Thursday, August 30, 2007


BAHAWASANYA NEGARA KITA MALAYSIA mendukung cita-cita hendak :

mencapai perpaduan yang lebih erat di kalangan seluruh masyarakatnya ;

memelihara satu cara hidup demokratik ;

mencipta satu masyarakat adil di mana kemakmuran Negara akan dapat dinikmati bersama secara adil dan saksama ;

menjamin satu cara liberal terhadap tradisi-tradisi kebudayaannya yang kaya dan berbagai corak ;

dan membina satu masyarakat progresif yang akan menggunakan sains dan teknologi moden.

MAKA KAMI, rakyat Malaysia, berikrar akan menumpukan seluruh tenaga dan usaha kami untuk mencapai cita-cita tersebut berdasarkan atas prinsip-prinsip berikut :



The Five Principles of Nationhood or Rukunegara was formulated after the racial riots of May 13, 1969, in an attempt to base the national philosophy on unity and progressiveness (as a whole), whereby concepts which are universal and acceptable to all Malaysian citizens, regardless of ethnic origin or religious affiliation, were adopted as the ideology of the country.

The principles enshrined in the Rukunegara were officially introduced on Aug 31, 1970, in the hopes that it would strengthen national unity in Malaysia's multicultural society.


Blogger spyz said...

Revitalising Rukunegara


Schoolchildren recite the Rukunegara every week, without fully understanding its principles or practice

WE ALL recited the Rukunegara during our schooldays, and we have heard it mentioned many times by politicians in the media. Yet, young people remain apathetic towards the Rukunegara, and find it hard to relate to its principles.

Universiti Putra Malaysia graduate Low Yee Chung, 23, feels that the Rukunegara has little relation to his life, or to the lives of his peers.

“I don’t think we actually find ourselves truly practising any of the principles, nor do we really understand what they are for in the first place,” says Yee Chung, who only knows the five principles of the Rukunegara but not its historical context.

Although Yee Chung agrees that the Rukunegara embraces universal values, he also feels that they are too general, “to the point that they are something all of us know are essentially right.”

Making young people recite the Rukunegara like a ritual, especially so when they mouth the words without fully understanding their meaning, is futile.

The Rukunegara is, in fact, the national ideology formulated to guide the country’s nation building efforts, taking the people through the challenges of developing a multiracial country.

It was inspired by Indonesia’s Pancasila (Five Philosophical State Principles) and, according to one of the writers, Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr Khoo Kay Kim, it is a philosophy to be “subscribed and practised without fear or contradiction.”

In the aftermath of the May 13, 1969, incident, representatives from different levels of society came together and reached a consensus for the nation’s future direction. The Rukunegara was instituted by Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah on Merdeka Day in 1970.

It became the national ideology, a pledge of allegiance to Malaysia as a whole, to fulfil the five national objectives of achieving a united society, preserving a democratic way of life, creating a just society where the prosperity of the country is enjoyed by all citizens in a fair and equitable manner, guaranteeing a liberal approach towards our rich and varied cultural traditions, and building a progressive society that utilises science and modern technology.

Thus, the five principles of the Rukunegara – Belief in God, Loyalty to King and Country, Upholding the Constitution, The Rule of Law and Good Behaviour and Morality – are philosophical guidelines on being citizens and helping the country achieve its national objectives.

Over the years, however, the Rukunegara has not been at the forefront of national discourse, especially among the youth.

While change and development continue to happen in the country, the national ideology has mostly been put forth in what Yee Chung describes as “ceremonial recitals” in schools.

This has perhaps resulted in the younger generation’s vague idea of what the Rukunegara truly stand for.

“I don’t think our teachers had ever taught us anything about it. I remember asking one of my teachers why we had to recite the Rukunegara during assembly. She just replied that it was ‘a directive’ from the Education Ministry, and that all schools must practise it,” Yee Chung recounts.

Socio-politic issues, problems and incidents in recent times have also contributed to the youth’s indifference to the Rukunegara.

“It’s difficult to believe in principles we were told to recite when we don’t even see them being practised. It’s no secret that corruption still exists as well as racial insensitivity and inappropriate behaviour, even among some of our Government officials,” laments Animation student Lewynd Nishel, 20.

For instance, parliamentarians who made disparaging comments in blatant disrespect of women (such as in the now infamous bocor episode), or derogatory racist remarks certainly did not uphold the principle of Good Behaviour and Morality.

The public’s faith in the fourth principle, Rule of Law, has also suffered in recent times when the efficacy of the justice system was thwarted by lackadaisical police work in several cases.

It certainly did not help to bolster confidence in the Rule of Law when all 37 charges against Port Klang assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros and five of his business partners pertaining to the contravening of the Companies Act 1965 were withdrawn without explanation by the court last week.

Such incidents have left animation students Tan Wey Ping, 20, and Aima Kessy, 19, sceptical about the Rukunegara’s power to bring a change for the better.

“I do think that the Rukunegara is relevant, but if people in power don’t practise it fully, what good would it do for the average person on the street like me to believe in it?” asks Wey Ping.

Aima says: “I think we’re either too jaded to believe, or we simply choose to ignore everything because from the looks of it, things are hardly going to change and there’s little we can do about it anyway.”

However, there is no denying that the Rukunegara promotes timeless universal values that are relevant in any Malaysian context.

Thus, perhaps it is not the Rukunegara that has become out of reach, but it’s the practice and understanding by Malaysians today that have wavered.

The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, in his recent keynote address at the first annual Student Leaders Summit notes that The Federal Constitution and the Rukunegara institutionalised living together in peaceful, harmonious co-existence, that our success as a nation is directly attributed to our ability to embrace our own diversity based on those principles, and how young Malaysians should exert our full understanding of the Rukunegara to forge a better future.

It was an inspiring experience for hospitality student William Ng, 21, who was among the 500 students that attended the summit.

“I’ve made the Rukunegara my core principle in life because I feel that adhering to it can make me a better person. Raja Dr Nazrin’s speech has made me more aware of the national ideology as well as our constitution, and how both of them are relevant to me as a citizen,” he says.

William believes that young people should be more open to the Rukunegara and look up to the principles as a way of life, using the values as the cornerstone from which youths can stand up for what they believe is right.

“The younger generation can make a change, and I think we should all start today,” William concludes.

8/30/2007 06:34:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home