BN has the right to decide the Merdeka Day theme because its founding members - Umno, MCA and MIC under the Alliance coalition - had fought for and won Independence for the country, Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz said today.
Nazri, the minister in the Prime Minister's Department, said he personally feels that the theme chosen by the Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim is apt, as it represents the aspirations of the federal government to keep its promises.
“Without a doubt, it is parties like Umno, MCA and MIC that had fought for Independence. Let those who fight for Independence determine the theme. When did the opposition fight for Independence?”
"It was not PAS that fought for the country's Independence, although it was formed in 1951. It was not the DAP, which was formed in 1969 ... Hence, it is only right for the three parties which had formed the (first) government to propose the theme.”
"The theme 'Janji Ditepati' (Promises Fulfilled) is not divisive as it only shows that the BN government has fulfilled its promises since Independence.
Nazri was asked to comment on Pakatan Rakyat’s objection to ‘Janji ditepati' as the Merdeka Day theme, and its alternatives including ‘Sebangsa, Senegara, Sejiwa’ (One Nation, One Country, One Soul).
Nazri said it is likely that the opposition is crying foul because it has not delivered its promises, and ‘Janji Ditepati’ “reminds them of failure”.
“Maybe the Pakatan (state) governments can adopt the theme `Janji tidak ditepati' ....”
Citing examples, he said these include PAS’ failure to implement hudud law after proposing it for 22 years, and the Pakatan pledge to give RM600 to widows after winning the general election in several states in 2008.
“If BN fails to deliver its promises, then we will be like some African countries which are still poor. There are many countries in Africa that gained Independence about the same time as Malaysia, such as Nigeria and Ghana, but which are lagging behind.”
He said it is only the opposition that is blind to Malaysia's achievements and which refuses to recognise the prosperity of the nation.