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Political leaders must stop dividing the people

We cannot take the country forward if leaders keep driving a wedge between the various communities

Our diversity should be celebrated - DR WONG SOAK KOON/ALIRAN

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The way our politicians keep tearing at the ‘maruah’ (dignity and honour) of the people is unending.

From calling the ethnic minorities as ‘pendatang’ to degrading Malays as “lazy” – you name it, we have all heard it umpteen times in the past.

When will all this ever stop? Are we serious about nurturing patriotism and building a progressive Malaysia with a truly ‘Malaysian’ outlook.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently cast aspersions on Chinese Malaysians once again. This time around, at the launching of his new book, Capturing Hope: The Struggle Continues for A New Malaysia, he seemingly uttered insulting remarks. 

As painfully articulated by Sin Chew Daily editor-in-chief Kuik Cheng Kang, in his 14 December response to the two-time prime minister, Mahathir has “too many biased views and misunderstandings”. It is this bitterness that Mahathir keeps harping on, sparking a trust deficit among Malaysians towards politicians.

The chopstick analogy that Mahathir used, which has gone viral, was shallow and unwarranted and should be challenged to the hilt. Netizens have fired back against such snide remarks, and they want them stopped permanently.

We must condemn other similarly divisive remarks. We should hold leaders like Mahathir (and several others that we know of) accountable for their own failure in building a nation that is united and respectful of differences.

We cannot forgive and forget political leaders who keep spewing poison that divides the people along ethnic and religious lines. Enough of sowing division in our multicultural, multi-religious society!

We cannot take the country forward if leaders keep driving a wedge between the various communities – as if each leader or politician has the right to run down cultures and belief systems. Other nations are moving ahead to develop the full potential of their people.

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We seek a nation that willingly nurtures and accepts our diversity, manifested through our different cultures, traditions and religious beliefs – without fear or hateful prejudice.

Malaysians are a great bunch of people. We have seen how they display their ‘muhibah’ spirit (goodwill and unity). We have witnessed how time and again, when the government fails, it is the people who step up to salvage the situation or tackle a crisis effectively.

It is this unity and understanding among the people that is continually put under siege by politicians desperate to cling on to power.

Let us be rid of such vile, destructive attempts to imprison this nation in the backwaters of divisiveness.

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.

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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