We can’t talk ourselves to national unity

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LETTER | I refer to the piece on the lack of national unity in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto by Chandra Muzaffar, the chairperson of the board of trustees of Yayasan 1Malaysia.

Sometimes, I think we are just saying things which are unnecessary.

Unity is a natural goal of any nation. It should be implicit in all governmental actions. What is the point of declaring unity as our goal when our policies, programmes and actions are just doing the opposite?

When a government is virtuous, it will do all the right things, including fostering national unity.

We have declared national unity as our national goal for a long time. We have chanted slogans on unity at every opportunity. We asked children to recite and pledge these slogans in schools. Political parties, including race-based parties, have successively put unity as one of their manifestos.

May I know what difference has all this made? Has our country become more united?

National unity is a goal, not a process. We do not appoint a national unity minister or set up a national unity department to try to attain unity. That is oxymoronic because national unity is the responsibility of the whole government. Every action of the government, from education, defence, finance, development, housing, local government to security must bear national unity in mind.

We do not create dissension and then ask the national unity minister or department to placate it. We do not formulate divisive policies and then pledge unity at the National Day parade.

It is the inclusive policies, programmes and actions of the government in all facets of our life that foster unity.

Think about it, for how long has the government been declaring and sloganeering national unity? For how long have political parties been chanting national unity in their manifestos?

It is time to stop the endless declarations and slogans like a typical third world country. We can’t talk ourselves to national unity.

National unity is the product of years of inclusive policies, programmes and actions. It does not matter PH has not explicitly included the goal of national unity. Look at its intended policies, programmes and actions should the coalition come into power.


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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