects like the NEP, voting, one stream schools, can a non-Malay be PM, how to deal with public rallies like Bersih, and the bond between Malaysians. It speaks to the heart, draws the discussions away from extremes and brings it to a path of intelligence, accommodation, reconciliation and Unity.
‘…Choosing the middle path takes us to a way that is not extreme, but measured in every way. When we balance the right principles with the right pragmatism, then we can take steps that move us forward…The middle path is a way to keep things in check which requires more careful thought, more intelligence and more willful deliberation to find the best ways to move forward.”
3. The Bedrock of our nation: Our Constitution by Emeritus Professor Shad Saleem Faruqi
A focus on the spirit of accommodation that animated our Federal Constitution; from its drafting and its deeper meanings, to how it serves us in emerging issues like our social contract; the special position of Malays, the natives of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities; freedom of religion; and inter-ethnic
“As a nation we are farther apart today than we were 54 years ago. Knowledge of the Constitution’s delicate provisions dealing with inter-ethnic relations
can help to provide some understanding of the give and take that lay at the basis of our supreme law. If we have to go forward as a united nation, we
need to go back to the spirit of moderation, accommodation and compassion that animated the body politic in 1957.”