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Moderation our only way out

  • Moderation is the only way out for this nation. The earlier we come to recognise this, the earlier we will deliver ourselves out of the current imbroglio.

Sin Chew Daily

The Malay Dignity Congress has ended for days, but the ripples it stirred simply refuse to go away.

During his convocation ceremony, Universiti Malaya graduate Wong Yan Ke urged the vice chancellor who made racist remarks at the congress to step down, and a police report was lodged against him as a consequence.

This incident has raised much controversy among Malaysians, with some reprimanding Wong for being rude and others hitting out at his school.

Suhakam expressed its concern over the resolutions passed at the congress, arguing that these resolutions had tensed up racial relations of this country and violated Article 8 of the Federal Constitution on the principle of equality and non-discrimination.

Among the controversial resolutions passed at the Malay Dignity Congress are gradual abolition of the existing multi-stream education, and reserving key national posts for Malay-Muslims, etc.

Tolerance and moderation should be cherished in a multiracial country like ours, not overemphasis on ethnicity. As Suhakam has said, this country should belong to all Malaysians -- the Malays, Indians, Chinese, Ibans and other ethnic communities, and no one should be discriminated in his or her own country.

Malaysia has for so many years been plagued by a plethora of racial and religious issues. Following a change of federal administration last year, many used to believe such a phenomenon would soon come to an end under “New Malaysia”.

It didn't happen that way!

With two major opposition parties Umno and PAS officiating an alliance, the public can be excused for worrying about intensifying racial and religious sentiments.

As a multiracial country, we cannot afford to keep beating around the issues of race and religion and exhausting our precious resources and energy on such nonsense. Malaysians must think beyond skin colour and embrace our diversity instead of tying every single thing to race or religion.

Former international trade and industry minister Rafidah Aziz pointed out during the recent business ethic roundtable conference that we must not throw in the factors of race and religion when deliberating the future of this country. But the question now is, many politicians are happily exploiting such issues to shore up their political assets and have repeatedly raised all sorts of sensitive issues.

Both politicians and members of the public must come to terms with the reality of the country's diversity, and maximise our strength in this area in creating a promising future for the nation.

Narrow-minded racism and religionism will only bring short-term benefits to a small bunch of people but will hurt the country's overall interest in the long run.

Moderation is the only way out for this nation. The earlier we come to recognise this, the earlier we will deliver ourselves out of the current imbroglio and focus on overall development for the benefit of everyone.

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