Ten years ago, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad proclaimed Vision 2020 and the 30-year Bangsa Malaysia goal of "a united nation, with a confident Malaysian society, infused by strong moral and ethical values, living in a society that is democratic, liberal and tolerant, caring, economically just and equitable, progressive and prosperous, and in full possession of an economy that is competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient".
Ten years later, the same Prime Minister has done an about-turn and as good as buried the Vision 2020 concept of Bangsa Malaysia, as he is now an advocate of Malay unity rather than national unity and must bear full responsibility for the multiple crisis of confidence afflicting Malaysia, whether nation-building, the rule of law, economic development, democracy and human rights.
Two directions beckon at the nation's crossroads - whether to return to the old politics of communal "divide and rule" or to journey to a new Malaysia where politics are not so ethnic-dominated but are more issues-centred revolving around eternal principles of justice, freedom, truth and morality.
There are encouraging signs that the country is moving towards a new
Malaysia, as evident from the failure of the Barisan Nasional government
to recommunalise politics in the past 16 months after the last general
election and the greater consciousness and awareness of the community of
interests among Malaysians transcending race, religion, language and culture.
We are witnessing a transition in nation-building and a political development
unprecedented in the nation's history - as symbolised by a Chinese Member
of Parliament going to jail and losing his parliamentary status and civic
rights in trying to protect the human rights of an underaged Malay girl
or Malay Members of Parliament, political leaders and the ordinary Malays
rallying to the support of mother-tongue education and endorsing the signature petition for the retention and re-opening of the Damansara Chinese primary school as a community school in addition to the building of a new Chinese primary school.
But there are danger signals as well - that there are those who would be prepared to go to any lengths to abuse their powers to subordinate and sacrifice the national welfare and the people's interests to protect their entrenched vested interests.
In these stirring times, DAP remains fully committed to our founding ideals of a free, democratic, just, prosperous, secular and united Malaysia. Let us rededicate ourselves to the cause of a Malaysia Malaysia - not the distorted anti-Malay and anti-Islam version the subject of evil propaganda of irresponsible and unprincipled UMNO politicians - but the idealistic cry for a Malaysia which belongs to all Malaysians and their common object of love and loyalty.
"Malaysian Malaysia" is neither anti-Malay, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Kadazan, anti-Iban nor anti-Islam, anti-Christianity, anti-Buddhism, anti-Hinduism but pro-Malaysians and for a Malaysia which celebrates the rich diversity of races, religions, languages and cultures to be a model plural society for the world.
I believe our ideal for a Malaysian Malaysia is now better understood and appreciated by Malaysians regardless of race, religion or political beliefs in the 21st century and we should soldier on to bring closer the day when there is a Malaysian Malaysia in our country.