7 February 2018
Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM): Call to all Political Parties to Commit to Inclusive National Unity
We are a coalition of NGOs comprising various ethnic, religious, lingual, profession and socio-economic backgrounds from all states of Malaysia. Our diversity is our strength that allows us to work together on a common platform for a “Better Malaysia”, a place we all call home.
The history of GBM echoes the birth of our country and its quest for sovereignty when our past leaders successfully won independence by struggling as one united nation against British colonial rule.
However, GBM is saddened by the withering of this spirit of togetherness and muhibbah as exemplified by our forefathers. In recent times, our national public space has been defiled with racial and religious hate speeches, with hardly any censure from the authorities and if left unchecked, threatens our national unity and social cohesion.
This is expected to deteriorate with the upcoming 14th General Elections (GE14). The run up to GE14 is already suggesting that the 2018 polls will be the most hostile ever.
It is with this concern that we call upon all political parties:
- to cease all forms of gutter politics which abuses race and religion and incites bigotry, hatred and discord
- to reject all forms of fear politics which instigate anxiety, insecurity, distrust and animosity
- to reject all forms of corrupt practices; including vote buying and phantom voting
There is a myriad of national issues which begs immediate attention and prompt solutions. GBM calls upon all political parties to address these national issues in their election manifesto. The pivotal aim of these socio-economic and political deliberations is the pursuit of authentic national unity inclusive of all Malaysians as enshrined in the Rukun Negara. To achieve this much cherished goal, GBM opines that the following policy considerations are crucial:
- To review the blueprint of action for national unity
- To table the National Harmony Act to Parliament
- To form a National Unity Committee at Ministerial level to oversee the implementation of national unity programs nationwide
- To establish an independent National Unity Fund to enable the funding of projects promoting and protecting national unity, racial and religious understanding
- To revise school and university curriculum and co-curriculum to integrate activities and programs that foster the spirit of national unity and early bonding of children of different ethnicities and religions.
- To establish an independent Equality Commission which deals with complaints of discrimination, with the power to mediate disputes, mete out disciplinary actions and provide recommendations to the government.
- To commission an independent review of the Biro Tata Negara (BTN) to ensures its operation is transparent, accountable and in harmony with the objective of promoting national unity and racial harmony.
- To ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and undertake an action plan to implement its recommendations.
Notwithstanding the political contestations in GE14, we invite all our fellow Malaysians to come together in mutual respect and love and to embrace and celebrate the diversity of our ethnic, religious, linguistic, cultural, gender, lifestyle and political persuasions.
Let us stand hand in hand, in racial and religious harmony, bonded by national unity. Let us embody the eternal values of justice, equity, mutual benefit, brotherhood and dignity of humanity.
With this at our core, we can together build a “Better Malaysia”.
Chair, Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia
on behalf of the Executive Council of Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia