Until and unless the root causes of ethno-religious conflict or general discontent are tackled, any attempt to resolve the situation may be seen as just fire-fighting, writes Mustafa K Anuar.
The Prime Minister has been touting his 1Malaysia slogan. But can we co-exist as one when irreversible damage has been done, wonders Fathol Zaman Bukhari.
A weary Farish Noor, after attending one inter-religious dialogue too many, takes a critical look at such pageants during which illuminories of all religions come, shake hands, state their differences, smile politely and then return home.
Malaysia does not need another communitarian party that caters to the primary concerns of a particular ethnic or religious community, says Farish A Noor. We already forced have too many parties based on ethnic and religious loyalties, and yet another sectarian party like Mindraf will hardly bring us any closer to a Malaysia where identity is based on universal citizenship and equal rights.
The official use of the songkok has always been embroiled in controversy, be it the requirement for state assemblymen’s swearing in or non-Malay students attending a university convocation. The songkok really has nothing to do with religion or ethnic identity, says our special correspondent.
For the sake of the country’s children and future, it is high time the BN realised that its ethnic and religious model of politics is passé, says Andrew Aeria. Voters, please note.
What does Anwar Ibrahim think of the controversy surrounding Article 121(1A) and the judiciary? In a cover story interview with the reformasi icon, we get him to speak frankly about the state of inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations, especially in the light of the Moorthy Maniam case and the aborted Article 11 Coalition road-show last year. He talks about his own efforts at encouraging intra-Muslim dialogue and then takes a critical look at the state of the judiciary today, including former Lord President Tun Salleh’s attempt to clear his name.
The silent majority must wake up and take a stand against opportunistic politicians who are using race and religion to stir the cauldron, says P Ramakrishnan.
John Hilley argues that curbs on the discussion of racial and religious issues not only breed suspicion, resentment and disunity but foster Vision-type notions of national unity popularised by big leaders.Malaysians do know how to debate and disagree civilly. They must reclaim this right.
There are some lessons we can learn from India whose medieval society was more religiously tolerant and open, says Asghar Ali Engineer. But divide-and-rule colonial tactics and politically divisive forces have created communal and religious divisions in their competition for power, threatening India’s secularism in the process.