Friday, September 25, 2009

Bring Back the real spirit of unity

Bring Back the real Spirit of Unity

We are fortunate that the country’s unity remains anchored to a bedrock of religious tolerance, mutual understanding and respect among the various races. It has not been seriously threatened by ethnic and religious tensions created by provocations of irresponsible politicians or biased implementation of policies. We may have succeeded in effectively managing racial rifts over the decades but there is a dire need for a long-term solutions to ensure real harmony.

One obvious obstacle towards this is our ineptitude to hold to hold frank and open dialogues over religious issues without all getting riled up. As such, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s final mission as Prime Minister before leaving office-to ease racial and religious tensions-should indeed be lauded and supported. It is never too late for political players and policy makers to realize that the future of Malaysia hinges on its continued religious and inter-racial harmony. As the PM said at the Christian Federation of Malaysia’s Christmas Open House before, our children must be raised without any sense of prejudice. Differences in religion should not be a hindrance to developing and maintaining friendships.

The sad reality is that a large segment of Malaysians, especially among the young, can only mingle within the comfort of their own race groups. They do not show any interest in or concern for other communities. It is obvious that inexpedient educational policies and failures in promoting multiracial interactions have contributed to the regretful situation. But the mess can still be untangled to free the original spirit of unity. The country, after all, was born and nurtured on such a foundation.

We have proven in the past that the core values inherent in our faiths, culture and customs are enough to unite us as Malaysians. The coming new year offers hope for renewed focus on unity based on respect for multi-ethnicity and religious tolerance.

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