Home Civil Society Voices Election 2022: Multiculturalism is the way forward

Election 2022: Multiculturalism is the way forward

This is where the future of Malaysia resides

Our cultural diversity is an asset - DR WONG SOAK KOON/ALIRAN

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One of the critical endeavours in the upcoming general election is for voting Malaysians to compare, contrast and unify the type of national unity that is espoused by Barisan Nasional, Perikatan Nasional and Pakatan Harapan.

The mainstream notion of unity by the BN and PN coalition is based on the dominance of the Malays, where unity is only viable if it is placed within the narrative of ethnic dominance and control, where other communities have to accept the national unity within this dominant narrative.

Parties who question this narrative of asymmetrical unity are regarded as a threat to ethnic supremacy and the cause of disharmony.

The question is can authentic unity be sought in the context of ethnic dominance?

While it is true that unity should be embraced through empathy among Malaysians, taking into consideration the historical and identity factors in the formation of Malaysia, it has to evolve to take into consideration the reality of human living which takes place in the context of the present: Malaysia is facing various internal and global challenges to its development due its ethno-religious ideology of insecurity that creates an obstacle to its competitiveness.

Unity in its real sense of the word is not merely about compromise or tolerance, it is about sharing and loving one’s brothers and sisters in diversity, which means shared humanity.

It is a profound form of unity of the present and now, where one sees the other as loveable, valued, equal and able to coexist in harmony. It respects the right to life and progress for all communities without being insecure.

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Such understanding and openness of unity brings forth the tendency to see the good in the other: multiculturalism is regarded as an existential reality, where the talents and capabilities of the people of Malaysia are celebrated and allowed to excel without the fear of losing out.

Relationships are based on crushing the sense of insecure egoistic, ethnic identity and embracing the other as fellow people of  Malaysia without barriers.

It is about building bridges instead of building walls.

To reach national unity in a more authentic sense, the notion of ethnic and religious dominance should be done away with, where the constitutional document is seen as an evolving concept rather than a rigid and ideological conceptualisation of ethnic rights.

Multiculturalism celebrates the unique diversity of communities and acceptance of the most vulnerable communities. This is where the future of Malaysia resides.

Therefore, the Association for Welfare Community and Dialogue (Acid) urges Malaysians to vote for a coalition and parties that espouse multiculturalism since the belief in God in the Rukun Negara entails a God that created the reality of diversity as a way for human beings to know and love each other.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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