When Prime Minister started his 1Malaysia concept in 2010, it was an honourable initiative. 1Malaysia is about unity in diversity and inclusiveness, it means accepting and celebrating our differences, not mere tolerance or respect. In our journey towards a developed nation, no group should be marginalised on any element of its background. Hence, social justice lies at the heart of the concept.
Unfortunately such concept seems to be wavered due to political struggle of certain parties. It takes much more than formation of non-governmental groups, publicity campaigns, forums etc to make an impact on the equality.
The major challenge in having an egalitarian Malaysian society is consistency and strong political will.
I call upon the Prime Minister and all political leaders (including the Oppositions) to strive for an egalitarian society based on humanitarian and democratic principles.
I know whatever noble concept or policy initiated, there will still be racists, bigots or groups antagonising it, in the name of race or religion, fear of losing power or simply inferiority complex.
It is not difficult to mention names of such people or group.
Malaysians need to be convinced it is in their interest to create a more harmonious, peaceful and prosperous nation, which could be the end result of any campaign to inform the public about the dangers of racism or discrimination. We need also to find ways of uplifting the majority of people and decreasing the gap between the rich and the poor.
Part of how we do this is by creating opportunities that are accessible to everyone. This would be in line with our Federal Constitution, which talks about how everyone should have equal access to opportunities, whether they are social, political or economic.
So many of our beliefs are based on ignorance or mere denial especially political leaders who in turn influenced or exploited the people. Like it or not, at the heart of discrimination surfacing recently is a lack of respect for Malaysians of different race, gender and background.
This is where education and awareness play an important role. There is also a strong need to recommit ourselves to the values enshrined in the Federal Constitution and to preserve and strengthen our unity. If leaders are allowed to be racist and irresponsible, then what is to stop their supporters from doing the same?
One must not only know what one is opposing but also must know what one is striving towards.
I am glad the Star has been consistently promoting moderation among Malaysians as they launched a book campaign recently. I hope all medias will do the same as the forefront to nurture and ensure the resounding triumph of moderation and reason over extremism.
Let’s stop the nonsense of winning election via racial polarisation or taking side for economic advancement. It is long overdue, regardless of backgrounds, Malaysians are all for the nation.