Nation’s founding based on inter-racial unity: Amanah
Published on: Wednesday, January 22, 2020
By: Malay Mail
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PETALING JAYA: Deputy Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Hatta Ramli reminded Malaysians of the spirit of its founding which was based on inter-racial unity amongst the different ethnic groups found in the country.

Hatta who is also Amanah secretary-general recalled the time in his younger days when attending a religious or cultural celebration of another ethnic group was something to be lauded instead of being criticised.

“In our kind of development now, you can’t have a residential development project where only Malays or Chinese occupy a certain residential project. There’s always going to be mixed-race housing areas but maybe the ratio is different.

“If we instil fear in people, how can you live and feel safe and accepted by the people of another race that has a majority in that area without feeling uncomfortable. If this is the feeling after 60 odd years of independence, we are going down the drain.

“I think we should take a role. Especially the media. Instead of fanning the fire – which might not be marketable in sense of readership – but we must console, talk good with each other and what we can do together regardless of languae,” said Hatta.

Furthermore, he pointed out that if the media continues fanning the flames of hate or publish racially sensitive content, they are only granting stronger positions to the bigots.

Even though he realised that some of these individuals only behave like bigots online while in real life they are not racists, their words alone are already damaging to race relations.

He added that it would be pointless for the government to continue developing the economy and the country but the nation’s racial unity is left fractured.

“I can talk about focusing on developing business but there’s no meaning if we work in (race-based) silos and in fear that the interference of another ethnic group will spoil us and so on.

“I think this is something we need to try and stop for us and for the next generation. We must move together as Malaysians for the better,” he said.

Hatta observed that Malaysia would be too divided if her people are unable to sit together and celebrate the good times together.

He cautioned that this would lead to a worse scenario during bad times and that for a racially diverse country like Malaysia, this will lead to a disaster as the nation was founded on the grounds of tolerance.

Hatta added that attending the celebration of another ethnic or religious group will not erode a person’s race or culture but can enrich it instead.

“Tolerate means we sacrifice a bit but understand and know each other’s likes, dislike sand hypersensitivity and so on. And we must stop all these campaigns buy Malay first, buy Chinese first, this is so un-Malaysian.

“It is atypical of a Malaysian society and it mocks our higher thinking. It treats us like idiots,” said Hatta.

Recently the nation has been rocked by racially sensitive comments coming from those with ill intent or who have misplaced fear on the cultural identity of other ethnic and religious groups.

Among the issues include the protest against the introduction of khat and jawi script into vernacular schools and the social media message condemning a school in Puchong for putting up red lanterns to celebrate Chinese New Year. 

During the event, the deputy minister also took part in the Yee Sang toss, a practice unique to Malaysia that has also spread to other ethnic Chinese communities abroad. – Malay Mail


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