Monday, July 25, 2011


Tengku Razaleigh’s speech at the launch of Amanah


Ucapan YBM Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

Di Majlis Pelancaran AMANAH, Hari Jumaat, 22 Julai 2011, 9.00 pagi di Memorial Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur

Allow me to bid all of you, dear Associates and friends, a very warm welcome to this launching ceremony of Angkatan Amanah Merdeka or in short AMANAH. I am deeply grateful for your attendance today. I believe that as we start out on this journey we will have some extremely important choices to make before us – choices that we must make even against all odds. This morning can just be another interesting social event in the Malaysian landscape or it could be the start of something unprecedented that it could alter the course of our country's future and directions.

2. Let me state unequivocally that I love my country dearly as I am sure all of you do too. We are not gathered here today to start a protest movement and neither are we here to play politics. We are here because many of us are genuinely very concerned, grieved and saddened by what is now happening in this beloved country of ours. Right-thinking and fair-minded Malaysians must no longer stand by in passive and courteous submission to or acceptance of the situations created over the years by such horrible misdeeds as corruption, cronyism and communalism; we must act quickly before they reach a stage of no return leading ultimately to the total destruction of the very fabric of our social, moral, cultural, legal and constitutional foundation on which this nation of ours has sustained all these years. We must not wait before it will be too late for us to change.

3. We are here because we need that voice of conscience for the nation, to articulate our voice for the nation, to engage the authorities in a democratic fashion as guarded and guided by our constitutional rules and our common tradition as peace-loving rakyat. We must never allow acts of political manipulation of any kind and from any quarters to divide the majority with policies and decisions that deliberately cater to the interests of the minority. From the time of pre-independence right through the past 54 years, Malaysia has proven that its people can co-exist in a spirit of unity, harmony and tolerance. The tolerance among our people has been exceptional and if we look at our beginnings, racial interaction and religious tolerance have never been our problems. Time and again, Malaysia has been cited by the international community as a model of interethnic co-existence. It is this spirit, this model of racial unity as the foundation of our national solidarity, that we must all strive to restore and preserve. If today this spirit is seriously lacking – as we are seeing it happening daily - then something must have gone very wrong in the governance of this nation. I say that it is time to stop this terrible spiral downward trend. Let us not allow a denial of the situation to cover up the reality of the situation.

4. I have watched with great alarm the worrying deterioration of inter-racial and inter-religious harmony in recent years and if I add to this the actions of some groups and individuals to unobtrusively, perhaps deliberately destroy the institutions of unity in our country to serve their own interests, I must confess to you that I am deeply troubled.

5. For too long, those of us who belong to the voices of moderation have stood aside and avoided the specter of confrontation because we wanted to just live our individual lives that are free from problems and unnecessary troubles. Such an attitude is no longer acceptable because standing back now would result in dire and irreversible consequences.

6. This is the time for the silent majority to make their voices heard. This is the time for the quiet family man to join in the chorus of voices and say , "We want the truth and not a facade of deceptions." This is the time for the quiet housewife to say, "I want a future for my young son and daughter that is free from problems created by various political, economic and social interest-groups and individuals". This is the time for the young working adult to say, "We want to know where our country is headed to and we want to know that the choices are right!". Yes, this is the time for you and I to say NO to the massive corruption and racial discord, the latter is being spread under the guise of religious and racial protection. Say "Enough is enough". At no other time in the history of Malaysia is this need to stand up against such situations as urgent as the present.

7. When our beloved father of independence Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman founded Malaysia, he talked of the different races as part of one big happy family. He said, something to the effect that "If we really want to come together as a family and live under one roof called Malaysia, we must be sincere with one another – Malay, Chinese, Indian, Dayak, Kadazan, Siamese and others – Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, etc. If we are sincere, then we cannot say anything that will hurt one another. We cannot also do anything that will hurt each other. As sincere members of one family, we must always be there to help one another. The rich must help the poor and the successful must help the unfortunate. Only then can we be one people and a country that is united and strong. Everyone will be happy. Only then will Malaysia be respected by the world….."

8. What powerful words of simplicity and wisdom. He intended for us to live in this manner as one big happy family. After 54 years, where are we? Are we already living as one big family? As I have said, if we are not, then something must be very wrong! We cannot wait any longer for us to take our country back on course. We must do something and do it now!! Every right-thinking Malaysian must be a part of this move to have our voices heard and it must be loud and clear.

9. Tunku Abdul Rahman practiced what he preached. Since the government did not have too much money at the time, he successfully persuaded his non-Muslim friends and others to contribute to the building fund of the national .mosque. The mosque was built only at a cost of RM10 million. It is not only a tribute to the Tunku but also became a symbol of Muslim and non-Muslim cooperation to help forge a better understanding between the various different ethnic and religious groups in the country. The Tunku also persevered to bring peoples of different Islamic countries together for the promotion of economic cooperation, peace and stability. Finally, the idea that he floated became a reality when he successfully brought together people of 52 Islamic nations, big and small, rich and poor, as an organisation of Islamic countries after he obtained the endorsement of the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. to form the Organisation of Islamic Conference. This organisation now stands as a monument to the Tunku for his tireless effort to bring solidarity .to the Islamic people.

10. In the field of sports, Tunku promoted football, badminton, sepak takraw, golf, etc. I cannot help but repeat what I have said at some other functions how sports was promoted by the Tunku as a means to instill team spirit and togetherness in this country. "Thinking of football, Tunku managed to bring teams from the Middle East and across Asia to play in Kuala Lumpur in the Merdeka tournament. Teams from South Korea and Japan came to participate and we defeated them routinely. Today our FIFA ranking is 157 out of 203 countries. That puts us below Maldives whose ranking is at 149, the smallest country in Asia with just 400,000 people living about 1.5 meters above sea level. In ASEAN we are behind Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, whom we used to dominate. The names of our football heroes used to roll off the tongues of our school children and they copied them on the school field. Where are they now? The likes of Soh Chin Aun, Arumugam, Isa Bakar, Santokh Singh, James Wong and Mokhtar Dahari? It was not about being the best in the world, but about being passionate and devoted to the game. Similarly, we used to see little kampung boys hit the shuttle cocks with broken rackets at the back of their dilapidated kampung houses calling themselves Wong Peng Soon. Yes, Peng Soon was a Malayan hero, just like our football heroes. Now we do not have an iota of that feeling." Where have they all gone?

11. "Our achievements in achieving growth with equity were recognized around the world. Our peer group in the economic development were South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan and we led the pack. I remember when we used to receive South Korean delegations coming to learn a thing or two from us about development. Now, unfortunately, we have fallen far behind this group. And today, we are entering the peer group of Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines as an investment destination. Without a doubt Malaysia is slipping. Yet we are gathered here in comfort. People say it is due less to good management than to the extraordinary wealth of this country. Malaysia is blessed with immense resources, both natural, cultural and social but, unfortunately, due to this mismanagement and corruption, we are declining." Yes, people say Malaysia is rich, but compared to its neighbours we are still relatively not free.

12. When Tunku declared independence for this country 54 years ago, we were told that Malaysia will be a Parliamentary democracy with an independent judiciary.

13. I pray that you will no longer stand back and be mere uncommitted spectators to watch things move, thinking that others will do what is necessary. If we do this, we will be living in a fool's paradise and will deserve the consequences when they come. We have to make that difference and if we want to make that difference, I would like you to join us in this move that we are starting. For the sake of your children and your children's children, we cannot afford to fail!!

14. We are starting an NGO called Angkatan Amanah MERDEKA (in short AMANAH) to mobilize our voices and our efforts and to make this an avenue of the new Spirit of Malaysia. It will be a voice of solidarity and truth and we will stand unwaveringly against the ills of corruption, cronyism, communalism, extremism and extravagance. We will say national interest and the interest of the rakyat first. This is our primary objective. All other policy priorities, decisions and choices must be subject to this primary national objective.

15. The conditions of the poor and the impoverished, especially in the rural areas – they still form the majority of our population - must be uplifted through systematic and systemic policy planning and decisions, and not through hollow slogan chanting. The legacy and vision of Tun Razak's policies of rural development, eradication of poverty irrespective of race and colour, and an overall national policy of socio-economic development based on the principles of Justice, Fairness and Balance across all sectors, will have to be revisited and remodeled if need be. We will relentlessly promote Almarhum Tunku's vision of the "One Happy Malaysian family". We will ensure that the basic or fundamental rights of the rakyat, rights that are not only defined in the Constitution but more importantly rights that are embedded in and shared by our religious, moral and cultural traditions, are promoted and observed as a function of the Nation.

16. I will personally go to every corner of this great country of ours (and I would ask you to come along with me) to bring down the barriers of discord, suspicion and insensitivities. I know that the Malays – and the other communities – are not 'racists' but the Malays and the others are becoming communalists because they have been manipulated to behave and think and act as communalists. To the Malays such behavior and attitude of mind is totally against the teachings of Islam. And when the Malays become less Islamic they tend towards 'racialism', going back to the age of jahiliah, the age of Ignorance before the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) preached against that "jahiliahism".

17. We can and we will pledge ourselves to uphold integrity and we must not fail in this urgent quest to bring back the core values of acceptance and unity.

18. The people want change and anticipate change and there is great urgency for us to move in that direction. It is now up to all of us, you and I, to make a difference. I would like to encourage you to get family members and friends to help us secure their support for this noble endeavor. Encourage them to continue to send this out to their friends. Let us make this a move of 'viral' proportions! No longer should the silent majority be taken for granted in a country that we are so proud of and cherish. Thank you my valued Associates and friends for giving me this chance to be heard. Let us not fail in this endeavor or labour of love for our country!

19. Let me end with a quote from that great man, Nelson Mandela. He says "Let there be justice for all, Let there be peace for all; Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Let each know that for each person - the body, the mind and the soul have been freed to fulfill themselves." Mandela's message is in fact a reiteration of a message of the universal mankind, a message that is true at all times and a message that is inherently, a human fitrah or human nature, shared by all of us, all of mankind. Let this be our call to strive for excellence – that every Malaysian will be given a platform for freedom and fulfillment.

20. Managed correctly and sincerely, this great nation of ours can be a platform of prosperity and peace for all Malaysians. Thank you.

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