The best way to remember Tunku is to realise his dream that, whatever our race or religion, we are first and foremost Malaysians.
On the 118th birthday anniversary of Bapa Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, three quotes from him came to mind.
“We are all Malaysians. This is the bond that unites us. Let us always remember that unity is our fundamental strength as a people and as a nation.”
“We must each always think first of Malaysia, of the national need and least of ourselves… Everyone must try to help and see that the people are one-minded, with loyalty and one aim, to make Malaysia – the land we love – a happy abode for all of us. If we all do this then we can guarantee liberty, security, prosperity and happiness for the future.”
“All talk on Islamic States is just an empty dream. No man in his right sense would accept a nation which bases its political administration on religion, and in a country like Malaysia with its multi-racial and multi-religious people, there is no room for an Islamic State.”
The best way to remember Tunku is to realise his dream that whatever our race or religion, we are first and foremost Malaysians.
It is a sad indictment of Malaysian nation-building that after six decades of nationhood, we are still hounded and haunted by narrow and intolerant politics of race and religion.
Malaysia cannot succeed as a nation unless all citizens regard themselves first and foremost as Malaysians, followed by their ethnicity and religion.
Nobody is asking Malaysians to stop being Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans, or Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikkhs, Taoists, but all must come together first and foremost as Malaysians.
Malaysia must remember Tunku’s famous words for Malaysia “to be a beacon of light in a difficult and distracted world” and be an example of the success of the Alliance of Civilisations, as we are at the confluence of four great civilisations of the world – Islamic, Chinese, Indian, Western – instead of being a failure because of the Clash of Civilisations.
Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 8th February 2021