Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian said the recent articles on the lack of enthusiasm for flying the Jalur Gemilang and comments of several ministers on ‘irresponsible people’, ‘petty issues’ and ‘keep the peace’ prompted him to reflect on the whole issue of seeking the truth and patriotism.
He asked if they were mutually exclusive and what the underlying issue was.
Baru, who is also state PKR chairman, said what was petty to a minister might be of crucial importance to a citizen who is seeking the truth.
“Most of the people raising these so-called ‘petty issues’ are not politicians but educated and intelligent citizens of this country. The government should not dismiss their concerns nor trivialise them.
“They are aware of the emerging truth of the situation we are in and of our rights – as individuals, communities and as a country. They have come to realise what was said by Albert Einstein many years ago, that ‘Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.’ This is why people are willing to voice their opinions,” he said in a press statement yesterday.
Baru said it was no answer to those questioning the relevance to Sarawak of Malaya’s Independence Day to say that the day is now changed to National Day and as patriotic Malaysians we must celebrate that day.
“By saying that, is the government admitting that Sarawakians have been hoodwinked all these years? Why is it necessary to invent some justification for us to sing the tune of the federal BN government?”
He said when Sarawakians questioned this issue, it did not mean that they were not patriotic – they merely wanted the truth to be acknowledged.
“People want to know why the government insists on celebrating Aug 31 in Sarawak. If we are to celebrate the spirit of being Malaysians, our harmony and mutual respect etc, we can do that very well on Malaysia Day, which we will commemorate as patriotic Malaysians. It is not necessary to devote two days to celebrations and incur double the expense each year to that.”
Baru said the whole issue boiled down to this: the people resent the many unjust policies of the government – suppression of the truth, rewriting of our history, curbing of religious freedom, abuse of land rights, arbitrary award of scholarships, unfair recruitments and promotions in the civil service, award of contracts to cronies, etc.
The government is even ignoring the decision of the courts on some of these issues, he pointed out.
“These issues, if not addressed and corrected, will cause disunity and splits in the community eventually. These are matters the ministers should be addressing, instead of trying to force the people to believe in something that is not true by threatening them with the bogeyman disunity and the like.”
Thus, the BN government must start to listen to the voices of the ‘rakyat’ and be responsive to the sentiment on the ground, he advised.
“By righting wrongs, they will earn the respect of the people. By dismissing the people’s concerns and issuing threats, the government continues to suppress the people and earn their ire.
“The vitriolic and vulgar racially-charged comments posted on social media telling us to leave Malaysia should cause the ministers concern, and those commentators should be the ones investigated by the government, not those seeking the truth.
“Regrettably, humility to accept the truth seems to be an insurmountable hurdle for many.”
The Borneo Post Online