“O Mankind! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. The noblest of you in the sight of God is the best in conduct.”- the Quran
“All within the four seas are brothers.” – Confucius
“I look upon all creatures equally; none are less dear to me and none more dear” – The Bhagavad Gita
“ See yourself in others, for your brothers and sisters are like you.” – Buddha
“ Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity”. – the Bible in the book of Psalms
“A rare experience of a moment at daybreak, when something in nature seems to reveal all consciousness, cannot be explained at noon. Yet it is part of the day’s unity.” – Charles Ives
“And suddenly, like light in darkness, the real truth broke in upon me; the simple fact of Man, which I had forgotten, which had lain deep buried and out of sight; the idea of community, of unity.” – Ernst Toller
“At fifty, that is in 1880, I formulated the idea of unity, without being able to render it. At sixty, I am beginning to see the possibility of rendering it.” – Camille Pissarro
“I’ve a dream…” – Dr Martin Luther King
1. Some 30 years ago, My Elusive Dream was a very popular song sung by the popular and handsome singer, Tom Jones. He has a very ‘heavy’ and seductive voice.
We’ve our elusive dream too
for the last 50 years plus two,
we dreamed of forging national unity
amongst all the ethnic groups subscribing to Malaysian polity.
We tried to be united after Independence,
then was rudely awakened by the 13th May incident.
We moved on;
trying to achieve unity through the NEP
now we’ve left NEP because there was no unity.
But we still have each other and a little memory
to cling to and still we won’t let you go alone.
Before you know we’re tired of following
our elusive dreams and schemes,
for they’re only fleeting things,
our elusive dreams
put our feet to the ground
and won’t move on.
2. Yes we should not run away from unity this time; we’ve to turn our elusive dream of achieving national unity into reality. It is for our own self interest – peace, stability and prosperity.
3. For the sake of unity and future 1MALAYSIA, it is better to vocalize something sensible NOW than to say nothing. Hence, the quote “..as long as there is anything to be gained by saying nothing, it is always better to say nothing than anything” is not applicable here.
4. In place of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and Islam Hadhari, the vehicle as provided for by DS Najib is 1MALAYSIA!
5. DS Najib and DSU Dr Rais Yatim are doing their level best to explain the concept, philosophy, values, strategies, objectives and mechanics embodied in 1MALAYSIA. At this stage, admittedly, they are not crystal clear as yet. And confused further by the opportunistic opposition’s twist and turn .
6. Allow me to promptly caution that currently 1MALAYSIA is suffering from the same disease as Islam Hadhari – apprehension and cynicism. Its main and similar drawback is the top-down approach. It will be very difficult to get buy-in and collective ownership from the rakyat.
7. The immediate solution is ‘merakyatkan’ the formulation of 1MALAYSIA AND NATIONAL UNITY, that is, bottom-up approach. Tun Razak’s strategy of forming the National Unity Advisory Council (NUAC) should be duplicated.
8. The Council shall be constituted by members of respectable elders and experts. Through the usage of modern technology, the rakyat can easily provide their invaluable input.
9. TOR for the NUAC may include:
• a list of what cannot be discussed/negotiated,
• a list of what can be discussed/negotiated,
• all ethnic groups must be given the freedom to vocalize their rights but NOT encroaching on others as guided by this pantun from DSU Dr Rais Yatim:
Jangan hampir di seberang,
Hampir saja dekat kota
Jangan ambil hak orang
Ambil saja yang hak kita.
• implementable solutions – what and how?.
10. The above suggested approach definitely will take longer time to implement but will be easily owned by the rakyat. The current approach can be implemented at a faster speed but the acceptance rate will be low and slow!
11. In the true spirit of people first, the choice is pretty obvious, less the dream will remain elusive.