Marzuki when interviewed recently.

RUKUN NEGARA

KUCHING: The Rukun Negara is not just an expression, but also an important aspect that should be practised in daily life.

This was the view expressed by Majlis Dakwah Islamiah Asia Tenggara dan Pasifik (Riseap) secretary general Datuk Mohamad Marzuki Mohamad Omar when asked about the Rukun Negara which reaches the age of 50 this year.

Marzuki, who is also the chairman of Hikmah Kuching, said that the existence of the Information Department (JaPen) in the country was synonymous with various activities involving the culture of patriotism, including inculcating love for Rukun Negara.

Reminiscing on the activities organised by JaPen, Wayang Pacak, he said that once upon a time JaPen’s wayang pacak was well-known by the community, especially in the rural areas such as longhouses and villages.

The uniqueness of JaPen’s wayang pacak, he said, aside from entertaining villagers with movie screenings was also to insert information on patriotism and nationalism to JaPen field officers.

“If wayang pacak is revived by JaPen, this activity can help to instil the spirit of love for the country and Rukun Negara among the younger generation. Perhaps with the current situation, wayang pacak is less popular in the urban areas, but it may still be well-received in rural areas,” he said.

Touching on the first principle — Kepercayaan Kepada Tuhan (Belief in God) — Marzuki opined that the people consisting of various religions should cling to the Rukun Negara because the importance of practising religious belief is the main basis of the Rukun Negara.

He explained that he, along with Riseap, had the initiative to inculcate Rukun Negara in programmes organised by Riseap by emphasising cultural tolerance and celebration through the concept of respecting and celebrating differences, especially in the celebration of other ethnicities’ festivities.

“For example, in Sarawak, people of different religious and racial backgrounds can sit at the same table and have coffee together, but when chatting we do not have to touch on religious sensitivities which can affect the unity of the Sarawakian people,” he said with a smile.

Meanwhile, JaPen Sarawak personnel Mahdini Jaini said that as Malaysians, the people should practise the five Rukun Negara principles in their daily life so that Malaysians would have high moral ethics.

“I personally uphold the principles of Rukun Negara because all five of the principles play a role in shaping the personality of an individual,” he said.

He added that he felt fortunate to be able to assist JaPen in spreading the importance of Rukun Negara in conjunction with its 50th year anniversary though the video series “Khabar Dari Sarawak” (KDS) which is shown through JaPen Sarawak’s Facebook and Youtube.

“Through KDS, I along with my JaPen comrades have been given the opportunity to share views and creativity in enlivening the spirit of patriotism among the public.

“Throughout the national month until Hari Malaysia on September 16, various KDS series focusing on the spirit of nationalism will be broadcast on JaPen’s digital platform,” Mahdini said.