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Malaysian race dichotomy – imagined or real?

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The media should give the public more space to make the news and edge out the politicians who are preoccupied with racial issues, says JD Lovrenciear.

It is indeed puzzling if not irritably confusing. The racial “divides”, racial “sensitivities” and racial “quotas” seem to be to making the news all the time.

But where you live and work and play, you see Malaysians intermingling between the various races almost effortlessly. You see this on walkways, in public transport, eateries and office corridors.

But the news pages tell a different story. Politicians seem preoccupied with racial divides and calls for ‘tolerance’ every other day. Be it economics, social or even environment – the political twist is almost always one of racial if not religious alarm.

This dichotomy between what we see in everyday life and what we read in the news with increasing ferocity should set us thinking.

Either our politicians and news bearers are completely detached from the reality on the ground level or citizens are living in superficial make-believe harmony.

One truth that is slowly emerging is that Malaysians are increasingly growing tired of this encroachment into their social space, where people find comfort and solace in mixed communities – be it at work or leisure.

Hopefully the media can play a champion’s role in giving the public more space to make the news and edge out the politicians who are hellbent on going on about racial discord, sensitivities, intolerance.

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