A Facebook user pointed out the word “liberal” in Rukun Negara’s preamble to be problematic for certain people.
A Facebook user (SK Ida MN) recently came under fire when she expressed her opinions on the Rukun Negara (National Principle).
In her Facebook post, she asked if the Rukun Negara had been changed and if this was the unity government that most Malaysians wanted.
She shared two photos of the Rukun Negara pledge in her Facebook post, in her attempt to draw a comparison between the two. It appeared as though she was insinuating that the “change” concerned the full Rukun Negara pledge which contained the word “liberal”.
She also questioned why no one was saying anything about this new “update”, especially those who supposedly were defenders of the Malay race, specifically mentioning Umno.
The post gained attention and she received backlash.
Netizens pointed out that the full Rukun Negara pledge had always been that way and has never been changed or amended since it was introduced in 1970.
Most of them pointed out that the preamble to the Rukun Negara, which comes before the five principles had even been printed on school exercise books all this while.
A few hours later, she posted another statement to apologize for her previous views. Since her views were attacked and netizens even belittled her educational background, she apologized and said she didn’t mean to slander anyone.
She said she didn’t mean that the Rukun Negara was altered, she just meant to question why the preamble was now being included in the recitation.
Rukun Negara isn’t changing, it’ll just be read with the Preamble
Just a week ago, Bernama reported that the National Unity Minister, Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said that the recitation of the Rukun Negara pledge will now be synchronised at all school levels and official government programs nationwide, as an effort to cultivate loyalty and a sense of love for the country.
He added that the pledge will now be read with the preamble, contrary to what we’re used to all these years by just reciting the five main principles.
The recitation of the full pledge was approved by the Cabinet on 25 July.
According to him, the preamble contains the aspirations of the Rukun Negara, while the five principles are just the summary.
Previously, there was indeed a recitation of the Rukun Negara, but it was only for the five principles.Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang, National Unity Minister
What we want is the preamble containing the aspirations of the Rukun Negara because the five principles are a summary, but the true essence lies in those aspirations.
This effort aims to enhance the understanding of the Rukun Negara as a unifying force among the people and to instill a sense of patriotism among them.
What is a preamble and what’s in Rukun Negara’s preamble?
By definition, a preamble is a statement made at the beginning of something (such as a legal document) and usually gives the reasons for the parts that follow.
It expresses the aims, dreams, and values of something. In this case, it serves as the primary goal of our Rukun Negara.
Among the 5 primary goals are:
- Enhance unity among the people
- Safeguard the spirit of democracy
- Establish a just society where the prosperity of the country can be enjoyed together in a fair and equitable manner
- Maintain a liberal approach in addressing the rich and varied cultural diversity
- Create a progressive and technologically advanced society
In fulfilling the above ideals, the Rukun Negara underlines five core principles, which are our five familiar principles – Belief in God; Loyalty to the King and Country; Supremacy of the Constitution; Rule of Law; and Good Behaviour and Morality.
It is important to note that our Rukun Negara was made as a result of the bloody 13 May 1969 incident when Malaysia had a moment of racial divide that claimed the lives of many.
It was introduced in 1970, headed by Tun Abdul Razak with the aim to create harmony and unity among the various races in Malaysia.
The Rukun Negara was created complete with the preamble, but we only recite the principle part all these years, without understanding the ideals that come before that.
The preamble mainly highlights the sense of unity and fairness we need to uphold, to ensure that we Malaysians would live in a harmonious country.