By Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi
There is much despair in Malaysia. After the Bendera Puteh incident of starving citizens, Malaysians are faced with the terror of the floods that saw modern houses under water and kampung houses destroyed by logs acting as spears carried by a tsunami of river water from the landslide of forests perhaps stripped off its natural vegetation.
Worse still, Malaysians saw the inept and slow response of government machinery and elected representatives ‘play acting’ their roles to the wrath of the netizens.
And yet there is still the worst incident of the snail-like response on the issue of six retention ponds in KL signed away to developers which might have been the reasons for many deaths and sufferings of the rakyat.
Amid the help of thousands of volunteers using their own vehicles, strength and money, crude voices of bigotry challenged the helping hands of Sikh men and women accusing their food of religious impurity against the complete silence of the overpaid institutions of religious authority.
A whole professorship at an ‘Islamic University’ also kept silent on the subject.
Finally, when the head of the MACC accused of corruption refused to step down because of silence from the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General’s Office, there is no shred of decency left in this country called Malaysia.
What are we to do? Where should we go? What shall we tell our children as to their legacy?
Some of us have put much faith in the coming election. I used to believe that elections were the only way to change Malaysia. Now, I no longer think so.
With race and religion still being played by some parties to the willing ignorant ears of the voters, nothing will change but it will get worse.
The imposition of one race over the others will not stop until its morality kills even that own race eventually and all would have been lost by then.
As the Malay saying goes, nasi sudah menjadi bubur!
History speaks passionately of the rebirth of a people as well as a nation from the ashes of its carcass just like a volcanic eruption kills all but then revive the land in splendor.
Greatness must come with a great price and a great challenge. Greatness also comes with a clear vision, a great effort and an undying hope.
We Malaysians have endured much and will endure more because…out there in the future, there is still greatness of our people, country and nation.
The price is simply…our own efforts guided by a clear vision and methodology of achievement.
I have said in many articles that we must build our own ‘Parallel Malaysia’ that comprises our own vision, hope and inspiration.
We must build a New Malaysia ourselves from where we stand. If we stand in a small shop house with a few workers, then that is our stand and starting point. If we head a university of 10,000 students, thus that is our stand that already reach a small mountain of change.
Wherever we are we must see the change first in our own self and then in those around us. It’s that simple. Don’t wait for political change. It will never come. Don’t wait for the civil servants to change. It will never happen.
Stand up, and be resolute and change will happen slowly but eventually. That is God’s promise. God will only help those who help themselves to change.
Upon this rallying cry, I have constructed a Rukun Rakyat Malaysia.
The Rukun Negara was a good document, but its five principles are too ‘authoritatively derived’ like an order and a dogma. It does not specify how each citizen should treat each other and more importantly, our different and diverse heritage.
Our New Malaysia shall base its foundation on the appreciation and celebration of our diversity. One Many Malaysia.
In the following, I have crafted the Rukun Rakyat Malaysia in simple and clear language for us to to take to heart willingly and spiritually, not authoritatively.
We the citizens of Malaysia shall honor, respect and accept each other and all the heritage, beliefs, languages and cultures of all ethnic groups
We the citizens shall help all in time of great need regardless of religious faiths, political beliefs or stations in life
We the citizens shall advise with respect our elected representatives if they are sincere, compassionate and honorable
We the citizens shall shed our blood in the defense of our homeland against an outside enemy
We the citizens promise to deliver this country to our children in a manner most worthy of their inheritance with good economic, environmental and intellectual health, nothing less.
This is the Rukun Rakyat for a Malaysia for all, not just the privileged few or one.
This is our creed for us to rebuild a new hope for our children. We do not need bloated ministerial policies. We do not need billions of ringgit for funds. We do not need fancy intellectual research or words from public universities. All we need is our own good will, kind conscience and open arms starting with treating everyone with dignity and respect.
We Malaysians will still engage in the system of election in the Failed Malaysia but we will spend most of our resources to rebuild our own Parallel Malaysia that is assuredly and confidently under our own watch and management.
The vision of the Rukun Rakyat Malaysia has been set. We start where we stand.
(Professor Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is Professor at a local university.)