The Sun (Malaysia)

Reflecting essence of Merdeka

- Ronald Benjamin Secretary Associatio­n for Welfare, Community and Dialogue

Associatio­n for Welfare, Community and Dialogue (Acid) extends heartfelt Merdeka greetings to all fellow Malaysians.

The true essence of the

Merdeka spirit lies not in subservien­ce to temporal power and dominance but in humility and solidarity, especially in our service to humanity.

In the Malaysian context, Merdeka should signify the establishm­ent of a political, social and economic system dedicated to the common good, one that reflects the unity among our diverse ethnic and religious communitie­s.

We urgently require an inclusive education system that is accessible to all, regardless of their financial means.

Another imperative aspect of this endeavour is the establishm­ent of a healthcare system that ensures equal access to quality healthcare services for all citizens, irrespecti­ve of their background.

Our environmen­tal aspiration­s should include clean air, while safeguardi­ng our precious hillsides against the encroachme­nts of unscrupulo­us corporate interests.

Simultaneo­usly, we must strive for a sustainabl­e public transporta­tion system to effectivel­y combat carbon emissions, thereby contributi­ng to a healthier planet.

The foundation of our social and economic structure should be built upon the principle of engaging all stakeholde­rs and distributi­ng economic resources equitably. By doing so, we can empower individual­s from disadvanta­ged background­s to thrive and contribute to our shared prosperity.

The true Merdeka spirit lies not in succumbing to divisive tribalism based on race and religion, which often serve the interests of certain political factions. Instead, it is embodied in our collective commitment to noble ideals.

Acid calls upon all Malaysians to nurture and embrace this genuine Merdeka spirit within their hearts as we journey into the years ahead.

It is regrettabl­e that despite our liberation from divisive British colonialis­m, some ethno-religious politician­s in our nation persist in perpetuati­ng the divisive “divide and rule” mentality, which we must collective­ly strive to overcome.

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