16th September will be made a national holiday next year. I have been pushing this for many years, for the simple reason that we must remember this day since it was the day when Malaysia came into existence officially.
It is a symbolic act acknowledging the importance of East Malaysia. Even though this acknowledgement should have been given long long time ago, it is still a case of better late than never.
Having said that, those of us who have not suffered from dementia would know that the main reason is political – to get support and votes..
Of late, we have seen a series of announcements and speeches aimed at creating a ‘feel good’ sentiments in the country.. (Guess what? DO not discount a snap election In Perak, and if that is favourable, the General Election… in 2010).
Even the annual UMNO meeting is so full of conciliatory messages that it gives a perception that the main party in BN is changing. For the sake of the future generations of Malaysia, i really hope that it is changing, but history has taught be to be skeptical and my scepticism can only be erased beyond doubt by what politicians like to describe as “walking the talk”.
The concept of 1Malaysia should be that everyone in Malaysia must have a fair and equitable chance to pursue what he or she wants to; everyone must be given a chance to realise his or her potential, irrespective of his or her background, ethnicity, creed.
There are people who are disadvantaged , the poor, the handicapped and those who have no skills whatsoever. These are the people that should be given assistance, and not those with beautiful townhouses, riding in German or japanese made cars. The latter groups are well placed to compete, and compete they must.
Looking back at 2004, when so many feel good things were announced, this time people on the ground will not be so easily convinced that real changes are coming.
People will only be convinced this time by enacting into laws, meritocratic principles, whereby, everyone will be given an fair and equal chance in their undertaking, without of course leaving out the disadvantaged groups and the downtrodden.
That should be the spirits of 1Malaysia..