Loh Seng Kok

Parlimen Malaysia

Barisan Nasional MCA

Loh Seng Kok 卢诚国
Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya
(2004 - Feb 2008)

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From MCA Online:

Loh courageous to speak on behalf of Rakyat in parliament

During the debate on the motion of thanks for the Royal address, Loh Seng Kok (BN-Kelana Jaya) brought up a few issues touching on history and religion. Loh added that there are ‘imbalances’ in school and government history textbooks, new prayer recital guidelines and the problems faced by non-Muslims with regard to places of worship. These contentious issues created ruffles among some backbenchers.

Loh said the syllabus of school history textbooks ignored the contribution of non-bumiputeras and emphasized too much on Islamic civilization and the contribution of one particular race in nation building. Furthermore, he said the syllabus from Form One to Form Five does not provide a deeper understanding of other civilizations. We could not have agreed more. To become a developed nation, we need to have a good understanding of other people’s civilization and history. To move forward we have to learn from the mistakes and success of other civilizations. Otherwise we would be like a “katak di bawah tempurung,” (frog under the coconut shell) who is oblivious of its surroundings.

Loh’s proposal to set up a department to oversee religions practiced by non-Muslims was shot down by Datuk Mohamed Aziz (BN-Sri Gading). According to Mohamed Aziz, “The country’s harmony is based on the nation’s history; where there was a consensus reached by the different ethnic groups…we shouldn’t look at superficial issues.” Mohamed Aziz further said that “Let’s not try to raise something like there is dissatisfaction among the followers of other religion because if we raise sensitive matters, then it will not be resolved on the negotiation table.”

History is not just about facts from one perspective. History is about how we came to where we are today. The Country’s harmony depends on understanding, respect and goodwill amongst one and another. What Loh had suggested was noble. The formation of a department to oversee the concerns of non-Muslims would help find solutions to problems faced by the rakyat of different religious background. There are already grievances raised by the rakyat. These need to be attended to and not be swept under the carpet. Otherwise the problems raised could snowball into bigger problems.

According to Datuk Badruddin Amiruldin (BN-Jerai), the best way to resolve racial problems is to have a deep understanding of the Federal Constitution. The fact is, not only must we have a deeper understanding of the Federal Constitution, we must also uphold the Federal Constitution which is based on equal rights and opportunities for all Rakyat Malaysia.

The Federal Constitution is a very important document which binds the nation together. A clear understanding of this document will realize the objective of national unity and prevent uneasiness among the races. We can only progress if there is unity amongst all Rakyat Malaysia in striving forward to achieve the nation’s goals and aspirations.

We should also instill the importance of the Federal Constitution in schools and universities where students can have a clearer understanding of the rights of all Rakyat Malaysia. Not only must we include in school and government textbooks certain articles in the Federal Constitution which only touches on Federal and States jurisdiction on matters pertaining to land and water. We must also highlight sensitive issues pertaining to the rights of all races as well as religious issues.

The Prime Minister himself has asked MPs to raise issues affecting the Rakyat without fear or favour. Loh did just that as a responsible MP by voicing out for the Rakyat. Let us not be emotional or allow politics to mar the august assembly in parliament. Let there be healthy discourses. It is better to voice out things in the open rather than pretend that everything is fine. MPs who raise issues for the Rakyat should not be intimidated by others on the pretext that the issues raised are sensitive. The freedom to express should be encouraged. After all, this is what the principles of democracy are all about. If we are emotional and not able to accept the views of others, then we would never reach an age of maturity. Then there would never progress.



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Last modified:  Monday, August 10, 2009