Why National Unity is so crucial for our survival and progressHEIDI YOUNG & VANESSA WONG
03 May 2023 05:51pm
For illustration purpose - Bernama Pix
Many people take the IMPORTANCE of National Unity for granted. So far, there have been hardly any comprehensive articles written on this subject matter for Malaysia.
We would need National Unity for many life & death reasons.
This article intends to state these Reasons loud and clear here, especially to the extremists and bigots and those who are creating divisions, hate or discord based on race, religion or gender, usually by dishonestly scapegoating others for a social problem or playing up non-existent threats to pander to the illogical fears and insecurity of their ethnic community.
By doing so (in creating disharmony), such bigoted leaders are actually undermining the interest of their own community, it’s like “cutting one’s nose to spike the face”. Any ethnic discord would undermine the ability of the collective whole nation to grow and prosper and defend itself as stated below. Therefore, every ethnic community would suffer in such a conflict situation. United we stand and divided we fall.
The easiest way to understand the utter necessity of National Unity is to imagine that the various races of our country represent different parts of our body. Disuniting the various parts or even destroying one part can endanger the entire body. When a community suffers or is provoked into a conflict situation with another community, the entire nation would suffer and there would be no winners except for the selfish and sectarian leaders who are responsible for it.
Going back to our country’s history, we must never forget that our forefathers achieved Independence (Merdeka) in 1957 without any bloodshed mainly due to their maturity in taking a united stand in negotiating with the British Government. With the same spirit of unity, Malaya in 1963 also welcomed Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore (which left in 1965 due to political and economic differences) into the Federation of Malaysia.
National Unity is crucial for our National Security. A truly united, rather than a divided nation, is a lot more able to defend and secure itself against any external threats. This is the conclusion of an article entitled “National Security & National Unity: A Case for Compulsory Service” published in 2013 by a leading US Think Tank, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
As a relatively small, fragile and vulnerable country of only 32 million people, which has already depleted much of our natural resources, we would need to count more on our human resources (people) to be more united and organised in order that they are more efficient and productive, which would then allow our Economy to survive and grow better in a highly competitive and globalized world.
Tourism, as a major economic sector that would bring in large foreign incomes and strengthen our foreign exchange, would recover and grow more rapidly in a conducive and culturally harmonious environment.
National Unity can also help to slowdown and discourage our talents from leaving our country. Without such talents to promote innovation & creativity, our economic growth cannot be sustained.
As for addressing Poverty more efficiently, our Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim has stated that we need National Unity to eradicate hardcore poverty in the country, which seems to be a key focus of the current Unity Government.
The other purpose of National Unity is to ensure a better quality of life for all races and to have greater Happiness arising from cultural harmony. Happiness is also linked to our health and well-being.
For National Unity to be sustainable, it must be based on social justice, equality, mutual respect, courtesy, integrity, transparency and using an inclusive approach to give priority to all those in need of help, regardless of ethnicity.
In order to address the many causes of disunity in our country, we would need to overhaul our Education System in a just manner to institute positive changes needed. Transforming our Education System to be more progressive, holistic, sustainable, productive and in-tune with international education standards (yet relevant to our country) may take some time and would not be easy to do so. It would be painful with lots of resistance to change and it would require much political will and determination to see it through.
In conclusion, National Unity is fundamental for our survival and progress as a nation of all races, which we must strive to strengthen it at all cost. Any attempts to divide and undermine our National Unity is nothing short of treason, aimed at destroying the very foundation for our economic growth, social progress and national security.
Writers are Officers of Jukenworld Think Tank, Part of Ipech Museum Group, Kuala Lumpur. The views expressed in this article are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Sinar Daily.
Photo taken on June 26, 2019 shows the United Nations Security Council’s semi-annual briefing on the implementation of Resolution 2231, which endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear programme at the UN headquarters in New York. - Photo: XINHUA
Muslims perform the tarawih prayer on the first night of Ramadan at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque, Putrajaya. - Photo: BERNAMA