KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysians should help strengthen the national solidarity by appreciating the core national values as promoted by the Rukun Negara principles, says a senior academician and political analyst from Universiti Utara Malaysia, Md Shukri Shuib.
He says therefore the process to strengthen solidarity has to start with the Rukun Negara that encompasses the true Malaysian spirit.
Apart from that Malaysians also have to show their appreciation to the national anthem ‘Negaraku’ and the national flag the ‘Jalur Gemilang’.
“However, the solidarity within society will erode when the greed for power, money and selfish gains overcomes the patriotism for the motherland, and this is when corruption and betrayal of trust happens,” Md Shukri says.
“Don’t go to the extent of criticising and running down the nation represented by the Jalur Gemilang, the national anthem and the national institutions like the constitutional monarchy and the Parliament.
“If the politicians could think, act and speak rationally by only saying things that are worthwhile for the people, Malaysia will remain prosperous like stated by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in his Merdeka message recently,” he says.
The prime minister’s message called for greater solidarity among Malaysians in facing the challenges, and instill confidence that Malaysians can achieve anything as a nation state as long as they are united, and inherit a prosperous Malaysia for the future generation.
SCHOOL LEVEL SOLIDARITY
Speaking on the process of enhancing solidarity, Md Shukri notes that it should start right from the school, with the national and vernacular schools being streamlined so that everyone goes through the same schooling system.
He believes the early education that exposes students on the plural identity will facilitate better understanding and help foster the concept of solidarity.
“Unite the school system first to reflect Malaysia’s plural background, only then we can reflect true solidarity.
“Schools are the medium to foster positive values and should never be categorised based on race. Moreover it does not contribute anything in inculcating solidarity from young,” Md Shukri says adding that the race based schools do not reflect the true Malaysian image and value.
Asked on how the spirit of national unity could be generated among the people in a continuous manner, unlike the seasonal affair seen currently, Md Shukri replies that the people should renew the spirit to unite in themselves.
As long as Malaysians are not serious on a universal societal value that could contribute in uniting the diverse Malaysian society, until then unity can only be seen and heard seasonally, including during the Merdeka Day on August 31 and Malaysia Day on Sept 16.
“Solidarity only appears symbolic and there has to be events to highlight unity. This is not genuine and does not come sincerely from the heart.
“We need earnest efforts from various parties, especially those in the education sector to help foster genuine and strong solidarity that will help Malaysians face challenges and diversities,” he says.
Speaking on the government policies in strengthening the people’s solidarity, Md Shukri notes that the people should be grateful for having a government with a vision and action plan for their benefit.
“The strengthening of solidarity could only achieved by maintaining the government policies consistently and a stable administration.
“This is what that has to be maintained for the well-being of the people, because without a strong government no countries could be developed,” he said. – Bernama