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COMMENT | The declaration of independence that created a new and independent Malaya on Aug 31, 1957, is a noble, legal and spiritual document. It is time to stop paying lip service to God and honour him, that he hates corrupt politicians who invoke his name.

The declaration starts and ends with a reference to God, not unlike the American declaration which also mentioned God. Like 'God Save The Queen', the British national anthem, Negaraku the Malayan national anthem that replaced it also appeals to God.

God is a common thread that runs through human history weaving a tapestry of the divine role, especially in the affairs of the state. Malaysia then and now is cognisant of God and it is time to practice the fear of God, to be a righteous nation.

The Merdeka constitution safeguards the position of the rulers and religious freedom. However, it does not provide absolute freedom for the majority race to decide their religion. It seems an anomaly in a declaration of freedom meant for all citizens.

A Malay is born a Muslim, unlike other races whose race is independent of religion. While Malays enjoy many privileges, non- Malays don't. They don't have the freedom non-Malays have where religion is concerned.

Studying its contents, the declaration document returns one to a distant more honest past, a time when virtues were valued, politicians honourable and the government above overt corruption. The Merdeka nation lost its innocence after May 13, 1969.

The original Merdeka Day remains the single most important event in the history of the nation...

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