PRIME Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has launched the National Unity Policy to ensure that Malaysia remains a strong nation with unity at its core.
Muhyiddin said the policy, based on the concept of “Unity in Diversity”, outlines continuous efforts to nurture, strengthen and preserve the unity of the people.
The three main objectives of the policy are to strengthen unity and national integration based on the Federal Constitution and the Rukun Negara (National Philosophy), form a national identity with character, patriotism, the attitude of caring, tolerance, mutual respect and responsibility as well as producing Malaysians who appreciate and foster unity.
From the objectives above, it is obvious that the unity proposed by the prime minister, which has its concept and reference from the Rukun Negara and the Federal Constitution and its resulting strategies, lacks an underlying principle that creates a purpose that is beyond tolerance or acceptance.
What is clearly missing is a higher principle of love and solidarity that would lubricate the concept and objective of unity to provide a greater purpose for Malaysians to gradually evolve from the security of ethnic identity to reaching out to fellow human beings who are in distress.
Solidarity is an awareness of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies creating a psychological sense of unity of groups or classes. It is bonded together with love and compassion. It refers to the ties in a society that bind people together.
For example, when there is a violation of human rights, there should be a mobilisation among all communities to seek the truth.
Love and solidarity to right an injustice would ensure that ethno-centric exclusivity has no place in Malaysian consciousness. Currently, we don’t see such a solidarity among Malaysians except for voices among elites within the political and civil society.
Therefore, there is a need to incorporate love and solidarity as a higher principle in the unity blue print that would enrich unity in diversity.
Love and solidarity have an actionable outcome which would not merely bring all ethnic communities together by an activity alone, but would mobilise multi-ethnic Malaysia when there is injustice to any ethnic communities within Malaysian soil.
Love and solidarity with those who are undergoing hardship or injustice irrespective of race and religion give concrete meaning to unity. Therefore, I urge the government to incorporate love and solidarity in the national unity policy.