Here are two different views in Malaysiakini on national unity, by Barisan Nasional members. Not surprisingly they centred on Khairy Jamaluddin’s remarks that the Chinese community would take advantage of any division among the Malay community. One was made by a MCA central committee bloke while the other, to be fair, was by an UMNO Youth exco member.
Wong Nai Chee, Kota Melaka MP and MCA central committee member
I am worried and afraid that we are on the wrong track. We are coming to half a century (since independence) but our country's political roadmap is still entrenched on racial lines. We are talking about globalisation. We have to see Malaysia as a whole, and not to compartmentalise Malaysia by race.
We should not project the kind of scenarios that if one race win, the others lose. What is good for the country is good for all, irrespective of race. I must stress I am not attacking Article 153 (pertaining to bumiputera privileges) of the Federal Constitution.
We should see things in a broader perspective - which are of concern, and affecting, all regardless of majority or minority - for discussion. For example, the prime minister’s (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) instruction for no discussion on Article 11 (freedom of religion), I don't think it is correct. We are just keeping the problem with us, and not resolving it.
My wish for Merdeka is for people to have the kind of courage to accept public debate on a rational basis as a way to resolve differences in our country on all kind of matters, whether they are the Article 11 debate or the Khairy Jamaluddin's controversy.
Idris Haron, Malacca’s Tangga Batu MP and Umno Youth exco member
Every year when we celebrate Merdeka, the spirit of Merdeka is revived and rejuvenated. This will lead us to more common understanding and maximise the common grounds and minimise the differences we have in order to pursue peace and harmony.
The controversy created from the remarks made by Khairy is a storm in a teacup and we, the Barisan Nasional leaders, will sit down and talk. It is not a big problem.
It was wise for Khairy to put up this statement reminding Umno Youth to stay in solidarity. I believe if I were to hear MCA and MIC Youth leaders making the similar remarks, I would not mind because this is the way to make their youth members to stay united too.
My wish for the Merdeka is we must see the future as an opportunity for us to develop and prepare ourselves to meet future challenges.
In case you can't remember who Wong Nai Chee is, he was the MCA bloke from Kota Melaka who had questioned the PM’s gag order on Article 11 forums.
He had urged the government not to ignore the issue of religious freedom in this country. He pointed out the apparent lack of understanding among the people who oppose the Article 11 forums.
For more, read my July posting MCA questioned AAB's Gag Order on Article 11 Forums.
For today, here's a quote on patriotism:
Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
It was made by Hermann Goering, the Deputy Nazi leader.