The need for 'Malaysia first' to heal a broken nation

Tawfik Ismail
24 Mar 2022 11:50pm
Tawfik Ismail: "Much has been spoken of coalition politics with a strong Malay base, which begs the question of what type of Malay leadership is needed?"
Tawfik Ismail: "Much has been spoken of coalition politics with a strong Malay base, which begs the question of what type of Malay leadership is needed?"
SHAH ALAM - One of the biggest challenges to be overcome by any federal government in Malaysia is national integration and it is to remedy the lack of communication between Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah that set off the idea of Malaysia First, by establishing an online platform for a diverse mix of people from the three parts of Malaysia to speak to each other.

The Malaysian Federation is a precious creation and preservation of the nation is needed given the strong sentiment for secession by a substantial number of people, and by the impending relocation of Indonesia’s capital from Java to Kalimantan and the deliberate use of the name “Nusantara” for the proposed capital, to challenge the notion of Malay dominance articulated strongly by Peninsular Malays.

The amount of vitriol and ill-feeling against Malaya by our compatriots in Sarawak and Sabah alarmed me and many of my peninsular friends but over the last year since the creation of Malaysia First, some middle ground was reached and the power of communication and continuous dialogue shows how a simple maneuver of words and empathy can soften the hardest of hearts.

This is where Gerak Independent (GI) emerges as the political arm of Malaysia First, to articulate the aims and aspirations of National Integration and unity as one of the 5 pillars of GI’s struggle.

Much has been spoken of coalition politics with a strong Malay base, which begs the question of What Type of Malay leadership is needed?

Malay Unity has been proclaimed as the Holy Grail of Malaysian politics but this is a myth. I venture to suggest there is no such thing in the psyche of the Malays: the Kelantan Malay has little in common with the Johor Malay, except for religion and sadly even that serves to divide because of the political use of religion by the Malay parties that are mass-based. It cannot be denied that even at the regional level we overlook the fact that the Philippines people see themselves as Malays, just as the Indonesian archipelago does.

The various coalitions in this country have tried the Umno Malay type of leadership, the Mahathir Bersatu type, the Anwar Ibrahim type, the Tengku Razaleigh type, the Najib Razak type, and this leads me to think that future coalitions should define and select the type of Malay that suits the coalition’s philosophy, and I humbly suggest a future coalition seriously consider the type of Malay portrayed by Siti Kasim and myself as an alternative to the others suitors.

We both bring a new approach to the otherwise stale politics promised by other Malay leaders, based on integrity and honest, straight talk on Islam and other issues that worry the Malays.

Gerak Independent is prepared to apply the art of Kintsugi to heal a broken nation, where we can harness Youth to be the glue to repair and join the various broken pieces to restore in a more beautiful way the nation we all cherish and love.
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GI wants to propose a Commission for Future Generations be set up to vet all legislation tabled for Parliamentary approval to ensure that future generations are not encumbered by the shortsightedness of the present in matters of law and environment.

As we face a post-Mahathir decade, GI will take the initiative to repeal bad law such as S121A and restore the constitution to its proper role as guardian of rights.

The Social Contract many speak of is actually the compact made among the States and the Federal government where respective spheres were defined and agreed upon, not a mythical compact between the races that gave excuses for one race to dominate others. This is clearly a call for better education of our constitution and a call to restore our moral compass.

Tawfik Ismail, son of the late Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, the second deputy prime minister, is a member of Gerak Independent.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Sinar Daily.