It has truly been the good fortune of all Malaysians that the early Malay leaders of our country have been indeed great Malaysians.
Dato Onn Jaafar was the first leader to unite all the Malays and give birth to UMNO. In no time at all he realised that to win independence, to defeat the Communists and to establish long term national security and happiness for all, the rakyat have to be united as one. He even suggested that UMNO, that he was leading then, change its name to United MALAYAN National Organisation.
To his disappointment all the communal parties then — UMNO, MCA, MIC, opposed him. He left UMNO and formed the Independence Malaya Party (IMP) – a truly multi-racial party. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra who took over UMNO from Dato Onn Jaafar, together with his closest combrades — Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Dr. Ismail, while agreeing on the need to unite the various races as one, decided to do it step by step. Hence the formation of the Alliance Party, an INTER-communal party, whose membership were the three communal parties representing the 3 major races, Malays, Chinese and Indians — (UMNO, MCA, MIC).
Soon after and not forgetting the ultimate aim of forging unity and a common identity for all Malaysians a new party called ALLIANCE DIRECT MEMBERSHIP ORGANISATION (ADMO) was registered. The hope then was more and more Malayans will join this non-communal and multi-racial ADMO and slowly take over from the communal parties. Hence, it was hoped to progress from COMMUNAL parties to an INTER-communal party (Alliance Party) and then to a NON-communal party (ADMO). Tragically, because of the constant infighting for positions in ADMO this party soon died off.
With the demise of ADMO our planned march towards real unity and one Bangsa got stalled — and for a long time. And it was only in 1991 that the whole subject was rekindled when Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed tabled his “Vision 2020” in Parliament. The final dream of this vision was clear and noble — to evolve before 2020 a BANGSA MALAYSIA that is united, fair, just and prosperous.
Unfortunately in our quest and enthusiasm for industrialization and economic growth, efforts towards nation building took a back seat. In any case even these little efforts stalled again when he left the government.
From then on subjects of race and religion slowly started rearing its ugly head. Unfortunately nothing was done to nip it in the bud and so it kept on growing. Worse still, at the same time, corruption, cronyism, wastage, and inefficiency became the fashion of the day. With that came the completely unexpected revolt by all Malaysians, especially in Peninsula Malaysia, against the government in the General Elections of 2008.
With this political tsunami parties took the easy way out to regain their popularity in their respective racial turf. They decided on allowing, condoning and even encouraging racial, religious and cultural sensitivities to proliferate. Meanwhile, the talk of the nation is also that corruption has now become endemic and there is cronyism, abuse of power, wastage, infringement of the basic rights of citizens, etc., etc. everywhere.
Despite what is being reported daily by the tightly controlled mainstream media, the “feel good feeling” amongst the rakyat is gone. The tragic reality is that not only our march towards a united, fair, just and prosperous BANGSA MALAYSIA not progressing, it is infact speedily retrogressing.
It is under these circumstances that we the members of IKATAN have come together not only to stop the rot but to get Malaysians back together to where we started. And then move on to rekindle our spirit and march on very briskly towards a united, just and prosperous BANGSA MALAYSIA. In this journey we pray for God’s blessing.
Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Abdul Kadir b. Hj Sheikh Fadzir
PRESIDENT – Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (IKATAN)