I REFER to “Special unit for racial unity” (The Star, Feb 12) and fully concur with the views expressed by the writer.
Racial integration, mutual respect and understanding and most of all, friendship and the spirit of camaraderie of children of different races and ethnic backgrounds must be encouraged and embraced at a very young age in primary schools.
Children in their innocence just love to interact and play. It is often said if you give a child half a chance, a child wants to play. It is inherent in the DNA of our children for play comes naturally and joyfully to them.
There is no denying sports is one of the most effective ways to promote racial togetherness and the spirit of oneness in patriotism.
When Datuk Nicol David or Datuk Lee Chong Wei wins on the international stage, Malaysians of all walks of life and different ethnic, religious, cultural and even political background stand proud and celebrate as one.
Sports is colour blind. Sports is universal in appeal and cuts across all barriers. Sports in short unites.
To promote unity at a place that matters most and starting young, I suggest that the annual state and national sports championships (MSSM) for primary schools be modified into unity games where each team at district, state and national levels are participated by multiracial teams.
This needs political will and vision. It is not impossible to make it a reality. Almost every district education department in the country has national and vernacular schools (Chinese and Tamil) in its area.
A strategy can be developed to ensure all participating teams in each district be made up of children of different races which will necessitate the close interaction of cocurriculum officials, sports coordinators, sports secretaries and school sports teachers in the district to form unified teams.
We drive the message home that winning is not the main criteria but the integration of children of different races in each team to promote the spirit of unity which to me should be our nation’s number one agenda.
Special care and effort must be taken to create an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie in these sports carnival to ensure our children have a memorable time.
Music and lyrics depicting unity and friendship can fill the air in all languages when children compete. Many children and parents will savour and enjoy these memorable numbers. There are so many wonderful music tracks that has the capacity to move people add value to the atmosphere.
There will be many parents giving moral support when their children compete. Hence a good multiracial crowd to embrace this message of unity.
Equally important is the fact that sports leads to good health and other positive values that come with it. Children will learn many values through sports to help them with character building and personality to face challenges with greater confidence in the future. A healthy body builds a healthy mind and a healthy Malaysia.
Winning teams at district level will then compete at the state level and the state champions then move on to represent the state at the MSSM National Unity Games.
State and national level unity games to be organised in similar fashion driving the beauty and simplicity of sports in the spirit of unity.
To ensure this National School Unity Games is given the importance it deserves the grand finale should be graced by His Majesties the King and Queen and the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
During the sports meet at the district, state and national levels, the media can play a huge role in highlighting human-interest stories of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of not only the unified teams competing but also the important people behind the scenes working hard to make it happen such as the coaches and parents.
One will be surprised to learn how many peace loving and fair-minded Malaysians and corporate bodies will want to come forward to help the Government make this a reality for the love of our blessed nation.
Unity starts from the heart. What better way to start than via the innocence of our very young children who never stop enjoying the simple joy of sports.
Nothing will happen is there is no political will. If there is a will there will always be a way.
We owe this to our children to make our Malaysia a land of peace, joy and happiness.