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Building an intercommunal bridge

  • We need to build a bridge, not a wall, between the communities.

Sin Chew Daily

Sin Chew Daily is working with Sinar Harian in constructing a bridge to promote intercommunity relationship and understanding.

The “Malaysia after 62 years of Independence” forum on Thursday evening saw the gathering of notable speakers from the Malay, Chinese and Indian communities to explore the roadmap of solidarity for the nation.

The forum was one of the events under the Sin Chew-Sinar Harian collaboration, which will also see the two media organizations exchanging news content, joint reporting over a common issue, and organizing a forum and talk on solidarity, among others.

Such collaboration is truly significant in view of Malaysia's multicultural society.

In a multiracial country like ours, racial integration and national unity have been key issues that have drawn the attention of many Malaysians.

Looking back at the history and development of interracial relations in this country, we have to admit that an invisible wall of segregation is still very much evident between different ethnic communities.

It is imperative that we do something to close the gap and promote intercommunal understanding. Such effort is particularly relevant in the age of information overload where seditious messages spread like wildfire thanks to the Internet and social media, posing severe challenges to our yet-to-mature racial relations.

The recent controversy over the "boycott non-Muslim products" campaign, for instance, has highlighted the seriousness of racial polarization in this country.

It is sad that progress in interracial relations has remained stagnant after more than six decades of Independence. One of the reasons is the irresponsible acts by some politicians fanning racial sentiments and manipulating religious issues for their own good.

That said, we cannot deny that lack of mutual interactions and understanding has also impeded further national integration.

Politicians and members of the public must accept the reality that we are living in a multicultural society. Rejecting this fact and going on with their racist acts will only polarize the country further and create more intercommunity conflicts and confrontation.

The only way out for Malaysia is to construct a more liberal and inclusive pluralistic society and promote racial integration. This means that we need to build a bridge, not a wall, between the communities.

The media have been tasked with the all-important responsibility of disseminating positive information while overseeing the government.

Sin Chew Daily and Sinar Harian are willing to shoulder more of their social responsibility in promoting interracial understanding and interactions towards greater unity and integration.

Meanwhile, politicians exploiting sensitive racial and religious issues must stop all the destructive acts and put the people's interest first.

Racial issues continue to plague the nation after 62 years of Independence, making it hard for the government to stay focused on the country's development.

This problem must not be allowed to go on unchecked. Sin Chew Daily and Sinar Harian have made the first move. It is hoped that this collaboration will produce the desired results as we strive to contribute positively towards national unity.

 

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