Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, highlighted the concept of the Malaysian Family in his inaugural address to the nation.
This is a welcome development, especially after the unsavoury political jostling and power grabs over the last couple of years. “Let us open our hearts and minds to uncover similarities, without digging up differences,” he said. “We need to work together to save our family, that is, the Malaysian Family.”
He said he used the Malaysian Family approach because this phrase has a more inclusive connotation. “It crosses boundaries of religion, nationality and ethnicity.” The strength of the nation, he said, is “tied to the exemplary values inculcated in the family.
“We are one family, irrespective of religion and ethnicity. Every one of you is like my own family – whether it is the youth or the elderly. We can be likened to the complementary parts of our body which need each other. ”
These are welcome words of inclusivity coming from a leader of Malaysia, where unscrupulous elements have long manipulated race and religion to create divisions for political gain, ie divide and rule.
It sets the tone for our Merdeka and Malaysia Day celebrations, which this year are likely to be even more subdued given the political, economic and healthcare crises we face.
These words are soothing to the ear, like balm to a divided, suffering nation.
But, as always, the devil is in the detail. The test is whether the new administration, which has many old faces in it, can show that it takes the prime minister’s words seriously. Full article on Aliran website