The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is doing the greatest disservice to national unity and 55-year Malaysian nation-building by insisting that the Barisan Nasional 13th General Election campaign theme of “Janji Ditepati” (Promises Fulfilled) is adopted as this year’s theme for National Day and Malaysia Day celebrations.
National Day and Malaysia Day should be national occasions where Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, class, gender, age and most important of all, political beliefs and affiliations, can come together as Malaysians first and last to celebrate the attainment of Merdeka on August 31, 1957 and the formation of Malaysia on Sept. 16, 1963.
However, when the National Day and Malaysia Day theme this year is the blatant and partisan Barisan Nasional 13GE campaign theme of “Janji Ditepati”, whose dissemination had been spearheaded by the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in a highly politicized tour dubbed “Jelajah Janji Ditepati” all over the country in the past few months, the Barisan Nasional government is deliberately provoking instead of avoiding a national division among Malaysians based on their political beliefs and affiliations on these two national occasions.
The question that must be asked is – Who is being petty-minded and even being anti-national?
Is the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, as well as the Barisan Nasional component parties so desperate about getting electoral support in the next general election that they cannot afford to allow National Day and Malaysia Day to be celebrated by all Malaysians without bringing in party politics or partisan political differences?
In fact, if Najib and the Cabinet are serious about the 1Malaysia policy to create “a nation where every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second and where the principles of 1Malaysia are woven into the economic, political and social fabric of society” (1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme – The Roadmap), they would have ensured that at least on National Day and Malaysia Day all forms of political party slogans would have been put aside to allow all Malaysians to celebrate these two national occasions as Malaysians, regardless of whether they are Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat.
Pakatan Rakyat component parties are prepared to put aside all its slogans on National Day and Malaysia Day, but clearly UMNO and Barisan Nasional are not prepared to make such an important national gesture.
I do not know whether Muhyiddin, who have declared that he is “Malay first, Malaysian second” would have agreed that at least on these two days of National Day and Malaysia Day all be Malaysians first, but it is most inexcusable, unforgivable and anti-national when Barisan Nasional leaders failed to rise to the national occasion by insisting that UMNO/BN campaign theme of “Janji Ditepati” becomes the National Day and Malaysia Day theme despite causing division, discord and disunity among Malaysians.
This is a classic example where those-in-power are unable to see the important distinction between the nation and parties-in-power or among the government, political parties and private personal interests.
It is the failure to make the important distinction between the nation and the parties-in-power , or among the government, political parties and personal interests that is the real cause of the overwhelming misgovernance in the country, whether gross abuses of power, massive corruption or rampant cronyism.
The “Janji Ditepati” theme for this year’s National Day and Malaysia Day stands as a powerful reminder to Malaysians why there must be change in Malaysia particularly in the 13GE – where the important distinction between the nation and the political parties in power, and among the government, political parties and personal interests are scrupulously observed and upheld if Malaysia is to start a new chapter of national life where promises of the government to serve the people and nation are to be truly fulfilled.
From now to Malaysia Day on Sept. 16, let the “Janji Ditepati” slogan all over the country be a constant reminder to all Malaysians that they must stand united to demand for change in the 13th general election if they want the promises of democracy, justice, progress, clean and honest governance in Malaysia to be fulfilled!