We Can’t Talk Ourselves To National Unity

National unity is the product of years of inclusive policies, programmes and actions, not of declarations and slogans.



By TK Chua

I refer to the piece “No mention of national unity in the PH manifesto”, written by Chandra Muzaffar.

Sometimes, I think we just say things which are unnecessary.

Unity is a natural goal of any nation. It should be implicit in all governmental actions. What is the point of declaring unity as our goal when our policies, programmes and actions are doing just the opposite?

When a government is virtuous, it will do all the right things, including fostering national unity.

We have declared national unity as our national goal for a long time. We have chanted slogans on unity at every opportunity. We ask children to recite pledges in schools. Political parties, including “racial parties”, have successively included unity in their manifestos.

What difference has all this made? Has our country become more united?

National unity is a goal, not a process. We do not appoint a national unity minister or set up a national unity department to try and attain unity. That would be oxymoronic because national unity is the responsibility of the whole government. Every action of the government, from education to defence, finance, development, housing, local government and security must be made with national unity in mind.

We do not create dissension and then ask the national unity minister or department to placate it. We do not formulate divisive policies and then pledge unity at the National Day parade.

It is the inclusive policies, programmes and actions of the government in all facets of our life that foster unity.

Think about it – how long has the government been declaring and making slogans on national unity? How long have political parties been chanting about national unity in their manifestos?

It is time to stop the endless declarations and slogans typical of a third world country. We can’t talk ourselves to national unity. National unity is the product of years of inclusive policies, programmes and actions.

It does not matter that Pakatan Harapan has not explicitly included the goal of national unity. Look at its intended policies, programmes and actions should the coalition come into power.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

Source : http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2018/01/12/we-cant-talk-ourselves-to-national-unity/

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