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Transcending race

  • Putting the national day and bumi congress together creates a sense of discordant contradiction.

Sin Chew Daily

In a few days' time we will be ushering in the country's 61st birthday. And on the day after that the government is going to host a bumiputra congress.

Putting the national day and bumi congress together creates a sense of discordant contradiction.

The national day is supposed to be an occasion to manifest a patriotic spirit regardless of race and religion, but the bumi congress stresses the race factor and highlights the differences among our pluralistic ethnic communities.

Pakatan Harapan chairman Tun Mahathir said even before the general elections that PH would hold a bumi congress to explore issues on the rights and future development of the country's bumiputras, if it won the elections.

To be held on September 1, the Bumiputra and National Future Congress 2018 has since drawn the ire of many. MCA has said PH should not hold the congress while Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming accuses the country's Chinese community of being racist, citing the fact that some local Chinese organizations have voiced their objection to the bumi congress. He highlights the need for Malaysians to view this agenda outside the perspectives of race.

It needs to be stressed here that no one is against the government's effort to help lift the economy of bumiputras, improve the living standards of underprivileged bumis and deliver them out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

What some people are not happy is that the government should not look at things along the racial lines.

For so many decades this country has been poisoned by racist politics, making it very difficult for individuals from different ethnic backgrounds to mingle freely and harmoniously.

Because of that, many voted for Pakatan Harapan in GE14 in hope of change, but unfortunately the new PH government seems to walk down the same old path as its predecessors.

In GE14, Malaysia saw its first ever change of federal administration since independence, and the new government should do its best to free the country from the shackles of racist politics.

In other words, the new government must think outside of the racial confines and put the interest of all Malaysians first.

We have to admit that many bumiputras still lag far behind in economy. That said, there are also many non-bumis who are equally impoverished and requiring the assistance from the government. The government should strive to boost the economy of all ethnic groups so that no one will be left out from the country's economic prosperity.

The country's development should transcend the gains of any particular ethnic group. Lest we forget, all Malaysians irrespective of race are part of the common destiny of this land, and we have a common future that we embrace together.


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