Selangor Journal
Members of the public waving Jalur Gemilang flags during the National Day 2022 celebration at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, on August 31, 2022. — Picture by BERNAMA

Recitation of Rukun Negara at ceremonies can increase patriotic spirit, instill unity — Experts

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — The suggestion by the Conference of Rulers for the recitation of the Rukun Negara pledge to continue to be held in appropriate ceremonies, is seen to be able to increase the spirit of patriotism and instil unity among Malaysians, say experts.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Law and Policy lecturer Assoc Prof Muhammad Fathi Yusof said the emphasis by the Royal Institution was for the recitation of the pledge to be led by appointed leaders themselves.

He said having a government figure personally leading the recitation of the pledge would exert greater influence on the people to better appreciate, understand and practise the principles which aim to unify and reduce the economic gap between multi-racial communities in the country.

“The concept of Rukun Negara not only needs to be read and heard in the pledge but also needs to be implemented by the governing government by emphasising the elements contained in it.

“If you look at history, the Rukun Negara itself was created based on the desire to unite people who were facing racial tension, especially after the May 13 incident in 1969, which at the time, was drafted to be the basis for the unification of all Malaysians and which was agreed upon by all sections of the society through a thorough process,” Muhammad Fathi said when contacted by Bernama.

Yesterday, the chairman of the 260th Conference of Rulers Meeting, the Yang Dipertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir suggested that the recitation of the Rukun Negara pledge should continue and be led in appropriate ceremonies by appointed leaders and no longer by youths.

The lecturer said elements contained in the Constitution such as the position of the Malay Rulers, the Malay language and the religion of Islam also need to be continuously explained to the community so that the goal of unity can be realised.

National Professors’ Council fellow Prof Emeritus Datuk Teo Kok Seong concurred, saying that the Rukun Negara was the main device in ensuring unity, especially when the country is faced with various issues concerning religious and racial sensitivities.

He said that although the recitation of the Rukun Negara pledge had been practised for a long time, it should be implemented more effectively, and not merely be words to be memorised.

Teo added when the leader himself leads the recitation of the pledge in a ceremony, it shows the seriousness of obeying the order.

“If possible, high-ranking leaders such as the Prime Minister, the Chief Secretary to the Government, and principals in schools, for example, should lead the recitation, as this approach will have a greater impact.

“Although some say it may be too late to implement after over 50 years (since the pledge was created), for me, it is never too late to implement an initiative that leads to something good,” he said.

— Bernama

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