Friday, January 8, 2016

Remembering the legacy of Tun Razak 

Salleh Said Keruak 

Malaysia’s second Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who was born 94 years ago, died 40 years ago on 14th January 1976 at the age of 54. While the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, was known as Bapa Merdeka, Tun Razak was known as Bapa Perpaduan. 

It was Tun Razak who in the aftermath of the 1969 race riots, infamously known as ‘May 13’, mooted the idea of Barisan Nasional so that all political parties in Malaysia could unite under one coalition and so that everyone could focus on nation building and less on politicking. Tun Razak’s intention was to reduce political enmity and to focus on the country and its future. Tun Razak believed that one could still be a gentleman in politics and not treat political rivals as enemies. 

Unfortunately, DAP did not join this coalition, or what can be called a ‘unity government’ (they said they did not join because they were not invited but they do not say whether they would have joined if they were), while PAS left after just a couple of years and went back to becoming an opposition party. 

Sharing the same dreams and aspirations as his father, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is focusing his efforts on nation building. These next few years are going to be a very critical period for the world at large, and this would include Malaysia as well. We need to not only focus on nation building but also on how the economy can be strengthened and race-religion politics can be reduced, if not eliminated all together. 

This is something that the government cannot achieve all by itself. We will need all parties to also play its part in achieving this. So it may be time for all Malaysians to work together in achieving national unity and to meet the aspiration of building a better Malaysia for the present and future generations.

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