PUTRAJAYA, Feb 17 — The Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) is working with the National Unity Ministry (KPN) in developing content on Rukun Negara (National Philosophy) education in efforts to deepen the people’s understanding of the Federal Constitution.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the content being developed would not form a new subject that will be introduced in schools but will become one of the topics in various subjects like History, Geography and Bahasa Melayu.
“We, prior to this, had proposed that education on Rukun Negara be revived which among others will include a chapter on the Federal Constitution because we found that many have yet to understand the constitution, including some political leaders,” he told Bernama.
On Aug 6 last year, National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique had said that the government planned to restore the teaching of the Rukun Negara in the national education system.
Halimah was reported as saying that the matter will be refined through the establishment of a technical committee of her ministry together with three other ministries, namely KKMM, Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Education.
Saifuddin said all parties, especially politicians must understand the Federal Constitution as a whole and not be selective or interpret its provisions for certain purposes including those that could upset national unity.
“There are times provisions of the constitution are quoted but only part of it or misinterpreted, when in fact they have been so well written.
“This includes taking into account the position of the majority, the minorities and the religions that they profess… it has been written clearly but poorly understood,” he said.
Elaborating, he said that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution which clearly mentioned the special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak is often cited by certain individuals to generate dissatisfaction.
However, he said they forgot about the existence of Article 8 of the Federal Constitution which among others mentioned the need to ensure that there is no discrimination against race and religion.
“Article 3 says that Islam is the religion of the federation but the people are free to practice their religious teachings in peace and harmony, but often only part of it is quoted.
“This constitution is written with specific objectives and it cannot be interpreted for other objectives that are not in it,” he said, adding that Malaysians will live in peace and harmony if they appreciate everything in the Federal Constitution.