My Anthem

Monday, July 21, 2014

Spreading the message of newly-launched NegaraKu Charter

I filed a story for Harakah Online two days ago; here follows the "edited" copy mainly typos corrected for clarity as I had the leisurely opportunity for a second reading at home. Cheers, YL, Desi


Concerned Malaysians endorse Negara-Ku charter

A 71-year-old businessman Mr Tan Pau Son was among some 25 signatories concerned Malaysians who have gathered at the KLSCAH yesterday to endorse the recently-launched Negara-Ku Charter, urging fellow Malaysians to no longer "sit on the fence".
Tan, who heads a major housing development company here, said this was his first public appearance at a civil society initiative as he was also previously among many ordinary citizens who were fence-sitters, "but the time has come for me to stand up to protest the many groups of racist and religious bigots".
Pointing to two childhood friends who were also among the endorsees, writer AB Sulaiman and academic Gurdial Singh Nijar, seated next to him, Tan lamented that many extremists have in recent times raised tensions in the country with blatantly racist and inciteful statements. "In the old days,my mates and I mixed around freely and never thought of ourselves as Malay, Chinese, Indianor others, but just as Malaysians."
"Malaysia is a beautiful country free of natural disasters, and it is sad to note the growing racial and religious intolerance among the people as shown by recent events given much media coverage.
"So it's time for people who have been keeping quiet on the sidelines to stand up and voice their concerns.
"There is so much we citizens can do to grow a better Malaysia, but the country's leaders seem intent to be doing the opposite of what's good for the people," he added.
Earlier, academic-cum-commentator Dr Azmi Sharom, led the attendees numbering about 40, in oberving a minute-silence in sympathy with the 298 victims of crashed MAS flight MH17.
Azmi read a short statement  that "We, concerned Malaysians, take note and fully concur with the Negara-Ku Charter launched by the people's movement to heal the nation and to restore hope for our shared common future.
"We are in the midst of epochal challenges and changes in which all Malaysians must stand together to fight the forces of racial bigotry and religious extremism.
"To safeguard our fragile multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural unity, we must resist those who seek to destroy Malaysia and what it stands for which are the principles contained in the Constitution and in the Malaysia Agreement of 1963," Azmi stated.
Joint Event Co-ordinator, academic Dr Lim Teck Ghee drew a common feature in the present circumstatnces Malaysia is caught in as there was the same common thread of racial and religious bigots and tyrants in Ukraine that caused the tragedy (of innocents cxaught in the crossfire) of flight MH17."
Also present were Negara-Ku patron national laureate Pak Samad Said and Zaid Kamaruddin, Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Negara-Ku Movement.
Azmi and Lim and fellow endorsees who spoke at the press briefing all expressed the hope this movement would blossom across the country as there is no need for any formal groupings -- any number of similar-minded Malaysians in the same neighbourhood are encouraged to rise up and be counted as concerned citizens against extremist forces bent to promote their own narrow agendas, as shown by certain non-government organisations' reactions following Negara-Ku's launch.
 A Malay Mail Online report on July 10 headed
"Why so nervous about Negara-Ku? Ambiga asks Isma"
had quoted lawyer Datuk Ambiga Sreneevasan, one of the patrons of the newly-formed movement Negara-Ku, as being baffled by Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia's (Isma) attack against the coalition right after its launch.
Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman reportedly accused Negara-Ku to be against Islam as the religion of federation and the rights of the Malays.Isma claimed Negara-Ku to be a new front for humanist, liberal and religious pluralist movements in the country.
“The movement is based on the Federal Constitution, Malaysia Agreement and the Rukunegara. What is his problem with that?” Amiga countered.

DESIDERATA: I fully support this endearvour to spread the message of NegaraKu Charter to reclaim the nation and resore hope among the people of a nation seemingly heading towards the Abyss. I plan to go around with a group of similar-minded SEREMBANKNIGHTS to circultate flyers ONE SUNDAY MORN SO.ON! -- YL, Desi

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