DAP welcomes Cabinet decision to scrap earlier decision to rename national anthem from Negaraku to Malaysiaku and calls for greater receptiveness to views on the ground, starting with the revamp of the National Youth Consultative Council
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Friday): DAP welcomes the Cabinet decision to scrap its earlier decision to rename the national anthem from Negaraku to Malaysiaku, which would have made the 46th National Day on August 31 – the day when the new national anthem was to be introduced to the country – a day of national discord instead of national unity. (The Star)
DAP is relieved that the nation has been spared the disastrous and ridiculous spectacle of a nation divided by two national anthems, Tunku’s Negaraku since Merdeka in 1957 and Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s Malaysiaku.
DAP has made it clear that we would refuse to recognize any arbitrary change of the national anthem from Negaraku to Malaysiaku without proper national consultation or mandate, including a parliamentary debate.
Only this morning, one of the questions posed in a Mandarin radio programme to its phone-in listeners was the new name for the national anthem from August 31. I do not know whether the winner of the prize for answering “Malaysiaku” can still keep his prize, as the Cabinet had decided yesterday to retain the original name of Negaraku.
It is reported that “the only change” to the national anthem on August 31 is that “the pace of the song will be slightly slower than the 1992 version which was done in march style” and that the last line – Raja kita, selamat bertakhta – will end in a crescendo.
Nobody knows what these changes imply and it is most disappointing the Deputy Information Minister, Datuk Zainudin Maidin, did not enlighten Malaysians as to whether the third “arrangement” for Negaraku in 46 years could rectify the failure of the 1992 alteration “to invoke the patriotic passion” because of the loss of the “essence of the national identity”.
Cabinet Ministers should explain their objections to the full reinstatement of the national anthem to its 1957 form.
The fiasco of a third change of the national anthem in 46 years without national consultation or mandate should be a lesson to the Cabinet and government on the need for greater respect and receptivity to views and opinions of the people on the ground.
It should start with the revamping of the National Youth Consultative Council (NYCC). The Youth and Sports Minister, Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein should take note of the views of Malaysians including bloggers, like the blog (http://joe-blogs.blogspot.com/) on “Antiquated appointees” lamenting the appointment of several members of the NYCC announced on Tuesday:
“It doesn’t make any sense to me to appoint these people on the basis that they are, as Hishammuddin puts it, ‘capable leaders’. The fact that they have successfully climbed the social, corporate or political ladder tells me that they are incapable of truly understanding the plight youths in Malaysia. You can’t convince me that the guys hang out the bikers and druggies on their weekends off so how are they able to even to begin to comprehend the issues. This collection of Datuks and Tan Sris are more likely to be found on the exquisitely manicured greens of a golf course rather than the muddy cow-grass padangs used by our youths for their soccer games.
“One of the functions of the NYCC is to advise the government on youth development and the challenges facing youth in Malaysia. I think that instead of putting together a bunch of squeaky clean old farts who are more likely to take young women as their second or third wives rather than helping them, we should convene a council of people who have actually faced problems in their lives and overcome them. How about appointing a recovering addict as the adviser to the NYCC on the drug problem. And what about making a young single mother a councillor, to ensure that the government understands the problems faced by young women who have been abandoned by their partners. To help the government understand sexual health problems caused by promiscuity, appoint a reformed bohsia. Only then can they even begin to empathise and then solve the problems that our youths face…
“So all in all, it looks like the NYCC is ready to go and talk to the youths of Malaysia and advise them on how to become first class citizens. Unfortunately, while they are busy doing all this preaching, no one will be listening to the youths.”
Does this blog make any sense to Hishammuddin, for if not, the NYCC, the Youth Ministry and the government do not make any sense to the youths.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman