Why race-based political parties cannot build a more inclusive society

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Cartoon: Zunar

We have failed to capitalise on the strength of acceptance, unity and harmony that are the glue in holding a multiracial society together, JD Lovrenciear writes.

Racism is deeply embedded in our national journey into the future.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s launch of yet another Malay political party, Pejuang, shows how deeply we are rooted in race-based thinking.

Let’s not pretend or use politically correct statements to claim that race-based parties will be moderate and inclusive. The very notion of having racially skewed political parties means there is no inclusivity. Moderate thinking takes a back seat when we are faced with such racial thinking that sometimes blinds people with rage.

For a nation that has been independent for over six decades, we have not yet learned how to nurture a single nation of Malaysians. Instead, “The Malay Dilemma” is remains the guiding rule in Malaysian politics. Mahathir has just given that nightmare another new push.

In an age when nations are fighting hard against the deadly toxins of racism, we have just fired another shot at our hope of building a nation based on inclusivity and compassion.

The ugly truth is that, in a nation built by so many distinct ethnic groups, cultures and traditions, we have failed to capitalise on the strength of acceptance, unity and harmony that are the glue in holding a multiracial society together.

We have stagnated in our aim of creating a nation of people who see each other as Malaysians first and last.

We are further entrenched in a framework of prejudice and divisiveness, which will unleash more suspicion and hatred in the 21st Century. As if the many political, geopolitical, economic, environmental and social challenges are not enough for us to grapple with.

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It is sad and painful to witness Tunku Abdul Rahman’s dreams vaporise slowly but surely.

Orang Asli inclusivity?

The Orang Asli residents at Kampung Sungai Teras were reportedly the first group of locals to benefit during the Slim by-election campaign. After five decades, electricity supply is finally being installed to their houses.

It took the government 63 years after gaining independence to bring a basic amenity to a village of 226 people.

For a nation that never fails to tout its achievements in progress and development – reflected by concrete and glass superstructures and gross domestic product (GDP) figures – it actually needed six decades to bring electricity to villagers.

A nation with a relatively small population of 32 million took such a long time to share the fruit of national progress and governmental efficiency with 226 villagers.

Imagine how many more such episodes of failure to share the wealth there are across the length and breath of the nation. Whither inclusivity?

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Gursharan Singh
Gursharan Singh
30 Aug 2020 11.06am

‘Why race-based political parties cannot build a more inclusive society’?
IN MOST COVERINGS IS IT NOT A COMMON PERCEPTION THAT RACE BASED POLITICAL GROUPINGS MAY BE THE ONLY WAY TO GET AND RETAIN POLITICAL POWER WHICH IS PERCEIVED TO BE THE KEY FOR SELF ENRICHMMENT VIA THE UNLIMITED OPPORTUNITIES TO ACCUMULATE WEALTH AND EXPAND BENEFICIARIES VIA CRONYISM AND NEPOTISM?

Bless all

Gursharan Singh
Gursharan Singh
30 Aug 2020 6.05pm

COUNTRIES and NOT COVERINGS.
Apologies

loyal malaysian
loyal malaysian
30 Aug 2020 10.47am

Yes, JD you are absolutely correct.
Like you, I also believe that if our nation cannot progress beyond race- based political parties, then there can be no hope of a Malaysian Malaysia.
PKR was a very interesting and promising experiment but the way it has imploded showed that something is very wrong with its structure.
So, we are back to square one, minus!

Santana
Santana
29 Aug 2020 9.12pm

If there were to be no by election in slim probably it would have taken another 60yrs for the orang asli community there to get their power supply.