CFM MEDIA STATEMENT: MERDEKA DAY & MALAYSIA DAY 2022
Malaysians will celebrate with much joy and happiness the 65th anniversary of Merdeka Day on 31st August and the 59th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia on 16th September with the theme “Keluarga Malaysia Teguh Bersama” (Malaysian Family Stronger Together). The Christian Federation of Malaysia representing the Christian community in Malaysia pledge our continued prayers to Almighty God to seek His continued blessings upon our beloved nation.
Malaysians have grown stronger together as we have weathered the terrible impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which the health experts, however, say is still on-going and the likelihood of new variants surfacing to wreak havoc on us again.
We are still reeling from the deadly effects of the Covid-19 virus which has meant the loss of many lives, mental health issues have touched many of us, others have lost their jobs and incomes and we suffered an economic slowdown over the past two years. Only in recent times has our economy shown very positive signs of growth and improvement. Yet, we are still facing external headwinds which have raised prices and increased our cost of living hurting both the B40 and even the M40 sections of our people.
Upon being appointed the Prime Minister last August Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced his government’s policy theme of Keluarga Malaysia. This is very commendable and heart-warming as it focused on economic, business and social policies to bring Malaysians together out of the pandemic and into an era of economic recovery for businesses and socio-economic upliftment for Malaysians as we had to endure financial losses over the course of the two years.
Let us remember our common experiences over the past two years of the pandemic that we need each other and that we continue to personify our national motto “Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu” (Unity is Strength) in being united as Malaysians for without that unity we would only be separated and divided. Remember then how our frontliners worked hard and persevered to keep people safe and healthy and quite a few of them gave their lives to the many. Remember how neighbours reached out across the fences in order to ensure their fellow neighbours were safe and to share whatever they had.
In recent times the Honourable Prime Minister has espoused the Islamic concept of tasamuh of tolerance or open-mindedness to ensure the peace, harmony and unity in our nation and that all may enjoy the good life under the Malaysian sun. We strongly encourage the government and all Malaysians to go beyond tolerance to mutual respect, to celebrate the diversities of our Malaysian ethnic groups, cultures, religions and languages and to build on the strong bonds of friendships among ourselves as a Malaysian Family.
We unreservedly urge the government then to continue to look after all Malaysians and especially the needy and the marginalised especially the urban poor, those of us who are differently-abled, the Orang Asli and the indigenous peoples living in the deep interiors so that none may be left out. By looking after those most in need we show we are Malaysian Family for every family looks after its own members beginning with those who need caring attention the most. We applaud the action of the government which has added twelve more groups into the “vulnerable group” category which includes the homeless and the stateless. Let us then see just and fair policies and policy implementation that ensure all may enjoy the fruits of being in the Malaysian Family.
As the Malaysian Family, the Christian community continues to feel the pain of the family members of Amri Che Mat and Pr. Raymond Koh who have been said by SUHAKAM to have been forcibly disappeared and whose whereabouts are still unknown to this day. So, too, Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth Sitepu. Their families continue to ask and to seek information from the government and the police as to their whereabouts. They are the missing members of our Malaysian Family. At the same time, let us not forget that many others have died in police cells and the immigration detention centres under suspicious circumstances that need clear explanations to their family members.
We strongly call on the government to enact policies and mechanisms to assist those who have used up much if not all of their personal and retirement savings in the past two years due to income and business losses in order that they be given opportunities to build up their finances. This is so that they may retire comfortably in the later years of their life.
The pandemic has shown that we need to invest in and build up both the physical capacity and the healthcare personnel in our healthcare system. We can do this by contributing to the White Paper that is being prepared by the Ministry of Health so that we can have a world-class healthcare system that is able to meet the needs of all during a pandemic crisis and the serious challenges of caring for an ageing population in Malaysia.
In recent times, we have faced the realities of the hugely negative impact of climate change, food and water shortages, and the need for a safe and secure environment for all in Malaysia. The government needs to mobilise our experts and all Malaysians to ensure we have policies and mechanisms in place to meet all eventualities. We cannot presume to live as if all is well as we are already seeing such major problems taking place annually.
We need our government leaders and our elected officials to be united to focus on the good and well-being of the Malaysian Family and not be seen to bicker over their own personal and party self-interests nor add to some of the incessant voices seeking an early general election. For this we are thankful that there are political leaders who choose to come together in bi-partisanship by signing the Memorandum of Understanding on Transformation and Political Stability in order that the people benefit from a stable Parliament and the enactment of good legislation such as the anti-harassment law, the anti-hopping law and perhaps later on the bill to ban smoking and tobacco products and the political funding bill. We greatly need our legislative representatives and enforcement agencies to work doubly hard to eradicate the evil of corruption in all forms and to ensure that the guilty be put into jail forthwith.
Our politicians need to remember and to follow the wise counsel of our Rulers who have time and again called on and urged the political leaders to think of the rakyat and to work together for the sake of Malaysia. Our Rulers have led by example to ensure the peace, harmony, unity and diversity of all their subjects. Daulat Tuanku!
As Malaysians let us pray to Almighty God that wisdom, strength, courage and good health be granted to our Yang DiPertuan Agong, the Rulers, the Governors, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet members, the Premier, Chief Minister, the Mentris Besar and the members of the State Executive Councils, and all our Parliamentarians, Wilayah and State Assembly representatives, that they may continue to serve the rakyat with integrity and an undaunting determination to seek the good and well-being of all peoples in Malaysia always.
Keluarga Malaysia Teguh Bersama
Malaysian Family Stronger Together