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Small hearts

  • Our world is large enough but many still fear to tread outside their comfort zones. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

Sin Chew Daily

SOME PEOPLE TEND to believe that Malaysia is so small that they cannot accommodate people not like them.

As a result, people confront one another, and by all means bring down their dissidents and get rid of them.

For example, must we force the Hindu temple in USJ to relocate?

If the developer would adopt a different attitude, accept the presence of the humble temple and respect the faith of its devotees, they could have kept the not-too-large temple where it stands when drawing up their project. The unfortunate incident could have been avoided.

The plot of land is large enough to implement the project without touching the temple. The developer's foresight is not.

There is a Hindu temple a stone's throw away from Mid Valley Megamall, one of the nation's largest malls.

Many years ago, when the developer IGB was acquiring the land, Sri Maha Sakthi Mohambigai Amman Temple was already sitting there.

What IGB did not do was to force the relocation of the temple. Instead, it had a talk with the temple authorities on how to coexist peacefully with the incoming super mall.

The two sides reached an agreement to have the temple rebuilt and expanded on the existing site, with car park and hostel thrown in. The culturally significant bodhi tree there was also spared.

No conflicts from any side in the ensuing years. The temple is still thronged by devotees today as Mid Valley is doing a superb business there.

Take some tome to appreciate this picture of harmony the next time you visit Mid Valley.

THERE'S SUFFICIENT SPACE to develop the higher education sector in this country, and the government's allocations are ample enough. Unfortunately our hearts are too small.

For so many years UTAR has been providing excellent further study opportunities for Chinese Malaysian students.

Although it is controlled by a political party, politics has never actually become a part of its curriculum.

So, why have some people grown so uneasy with it?

Will Chinese students have better prospects today if UTAR was not set up by MCA back during those years? Can we have more young talents if UTAR did not come into being?

Will it get better if some other organizations were to run a school in the place of MCA?

UTAR has been run quite well all these years. Why has it suddenly become an issue now?

A better excuse should be provided if it is not political retaliation.

Now that DAP is a component of the ruling coalition, getting government allocation or running a public fund-raising campaign will not be a problem at all.

Neither will it be a problem to set up a Rocket University of some sort.

If it really wants to do something meaningful for the country, it should perhaps fix the problem of unequal education policies such as opening up MARA, fighting for a fairer student intake at public universities or scholarship based on merit, not a student's skin color.

Malaysia is large enough, and there are plenty of bigger things our political parties can and should do. Don't sweat over petty stuff like this, or mess up a professionally run college.

THE OPPONENTS OF ICERD are not going to call it a day as yet, as they vow to go ahead with their planned rally next week.

Malaysia is large enough, but why some people still choose to live in their tiny enclosures and shackle themselves in the name of special privileges?

They hate to see other communities gain access to the same liberal and equal space despite the fact this country is large enough for all.

They fail to see that over a hundred sovereign states have already signed the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) with the only exception of Malaysia and a handful of other states.

Our world is large enough but many still fear to tread outside their comfort zones.

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