By Datuk Huan Cheng Guan
In ten days’ time, we will be bidding farewell to 2013 and heralding a new beginning to a new year. Yet, this period is not really an end or a beginning but a journey that should rightfully fill the lives of Malaysians with all wisdom that experience has given us.
After such an eventful year marked by a record number of protests in Malaysian history, it is my sincere hope that Malaysians will close ranks and learn to view our beloved country positively. The time has come to stop emphasizing negatives and to highlight positives or pro-active ways in which each one of us can make Malaysia a better place for all regardless of race, class, age and gender. The starting point would surely be learning to say good things about our country rather than sabotaging our nation’s prestige via loose and irresponsible comments or showing disrespect for leaders.
Since the advent of the Internet and social networking platforms, this country has been continually injected with propaganda and criticisms of the ruling government. It has become common place that to say anything good about any BN leader is a sign of betrayal when in fact, one is only being realistic. No leader or government is perfect and it certainly does not help by worsening public perception of leaders via negative comments which stoke the fires of hatred and discontent.
Character assassination by opposition political leaders and active members of civil societies must stop. Malaysians must not entertain posts which propagate hate-mongering and create an atmosphere of mistrust which hinders our government’s efforts to develop this country. Let us learn to comment responsibly and not jump on the bandwagon of condemnation but be objective right-thinking citizens who measure our words carefully.
Come 2014, I sincerely hope to less personal and more effort by citizens and all parties to chart a blueprint for unity and peaceful co-existence. To that end, as we draw close to 2013, let us celebrate the New Year, NOT by attending protest gatherings but by embracing a changed attitude, forsaking old stereotypes and looking forward to a new beginning optimistically. Our celebration must not be hijacked by any political party but must be one that is joyous for the right reasons.
Let us celebrate the New Year in true Malaysian style – not with hostility but with thankfulness and gratitude that indeed, Malaysia is a beautiful nation inhabited by Malaysians who are proud of their heritage and all that Malaysia means to every one of us.