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.
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?