I’ll support the party that upholds this ideology

By J

I’ve lived away from Malaysia for the past 20 years (slightly more than one-third of my life) and came home about a year ago. Many people ask me, “What were you thinking?”, to which I had no specific answer.

Except this.

Malaysia is a great place, with plenty of potential. If you kept your head down, couldn’t care less and led your life, you could lead a peaceable and fulfilling existence.

But I work in the corporate world. I can live with the stupidity of politicians. I can live with the racism and discrimination. I can live with the scaremongering and xenophobia. I can live with the narrow-mindedness.

What REALLY gets to me are the gross inefficiencies in our infrastructure, the policies and actions that got us there and the way money and resources are unthinkingly squandered. Simple things. How they build a road intersection in Cyberjaya then have to dig it up again to lay cabling for traffic lights. How they build magnificent buildings in Putrajaya (I am STILL impressed everytime I drive through), but don’t give a thought to maintaining them or providing adequate parking facilities. How employees in government departments spend whole days engaged in online gaming (probably pirated games installed on their government-funded computers, how’d you like that, Microsoft?).

Anyway, I was a head prefect in primary school (my primary education was in Malaysia). Shocking, I tell you. The only non-Malay to ever hold that position since the government took over all the Christian Brothers’ Schools. But every Monday, I’d get up on stage at the end of the perhimpunan, raise my right hand and say these words. I haven’t heard them much in the last 21 years. Not even in the last year since I’ve come home. But I think these words encompass the spirit of our nation and the ideology we should all aspire to. Oh, I know it was probably written for some ulterior political motive, but that doesn’t change their simplicity and beauty.

This is what the malaysia.gov website has to say about them:

Malaysia’s national ideology, the Rukunegara was formulated with the purpose to serve as a guideline in the country’s nation-building efforts. The Rukunegara was proclaimed on August 31, 1970 by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong IV.

And here it is (translated to English):


“Our Nation, Malaysia is dedicated to: Achieving a greater unity for all her people; maintaining  a democratic way of life; creating a just society in which the wealth of the nation shall be equitably distributed; ensuring a liberal approach to her rich and diverse cultural tradition, and building a progressive society which shall be oriented to modern science and technology.

“We, the people of Malaysia, pledge our united efforts to attain these ends, guided by these principles:

“Belief in God

Loyalty to King and Country

Upholding the Constitution

Sovereignty of the Law, and

Good Behaviour and Morality”

Back to basics, baby. I’ll vote for the party that upholds this ideology.