MERDEKA S’MENT

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ONE, STRENGTHENING NATIONAL UNITY
u In the struggles towards forging a national identity, great efforts have been
taken to strengthen national unity in the country, which must be supported
by all.
u However, recently the state of unity has been fraying at the edges. Ethnic,
linguistic and religious divides have deepened, causing genuine pain and
hurt to many in our nation. Such a fragile state of unity should not have
happened after 50 years of nation building.
u New sustained efforts are urgently needed to rebuild our National Unity.
WE BELIEVE THAT:
(i) The current National Unity Advisory Panel, under the Jabatan Perpaduan
Negara & Integrasi Nasional, should be made an independent National
Unity & Integration Commission, empowered to review legislation, policies
and practices that impede on national unity, investigate complaints of ethnic,
linguistic and religious discrimination both in Government and the private
sector; made answerable to Parliament and chaired by reputable and
credible individuals; and include a Truth and Reconciliation Committee,
which will serve to grapple with key incidents of conflict and hurt in
the country’s past, which is an important and necessary part of the healing
of the national psyche, in the road towards a peaceful shared future.
(ii) All new policies should be tested against the tenets of the Federal
Constitution and the Rukunegara – no policy formulated should be
contrary to the spirit of the values contained therein.
(iii) An independent and transparent National Consultative Council on Vision
2020 should be established immediately, for representatives from the
Government, private sector businesses, academia, media and civil society
to discuss progress towards Vision 2020 and beyond.
(iv) A National Research Institute on Ethnic Relations should be established as
a centre that co-ordinates in-depth research on Ethnic Relations and Culture,
compiling stories of inter-ethnic cooperation and mutual assistance.
(v) Public-Private Partnerships to strengthen National Unity should be
launched at all levels and in all sectors.
(vi) Islam is the religion of the Federation of Malaysia as clearly set out in the
Federal Constitution. The freedom to profess and practice the religions of
choice as enshrined in the Federal Constitution does not threaten this
position. The Government has committed itself to the principles of freedom,
protection of minorities and universal values, values of which must be
continuously and relentlessly upheld for the sake of all Malaysians.
(v) Any extremism in the form and shape of ethnicity, religion and gender should
not be propagated or tolerated at any level.
WE BELIEVE THAT THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AS SUPREME LAW OF
THE LAND IS THE PRIMARY REFERENCE POINT FOR STRENGTHENING
NATIONAL UNITY, AND THAT ALL NATIONAL POLICIES SHOULD BE TESTED
AGAINST ITS CENTRAL TENETS.

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