FOR once, I can agree with Ibrahim ‘Comedian’ Ali of Perkasa fame. I think he has a point when he stated that those who disagree with the Janji Ditepati slogan are those who are unable to keep promises.
Without going into the intrigues of politics, I have to say that was a sensible remark
coming from our nation’s most well known political joker. Well, we can be assured that this time, the maverick politician was not joking.
Why am I backing Ibrahim this time? He simply stated the obvious. Janji Ditepati means promises kept. It’s a strong, yet simple two-word statement or declaration. People who make promises generally intend to keep them. If they don’t, then they are a letdown and their credibility will be in doubt.
Those at the receiving end of the promises would be the happiest people once the promises are fulfilled. Parents know only too well the joy and happiness written on the faces of children when they have received a promised gift for doing well in school, for example.
Citizens of a nation expect their leaders to keep and fulfil promises made. It is their responsibility to make good what they promised. It’s as simple as that.
Taken in that light, Janji Ditetapi is a meaningful, powerful slogan. I think it is one of the best slogans for our National Day celebrations.
For ordinary Malaysian citizens who often let Aug 31 pass as just another ordinary day, Janji Ditetapi is just an ordinary slogan. It’s just one of those things we have every year to commemorate National Day.
Just before Aug 31 each year, we are reminded to fly the Jalur Gemilang as a sign of loyalty and patriotism to our country. So it is the same with a Merdeka Day slogan. Why the fuss this year?
The trouble, as is always the case with politics and politicians, is that we tend to politicise almost everything in this country. Politicians, unlike you and me, are a bunch of over-sensitive people at times. They get edgy and touchy at the slightest provocation. Now that the elections are near, politicians from both sides are expected to work overtime to fight, spite and bring down each other. That’s part of their jobs. To many, it’s also their favourite pastime.
Janji Ditetapi has become an issue because of politics. It’s as simple as that. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had earlier used the same slogan in one of his BN campaign drives. Naturally, this did not go down well with the opposition.
Pakatan Rakyat claimed that this year’s National Day celebrations smack of the desperation of the federal government in wanting to wipe them out in the coming elections.
They are accusing the Prime Minister of using the celebrations as a way to remind the people to be grateful to the government for keeping to its promises.
Here’s my honest opinion. I find nothing wrong with that. Janji ditetapi — promises fulfilled. What can be so wrong with that? I’m sure Pakatan Rakyat leaders will also want to keep the promises they made to the people. They are expected to do so just as the PM has to make good on his word to the people.
Then again, I’m not a politician and I do not always find certain words or slogans sensitive in nature, to me or to others. Aha, it’s also not my job to find fault with those in the opposing camp. To me, there is no opposing camp. There is only one camp — the Malaysian camp.
Perhaps it’s this naivety in me that persuades me to agree with Ibrahim Ali, of all politicians. Nine out of 10 people you know will stay a mile away from our friend. But seriously, let me say it again. Janji ditetapi — promises kept — sounds great. It doesn’t bother me who said it first or who used it for what purpose.
It’s indeed interesting that following the public outcry, the government has decided to replace the 55th National Day celebrations logo with the standard 1Malaysia logo.
Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Utama Rais Yatim said this is to “quell misunderstanding”.
It’s sad that the National Day celebrations are not going smoothly. First it was the all-round consternation for the slogan Janji Ditepati. Then there was the ruckus over the logo. After that, the theme song — which was penned by Rais — has also been slammed as a piece of “vulgar propaganda”.
I think that when our political leaders quarrel over the way we should celebrate a joyous occasion, it somehow dampens the spirit of the occasion.
I’m not sure whether I will be in the mood for any celebration come National Day on Aug 31 or Malaysia Day on Sept 16.
Perhaps, I will just bring my family for an outing by the beach or drive up to a hill resort for a break during these national holidays. It’s a good opportunity to get away from those quarrelsome politicians and not listen to the venom they spew.
On this joyous occasion, and with much sadness, I wish to express our disappointment at politicians from both sides. When you are expected to cast aside your political differences and come together as Malaysians this National Day, you have shown the opposite by starting a public outcry over a slogan, a logo and a theme song.
I am very disappointed with you all. You have dampened the spirit of a happy, joyous occasion. Because of your penchant for public spats and desire for gunning each other down all the time, and during this month in particular, I am in no mood for any celebration. And I blame you, the politicians, for this sorry state of affairs. Shame on you!
Finally, ponder on this. What is so wrong with Ibrahim Ali, the politician, that is so right with you this time? – Borneo Post
Comments can reach the writer a firstname.lastname@example.org