By Julian Leow, Dr Simon Poh, Dr Ong Hwai Teik and Dr Eu Hong Seng, Free Malaysia Today
This year’s Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day celebrations take on a new meaning for all Malaysians as they follow the momentous outcome of the 14th general election that saw for the first time a change of government in the nation since its independence in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
Malaysians are looking forward to being a united nation as envisioned by our founding fathers when it was first established, and there is a palpable sense of anticipation and
expectation that Malaysia will truly be a nation of harmony, peace, opportunity, equality and prosperity.
Let us therefore approach this season of commemoration and celebration with deep gratitude and joyful thanksgiving for a peaceful election and transition to a new government. Let us offer thanks and praises to God for His mercies and for blessing our nation with new hope.
CFM urges prayers for our prime minister, deputy prime minister, the members of the Cabinet and the leaders of the respective state governments. May all our national and state leaders be given vital good health and the strength and courage to administer our beloved nation and rebuild our economy with uncompromising integrity, honesty, humility, compassion, wisdom, diligence, fairness, justice and transparency.
Let us also pray that members of the opposition will rise up to play a credible role as the check and balance of the government, building a viable bi-party system to hold the government accountable for delivering on all promises in Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto for the good and wellbeing of all Malaysians.
Believing that sin and corruption will ultimately lead to the downfall of any nation for “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34), we urge the government to formulate laws, policies and best practices that will eliminate all manner of corruption at all levels.
Although wrongdoers must certainly be held to account, we also urge the government to act fairly and justly and not out of political vengeance against the supporters of the previous government. Malaysia needs to build a mature democracy where there is no dread of reprisals whenever there is a change of government.
While removing the goods and services tax to alleviate the hardship of the middle- and lower-income groups has been welcomed, more, much more, must be done to rebuild our economy. The review and cancellation of extravagant mega projects is an excellent start but an in-depth review of policies to uplift poor and needy Malaysians of all ethnicities and creeds is also urgently required.
If we are to build a just and equitable society for succeeding generations, poverty needs to be meaningfully defined by reference to the actual cost of living, so that effective programmes for advancement with state support may be implemented, not only to eradicate the poverty of a significant proportion of our peoples, including native peoples such as the Penans and the Orang Asli, as well as the urban poor, but also to narrow the shameful disparity between the richest and the poorest among us.
Let us join hands and do our part in rebuilding this nation. So much needs to be done for a genuine national transformation to take place. Let us therefore put aside our differences, banish all inflammatory rhetoric which causes dissension and division among us, honour and respect each other as true Malaysians, unite as one in our efforts and work with a new spirit and renewed heart to take our beloved nation to ever greater heights that there may be peace, harmony and prosperity for all.
Let us take great pride in our wonderful nation by giving our full support to our national celebration and by proudly flying our national flag, the Jalur Gemilang, at our homes, offices and religious centres.
To all Malaysians: Sayangi Malaysiaku!
Selamat Hari Merdeka dan Selamat Hari Malaysia!
Julian Leow is chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia while Dr Simon Poh, Dr Ong Hwai Teik and Dr Eu Hong Seng are vice-chairmen.
Source: Malaysia Today