[I interrupt this serialization of the Characterisation in Hikayat Hang Tuah to post this bulletin. A Bahasa version will bepublsihed onThursday and the serialization will resume on Sunday. MBM]
THE NECESSITY OF A NEW POLITICAL-PHILOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT IN MALAYSIA
At present, the world is at an important crossroad: between the old way of life with oppressive, colonial-neo-colonial-feudal-fascist system, and a new way one that is democratic, republican and humanist.
The communist ideology and system have collapsed; the liberal-capitalist system has also reached a dead end and fast collapsing; so is the religious theocratic system. A new way of life is emerging, demanded by the majority of mankind on all continents. This is the age-old dream of mankind, and the moment has come to act. As patriotic and concerned Malaysian citizens, we have to be aware of this development and take the necessary steps to discover and bring into being this new world.
From time immemorial, mankind has struggled to achieve the dream of a just society. Everywhere and in all ages, two groups struggled against each other: the oligarchical group which believes in the concept of empire and the existence of slaves, and the humanist group which believes in the concept of man as vicegerent of God on earth, and in a just society. In this post-colonial era that began at about the 1970’s, the colonial system lead by the Anglo-American oligarchy has reached its highest point, with the collapse of the Soviet communist system collapsed and with Anglo-American aggressors attacking and invading Iraq. In Iraq and Afghanistan, this colonial group is meeting its military end, and in America itself as well as throughout the world, its politico-economic world system is coming to ruin. We are part of this system and are suffering under its yoke. We are seeing increasing corruption and abuse of power in our country.
What is the new ideology, system or policy that will replace the old moribund ideologies, systems and policies? In general, we want a system and a world that is just. This is the demand of the peoples of the world. In modern political vocabulary, it means a system that is democratic, republican and humanist. In the Quranic this is referred to as “The Straight Path,” a path that does not deviate towards the individual (liberalism) versus the collective (communism), or the side of materialism (liberalism/communism) versus empty spiritualism (theocracy).
This system combines the material and spiritual requirements (or worldly and other worldly) in a unified and harmonious whole. It synthesizes religious, philosophical, scientific and artistic knowledge.
In the old world, all societies including Muslim ones live in a dualism: between the religious-moral demands and the material and worldly ones. Our leaders and intellectuals must quickly make reforms in both the religious and the secular so that the two can exist in a unified and a harmonious whole.
Can we make this reformation? Are there past examples we can refer to? We believe so. All past civilizations and societies went through these struggles between the oligarchical and humanist forces. From the time of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and several generations after him, the period between the 7th and 13th centuries, was an age of renaissance for the Arab people. The European renaissance was from the 15th right up to the 17th century. We have similar periods of renaissance occurring in China, India and Japan. We have to study these various renaissances so we could identify the forces that brought about those positive changes.
The time has come for concerned and patriotic Malaysians to combine our efforts to study all aspects (political, economic, and social) of this new world and bring about a new consciousness among our people to enable them to contribute in the struggle to bring about this new world. The movement need not recruit many members initially, between 30 to 100 should suffice. It should be open to all Malaysians who share and support this new philosophy; its principles, aims and policies. We should aspire for the straight or middle path to a peaceful and just society. We should increase the consciousness of our people that that such an ideal is within our collective grasp in Malaysia.
The activities that will be carried out by this association are: a) to conduct the necessary studies; b)to publish and disseminate such studies and the new thinking thorough the media and as well as through discussios, dialogues, seminars, etc.
Although this movement does not intend to recruit many members, it is by no means elitist as its philosophy and policies are democratic, republican, and humanist. At this beginning stage of one to three years, the activities are principally research and publication, which in principle require mainly intellectual exertion. However, the time will come when this movement will evolve into a political form. That time will be decided by the people themselves.
This project will be financed by Malaysians through contributions from the well-to-do and generous members.
Undoubtedly this movement will meet strong opposition for the oligarchycal group and its supporters. They control the levers to the economic, political, religious and media power in our country and are supported by the international oligarchy. We must remember that this neo-colonial-feudal- fascist system is rotten to the core and is not at all strong. It has been able to maintain itself this far only because of the lack of consciousness on the part of the people and by divisions among the people planned and instigated by those in power. They can be defeated only by the consciousness of the people and their desire to change and to build a just world. We must be the engine to trigger this consciousness.
At this stage the movement is essentially intellectual and social rather than political. As stated earlier, our present goal is to conduct studies into this new philosophy and disseminate them among the people. Nevertheless, our stand on various important issues is clear. We stand for:
a) A democratic and just government;
b) Economic growth for the progress of the nation and welfare of the people;
c) Economic and social justice;
d) Religious freedom;
e) Eradicating corruption and abuse of power;
f) Eliminating wasteful expenditure;
g) Ending poverty;
h) A national system of education in the national language to produce a society that is knowledgeable, rational, progressive, dynamic; scientific and creative;
i) Private sector involvement in Education on the condition that the national language is taught as a compulsory subject for Malaysian citizens;
j) An affordable and good national medical care system;
k) Good and cheap public transport system;
l) Adequate, good and cheap housing for the lower income groups;
m) Upholding human rights;
n) An independent and just judiciary;
o) Separation of powers between the Executives, Legislative and Judiciary;
p) Promoting a free, independent and responsible press;
q) Encouraging the development of a national literature in the national language as well as allowing creative writing in other languages;
r) Nurturing the development of science and technology;(s) Fostering the arts;
t) Upholding high moral standards;
u) Pursuing an active foreign policy to promote a peaceful and just world.
In the past we have often seen that however good laws and policies may be on paper, they are not implemented. This is due to the existence of two different outlooks on the nature of man. The oligarchical faction regards humans as not more than beasts of burden qualified only to be slaves. The humanist faction regards humans as vicegerents of God on earth and therefore have to be freed from this slavery. If the oligarchical philosophy is adopted by the Government, then even the best constitution could be manipulated to serve the evil objectives of the oligarchy. The only guarantee that the people can have an honourable place in the country is the philosophy of the humanist. The people must be conscious of this philosophy and make it their own. This will prevent them from being controlled once more by the oligarchy.
To achieve these goals, we must cooperate with all groups that will cooperate with us, within as well as without.
The first step is to form a protem committee to draft a constitution and register the association. Ad Hoc Committee For the Association of Malaysian Patriots. Georgetown, Penang9th October, 2005.