“MAKE Rukun Negara the preamble to the Federal Constitution” (Comment, Sept 28) is relevant and timely. The five principles embody values needed by Malaysians to keep this country peaceful, harmonious and progressive.

The Rukun Negara is recited in school during the weekly assembly. But for most students – and teachers – it has no meaning in their daily lives.

Schools do not give respect to the principle, “Belief in God”, especially to the non-Muslims. Many believe that it is relevant only to the Muslims and disregard the others. Circulars from the Education Ministry and its offices do not uphold this principle.

This is one of the prime reasons for the “national schools” not having transformed into real “Bangsa Malaysia” schools after 59 years of independence. Even in the vernacular schools, this principle must be given credence as there may be students of different beliefs.

Non-religious schools should be non-partisan insofar as the beliefs of the students are concerned.

When Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became prime minister, he did make a try, and his “Islam Hadhari” concept and his “summer camps” for pupils of various races when he was education minister were points of note.

The sanctity of the Federal Constitution seems to be interpreted to suit groups that have their own agenda – and the leaders of the nation seem to take a neutral stand, and these interpretations have created unwanted tension.

Likewise the Rule of Law principle seems to have been compromised.

Loyalty to the King and Nation is another principle that is taken for granted, as there are many whose loyalty is towards race and/or religion and not to the Nation and King.

The Good Behaviour principle is the most flouted, especially in social media, as hatred is spread daily.

We can have all the schools colleges and universities to create a literate community, but without the noble values embodied in the Rukun Negara inculcated in the minds of our citizens, we can’t dream of “Bangsa Malaysia”! But, do our national leaders have the courage to take a stand on this and get back to the basics for the sake of Malaysia?

By K.Narayanasamy

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