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What we stand for

G25 is committed to pursue a just, democratic, peaceful, tolerant, harmonious, moderate and progressive multi-racial, multi cultural, multi religious Malaysia through Islamic principles of Wassatiyah (moderation) and Maqasid Syariah (well-being of the people) that affirms justice, compassion, mercy, equity.

Malaysia is to be led by rule of law, good governance, respect for human rights and upholding the institution of the country.

We aim to ensure, raise awareness, promote that Syariah laws and civil laws should work in harmony and that the Syariah laws are used within its legal jurisdiction and limits as provided for by the federal and state division of powers.

There should be rational dialogues to inform people on how Islam is used for public law and policy that effects the multi ethnic and multi religious Malaysia and within the confines of the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the nation.

We work in a consultative committee of experts to advise the government and facilitate amendments to the state Syariah laws, to align to the Federal Constitution and the spirit of Rukun Negara.

It is imperative to achieve a politically stable, economically progressive Malaysia and to be able to enjoy the harmony, tolerance, understanding and cooperation in this multi diverse country.

Make the Rukunegara the preamble to the Federal Constitution

OCTOBER 3 — G25, a group of moderate Malaysians concerned about the peace and national unity among the various races, issues this public statement to support the suggestion from Dr Chandra Muzaffar that the Rukunegara be made the preamble to the Malaysian Constitution. The Rukunegara is the national ideology for creating a united and prosperous country and it is therefore appropriate that it be elevated to be the preamble to the constitution, which is the supreme law in our parliamentary democracy.

Dr Chandra’s suggestion is timely in view of the current state of national unity which is still fragile despite the country achieving remarkable progress in its 60 years of economic development. While in terms of income and key social indicators Malaysia is fast approaching the status of a developed country, all these impressive statistics will have little meaning if we continue to be a divided nation.

Indeed, unless we resolve the socio-political issues of race and religion that continue to cause friction among the population, and which often create barriers in formulating strong policies for growth, quality education, talent development, meritocracy, innovation and creativity, there will always be doubt about the sustainability of our development process and our progress towards a truly united nation.

It is worthwhile to remind Malaysians when the government launched the Second Malaysia Plan (1971-1975) — the first five-year plan to incorporate the objectives of the New Economic Policy in the development programme, the plan document stated in paragraph 7 of Chapter 1 that “these objectives will be guided by the principles of Rukunegara , proclaimed on August 31, 1970.” We would like to quote from paragraph 10 of the plan document for further clarification: “10. The quest for a national identity and unity is common to many countries, especially new and developing countries. This search for national identity and unity involves the whole range of economic, social and political activities: The formulation of education policies designed to encourage common values and loyalties among all communities and in all regions; the cultivation of a sense of dedication to the nation through services of all kinds; the careful development of national language and literature, of art and music; the emergence of truly national symbols and institutions based on the cultures and traditions of the society. The basic point is emphasised in the Rukunegara ‘…from these diverse elements of our population, we are dedicated to the achievement of a united nation in which loyalty and dedication to the nation shall over-ride all other loyalties’.”

The plan document was adopted by Parliament in April 1971 and marked the start of an ambitious Outline Perspective Plan 1970-1990 under the New Economic Policy to develop the country with growth and distribution to eliminate poverty and reduce the racial imbalances in the country. Although much of these social engineering objectives have been achieved, national unity remains fragile.

G25 concurs with Dr Chandra that by making the Rukunegara the preamble to the Federal Constitution, it will confer upon the national ideology the status of law that will guide the courts and other institutions of justice in making fair and just decisions on issues of race and religion that threaten to adversely affect racial harmony and national unity. By giving constitutional status to the national ideology, policy makers, administrators, civil servants, teachers and law enforcement authorities can refer to it for guidance in making the right decisions that will contribute towards national unity.

Civil society, human rights activists and the public can refer to the Rukunegara and cite its fundamental principles in seeking fairness and justice in the social and economic policies of the government and in the implementation of the civil and religious laws.

In these ways, the Rukunegara will become the overriding philosophy by which Malaysia develops into a truly united country with mutual respect for our diversity and multiculturalism.

We appeal to all civil society organisations and the government to give serious attention to the suggestion from Dr Chandra Muzaffar.

The Malay Mail

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