Countering hatred by building bridges

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Sketch by Wong Soak Koon

Nothing is more tragic than when hate is expressed so violently as was the case in the recent terror attacks in Melbourne, writes Christopher Chong.

We live in a world where hatred towards the Other, ie migrants, those with different religious beliefs etc, is becoming prevalent.

Nothing is more tragic than when such hate is expressed so violently as was the case in the recent terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch by white supremacists.

Aliran condemns such cowardly behaviour in the strongest terms: “People with influence, be they political, civil and religious leaders, have a moral responsibility to promote goodwill among all members of the human race and refrain from spreading messages of hate and intolerance.

“Many countries around the world have become increasingly multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-religious over the years. Diversity in today’s world should be embraced and celebrated, and differences should be considered an asset to society as a whole. So let us build bridges and promote greater understanding and acceptance of one another regardless of our religious leanings.”

You can read the full Aliran statement on this tragic incident here.

On the home front, Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj argued that if Pakatan Harapan (PH) does not want to end up being a one-term government, it needs to focus on eliminating poverty.

He outlined some proposals on how this could be done and ended his article by saying: “A new more harmonious Malaysia cannot be built if economic deprivation makes people in the lowest rungs of society apprehensive and thus more susceptible to racial politicking and scaremongering that some parties are very good at.

“The very survival of the PH government and the reform process that it is trying to implement beyond the next general election will hinge on how successfully the economic anxieties of the bottom 40% are allayed over the next four years.”

“Everyone who wants to see a better Malaysia should keep reminding the PH leaders of this reality.”

Jeyakumar’s full article can be found here.

Finally, in Aliran’s Young Writer’s section, Eric Thoo has written a piece on how people with an interest to change society for better can play an active role in civil society. His piece can be found here.

Chris Chong
Co-editor, Aliran newsletter
19 March 2019

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Hamzah Osman
Hamzah Osman
25 Mar 2019 3.21pm

I concur with you Chris. Hatred dwells in the heart of people who are deprived of love by their families, communities and societies.
Malaysia Baru is only a hope. It is not a promise. The way things are going on in this country doesnt’t give me any confidence. Politicians and religious bigots will continue to survive and play to the gallery.
Where else in the world will you see a cleptocrat and a thief garner so many supporters. Only in Malaysia.
In Japan, they would have done a harakiri for bringing shame to the contry. What a shame!