Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, the Raja Muda of Perak must be commended for his boldness and sincerity. He said all Malaysians must defend and promote the integrity of the Federal Constitution.
What Raja Nazrin, the Crown Prince of Perak, has addressed in a recent forum organised by the Bar Council and Transparency International KL Chapter certainly deserved our attention. Umno leaders who subscribe to the Malay supremacy (ketuanan Melayu) concept should heed the call and abandon all race based policies for the good of all Malaysians.
the Sun today carries his speech in full. Grab a copy today. It’s FREE! (Congrats to the Sun for achieving a circulation of 275 thousand as endorsed by ABC)
Raja Nazrin: M’sians must defend, promote integrity of Constitution
All Malaysians must defend and promote the integrity of the Federal Constitution, the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah said today.
The Raja Muda listed this as one of seven things Malaysia has to do to ensure it continues to be successful at nation building.
“All Malaysians, regardless of race and religion, have a place in this nation, and society must recognise that they share a common home and responsibility to build the nation together.
“Malaysians of all races, religions, and geographic locations need to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have a place under the Malaysian sun.
“Only when each citizen believes he or she has a common home and is working towards a common destiny, will he or she make the sacrifices needed for the long haul.”
He said the Constitution, the Rukun Negara and Vision 2020 encapsulated the rights, hopes and aspirations of the people.
He stressed that the integrity of these documents, especially the Constitution, must be defended and promoted.
Raja Nazrin said these in his keynote address at the Young Malaysians’ Roundtable Discussion on National Unity and Development in Malaysia: Prospects and Challenges for Nation Building.
The discussion was organised by the Bar Council’s National Young Lawyers Committee and Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute’s Centre for Public Policy Studies.
Eleven panellists shared their views at the discussion, attended by some 150 participants from the legal fraternity, non-governmental organisations, government departments and the public.
The other six guidelines for successful nation-building are:
* In seeking solutions to problems in nation building, don’t assume away problems.
“Nation-building is required precisely because there are stark differences within society. There will therefore be chauvinistic groups in this country, just as there are in others. They will fight the idea of national unity, block social change and try to be politically dominant.”
He pointed out that the existence of such groups meant that society must be prepared to “negotiate our way through and around these differences”.
“We can, for example, create social movements that aim to enlighten and dissuade popular support being given to them.”
* Nation-building requires accommodation and compromise.
“In our haste to be prescriptive, we should not be so idealistic that we are incapable of also being practical.”
Nazrin said to seek the best solutions, society should be prepared to “sacrifice some part of our positions for the good of the whole”.
* Avoid enforced solutions.
“Nation building is effectively rendered null and void by coercion or the threat of violence. ‘Might’ cannot and must not be shown to be ‘right’. If solutions cannot be found within the political and social structures, there will be a strong temptation to resort to illegitimate ways and means.”
* Be open, tolerant and forward-looking
“Only by being inclusive and participative can the various sectors of our society be productively engaged. It follows that all forms of extremism, chauvinism, racism and isolationism must be guarded against. They must be soundly sanctioned socially, politically and, if necessary, also legally.”
* Nation building is a process, not an outcome
It takes time and persistence to build a nation. “Where there is no trust, trust has to be built. Where there is no cooperative network, one has to be established. Building on layers of foundation is the only way to ensure that the process is solid and sustainable.”
* Political, social and economic incentives must reward good behaviour and penalise bad.