Transform “Malaysian Family” Concept Into Action, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye

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The “Malaysian Family” expounded by Prime Minister Dato Seri Ismail Sabri in his maiden speech has a nice ring to it. It means prioritizing Malaysian values, unity and wellbeing. The people must support the call if it serves to give meaning and purpose to treating each and everyone as belonging to one Malaysian family.

But while we welcome the idea of a “Malaysian Family” we should also ask ourselves: What has happened to all the previous unity slogans that have been coined by our political leaders before and after each general election?

We are familiar with much-touted catch phrases like ‘1 Malaysia’, and ‘Malaysia Bersatu’ among others.

But, instead of coming together, we seem to be pulling apart.

When will we ever learn not to pay lip service to unity?

We don’t just need slogans. We need to realise them through action.

A lot will depend on how the “Malaysian Family” concept from the Prime Minister can be transformed into action in terms of implementing nation-building policies to unite the people and strengthen inter-racial harmony

We have seen how Malaysians have come together to help each other during the Covid-19 pandemic. Across the racial and religious divide, Malaysians have responded to calls for food and other relief for the needy.

We have also seen the compassion that frontline doctors, nurses and medical staff of all races have been showing in their care of patients in hospitals.

That is the spirit we grew up with, and that is the spirit we now need to revive as a national trait.

Discord is created by those who benefit by divide and rule. Beware of such charlatans.

In this regard the Ministry of National Unity needs to be given all the support it needs to implement its unity action plan which is being drawn up with the support of all stakeholders including the NGOs.

We can display our spirit of unity in so many ways. In sports, international competitions, business ventures, promoting political bipartisanship and having mixed race constituencies.

Also, by being fairer to minorities in terms of recruiting those qualified among them for jobs in the civil service.

Lets replace divisive policies with inclusive action that prioritise the needy in all strata of society. Lets see how the new administration is going to meet these expectations.

Let’s work together to ensure that the Prime Minister’s aspiration of a “Malaysian Family” does not come apart at the seams but becomes a reality as we commemorate the 64th year of our glorious independence on 31 August 2021.

TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE
TRUSTEE,
MALAYSIA UNITY FOUNDATION