Kuala Lumpur (Agenzia Fides) - Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim presented the concept of "MADANI", an acronym for transforming Malaysia into a more prosperous and developed country, based on six values identified as: keMampanan (sustainability); kesejAhteraan (prosperity); Daya cipta (innovation); hormAt (respect); keyakiNan (trust); Ihsan (compassion). On the occasion of two anniversaries, "National Day" (August 31, to commemorate independence in 1957) and "Malaysia Day" (September 16, to commemorate the creation of the Malaysian Federation in 1963), finding its compass in these values "aims to strengthen the political situation and unity", he explained, "by consolidating the government, which bodes well for foreign investors, for the benefit of the economy".
Secondly, according to Anwar Ibrahim, "following MADANI can open up wider career prospects for young people facing the increasingly alarming problem of unemployment". Third goal is to "address the rampant corruption in all sectors", which is linked to the problem of poverty. "This is why serious measures must be taken to eradicate poverty," he said, thinking particularly of the most exposed social groups. While these values are generally welcomed, promoted and practiced by young people, it should be noted that often in Malaysia certain religious and political figures tend to make controversial statements which exacerbate social and religious polarization, in a nation which is constitutively a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country and where, therefore, this polarization is very dangerous. In the Malaysian Catholic community, the initiative to build a “MADANI-inspired society” has been welcomed. Malaysian Christians intend to follow the advice of Pope Francis: "What are we being asked? First of all, to let our hearts change. We are asked to let God transform our habitual way of seeing the world; no longer thinking in exclusively personal terms, but to think in terms of the common good, the global community, and to open our minds and hearts to universal human brotherhood". The recent initiative of the religious leaders of the Islam Se-Malaysia Party (PAS) and the Diocese of Penang, who held a meeting in recent days to promote the ideals of "Mahabbah - Fratelli Tutti", goes in this direction. Among those present were Idris Ahmad, vice president of PAS and a former minister to the prime minister, and Malaysian cardinal-elect Sebastian Francis, bishop of Penang. Idris Ahmad said that the Holy Quran reveals that "we were created in nations and tribes and we can get to know each other. This meeting is therefore very important to get to know and understand each other". In his speech, Cardinal-elect Francis declared that the "Mahabbah", a term which means love, kindness and friendship, expresses and promotes the same ideals of human fraternity as those set out in Pope Francis' encyclical letter "Fratelli Tutti". Faith leads all believers to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported, loved and protected, he noted. As spiritual people, PAS leaders should promote moral virtues to inspire harmony among people, he stressed. Recalling the "Document on Human Fraternity" signed on February 4, 2019 by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, the Cardinal called for a full reception of this text in Malaysia, encouraging those who have faith in God and faith in human brotherhood to unite and work together, calling for this document to become an object of reflection and formation, for the good of Malaysian society. In particular, he said, given the existing concern over the rift in relations between young Muslims and Christians in the nation, an agreement was reached for joint activities aimed at building friendship and solidarity, in the light of Pope Francis' encyclical letter "Fratelli Tutti ", published in 2020. "In a simple and direct way, St. Francis expresses the essence of fraternal openness which allows us to recognize, appreciate and love each person, regardless of their physical proximity, regardless of where they are born or live", recalled the Archbishop. The Cardinal-elect concluded his speech with the Malaysian phrase "Tak kenal maka tak cinta", which means "Without knowing, you will not love", inviting us to continue on the path of mutual knowledge, esteem and solidarity, which fits well within the framework of the values of respect, trust, compassion and prosperity, promoted by MADANI. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 28/8/2023)