The Malaysian King, accompanied by the royal family, made an unprecedented “Kembara Kenali Borneo” (Getting-to-know Borneo) expedition to Sabah and Sarawak on 3-13 September ahead of Malaysia Day celebrations.
The 10-day 2,000km journey provided a showcase for the people’s hope, respect, love and honour for the constitutional monarchy system.
Whether braving the scorching heat or soaking in stormy weather, people in Sarawak and Sabah travelled from near and far to line the streets. They also gathered at specific places to meet and greet the King and Queen during the royals’ journey.
The expedition afforded the royals a first-hand glimpse of the challenging realities on the ground.
Upon his return from this meaningful sojourn, the King, who had compiled a dossier of the people’s needs and concerns, delivered it to the PM for him to act on.
On 16 September, Malaysia Day, thousands of people converged at Dataran Merdeka on their own volition, in sarongs for the Sarong Train 2023 flash mob. Loudly and decisively, they declared their love for the nation.
Others of various ethnicities turned up in their traditional attire, treasured by many in this multi-racial, multicultural land. The day was spent in jubilant song and dance, accompanied by expressions of unity and patriotism.
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This suggests that many in Malaysia do believe in harmony, acceptance, peace and the concept of shared nationhood.
What reinforced this truth empathically was that a “save Malaysia” street protest on the same day received a pathetic response – an indication that it failed to receive much support from the people.
These two events serve to remind the politicians that their job is to serve the people and the nation. It is not to divide and rule.
Enough of all the racist and religious bigotry! They are no longer a valid currency for power and control.
The King has taken the bull by the horns by delivering to the PM that dossier of ‘must do’ things for the people of East Malaysia.
The onus is now on the present government under the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim to deliver. This appears to be the underlying message from the people.
The RM1bn aid to Sabah and Sarawak, which the PM recently announced, matters immensely. Every sen must work for the people instead of enriching cronies or any particular political party.
The opposition bloc is now under pressure to work in harmony with the “unity government”. Collectively, they must realise the people’s dream of a united Malaysia for everyone in this land.
The politicians should remember to stay on course or pay a heavy price at the next general election.
These two events suggest that the rhetoric of racial and religious divisiveness is failing. Instead, the acceptance of our multiculturalism is well and truly alive.
Seen from this perspective, the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia has been a resounding success. Let not the people’s hopes and dreams be further ruined. Not anymore