Waiting for “Hidup Rakyat Bersatu”

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Henry is longing for the day when he will see more Malaysians embracing a more inclusive perspective – unity in diversity – instead of viewing the world through narrow ethnic lens.

Just yesterday as I drove on to the ferry from Penang Island en route to Butterworth I noticed that the vehicle parked in front of me had the following car sticker emblazoned on its rear windscreen: “Hidup Melayu Bersatu”.

I was immediately disturbed by the message that was being conveyed via the car sticker. I started to imagine cars with stickers that read “Hidup Cina Bersatu” or “Hidup India Bersatu” and so on.

Isn’t it sad that after 54 years of Independence we still feel the need to display such sentiments which can only be divisive in nature? Where is the ‘1Malaysia’ spirit? Quite certainly, the unknown person who was driving the vehicle and presumably its other occupants had no qualms about displaying ‘Malay unity’ over and above Malaysian unity.

Coincidentally as I started to read theSun newspaper, I chanced upon a column by Nadeswaran. In the article he lamented the fact that there were “hate mongers” sending out false and nasty SMSes with the intention of creating more distrust, hate and misunderstanding amongst the various ethnic groups in the country. He criticised the perpetrators of these false SMSes as messengers of hate.

It is because of the existence of individuals and groups that are chauvinistic, bigoted and exclusive that we need to go the extra mile to promote greater acceptance and understanding amongst the different ethnic and religious groups in the country. We must always remember that whatever shade our skin colour is, the blood that flows within us is of the same colour. We are all but members of humankind regardless of our race, ethnicity or religion.

Importantly, as Malaysians, we need to support and promote greater understanding and unity amongst all who live and reside in this beloved country of us.

Personally, I look forward to the day when the dominant message of the day is “Hidup Rakyat Bersatu”.

Henry is an Aliran member

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