BY TUNKU ZAIN Al-‘ABIDIN
FEBRUARY 10 — Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj declared in the Proclamation of Independence of the Federation of Malaya, and then the Proclamation of Malaysia, that this nation of ours will “forever be a nation based on the principles of liberty and justice”.
Right from the beginning, liberty and justice were the twin principles that were to inspire our nation — sentiments repeated across his many speeches and writings, as well as those of other leaders of the era such as Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman or Datuk Mohamad Said.
The Rukunegara talks about “guaranteeing a liberal approach towards her rich and varied cultural traditions.” Those who fail to realise these values are the founding philosophy of our country should read the documents instead of distorting and misinterpreting selected words of the Constitution.
Unfortunately, politicians everywhere have lost the ability to lead, and have instead succumbed to winning simply through populism, as the votes for Brexit and Donald Trump have shown. My fear is that we will see a greater lurch towards populism as we get closer to the 14th General Election.
Exploiting ethnic and religious tensions is among the easiest ways to make political gains, notwithstanding helpful electoral boundaries and privileged access to media which will pliantly obscure the elephants in the room. Read more