When Tricia Yeoh of CPPS spoke to me about the forum on national unity and development, I told her that we have to move beyond talk and spring into action if we want to initiate a change. I was invited but did not attend the forum.
It is not that I am not being supportive of the initiative as it has been almost my daily mantra calling for the dismantling of racial politics. But I was afraid of being disappointed again by all talk but no action type of event.
Reported here, Young Malaysians at the roundtable discussion on national unity and development have called for “ethnic-based politics and racist ideologies in any form” to be rejected.
Perak Regent Raja Nazrin Shah, a prominent scholar, said the Federal Constitution is the key document to promote and defend in the nation-building process. He said that Malaysia belongs to all Malaysians equally, and all have an equal right and responsibility to take ownership of their country and its future. He rightly identified a sense of belonging and a common destiny, binding Malaysians of all races, religions and origins together in a common purpose as key pillars of national unity.
To enhance ethnic relations in the country, the idea of a pivotal race or religion must be erased and corrected. No one should think that he is a more deserving Malaysian than others. Hence, the nation's psyche must focus on the spirit of equality and the rights embedded in citizenship regardless of ethnicity or creed.
I read the discussions concluded that constructive dialogue is a crucial tool for building bridges between Malaysia’s various communities, towards achieving national unity. Participants at the forum should seriously ask themselves if the problem (of lack of interethnic understanding) is attributed to a lack of constructive dialogue or a lack of willingness to dialogue? Could it also be due to our communitarian tendency of allowing community leaders to speak on behalf of their respective community when they do not necessarily represent the views of all individual members?
As I have stressed earlier, for this initiative to become a real catalyst in imparting change i.e. dump racialist policies and politics, we must act more than we talk.