Social Contract Must Be Kept And Honoured, Says Rais
He said it would be tumultuous to unravel the understanding that had been reached among them and succeeding generations since independence.
"With strict observance and enforcement of the laws, our nation has been able to keep itself intact for half a century in spite the dire predictions of many word-twisting pundits.
"It has been said that a people who ignore the lessons of history are bound to repeat the same mistakes," he said in his speech at a United Nations Association of Malaysia (UNAM) dinner to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the United Nations (UN), here, Friday night.
Rais said there was no traditional mechanism, educational or otherwise that "educates the people on the rudiments of the Malaysian social contract".
"Due to this lack in educational guidance, some have even said that there is no such thing as the social contract in this country. This is frivolous and dangerous talk.
"The social contract is there. It is there through the laws of the land. It is there through the history pages of our country. It is there through the substratum of our cultural innates."
He said Malaysians tended to take for granted the peace and harmony that they enjoyed today.
"But peace and harmony did not come automatically. They were the result of painstaking efforts, sacrifice and compromise on the part of our founding fathers, particularly the UMNO leaders and the Malay Rulers who had the wisdom of sharing power instead of governing on their own.
"Many had preferred that UMNO could govern on their own but they didn't. Many ultras have harangued our leaders by saying that we hold power but we are not the majority rich," he said.
Rais said rather than taking one another for granted, Malaysians should work assiduously to strengthen inter-ethnic relations at all levels, from school to the work place, from the private sector to the civil service and beyond.
"Of course the stumbling block is that we still think and behave in racial or ethnic terms as Malays, Chinese, Indians and as Ibans, Melanaus or Murut-Kadazans and other ethnic groups that make up our blessed land.
"In such a milieu, the importance of showing respect for our people's cultural and religious values and heritage is of the utmost importance.
"There is a place for everyone of us under the Malaysian sun irrespective of racial, cultural or religious background. We should constantly remind ourselves of the vital importance of these ingredients which have guaranteed our political stability and have enabled us to achieve since we came together as a nation," he added. (Bernama)
***** "The stumbling block is that we still think and behave in racial or ethnic terms as Malays, Chinese, Indians and as Ibans, Melanaus or Murut-Kadazans," says Rais. But pray tell who is to blame for this? Which group of power hungry racists has been assiduously sowing the seeds of division for decades and ruling by wielding the strategy of fear and prejudice? Which political party has been demanding loyalty from those they have discriminated against repeatedly, in the name of a policy which is morally reprehensible and repugnant?
In practical terms isn't this frequent alluding to a 'social contract' merely an attempt to justify racial discrimination? What say you?