Malaysians co-existing peacefully despite differences, say unity advocates


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014

PETALING JAYA: There is no country that can compare to Malaysia in terms of harmony and peace, says a widely travelled retiree.

Pritam Singh, 84, who has visited numerous countries all over the world in the course of his work with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), said there was no country like Malaysia.

“There is plenty of peace and harmony here. For a country with a large racial mix, we can surprisingly get on well with one another and respect the different cultures,” he said at his residence here.

Pritam who was born in Punjab in 1930, dismissed the racial problems that are highlighted every now and then, saying that they are a normal occurrence everywhere.

“Even in a family there are problems, maybe between a father and his son. We just should not bother too much about them,” said Pritam who moved to Kuala Pilah from India when he was a toddler.

Prior to joining IPPF as a programme planner in 1969, Pritam who studied at the Tuanku Muhammad School in Kuala Pilah went on to teach Science there until he was promoted to the position of headmaster.

“I could have studied medicine but I had a great desire to help my parents,” said the father of three sons.

He was offered to study medicine in Singapore but Pritam did not want to leave his parents alone.

Pritam then took up teaching full time, a profession he believed was in his blood.

In fact, Pritam started teaching when he was only 13, although this was done in an informal setting during the Japanese occupation.

To earn extra income for his family, he would sell salt to the people in Kuala Pilah. He would go to Port Dickson once a month to buy a big sack of salt before selling it in his hometown.

Unity advocate Anas Zubedy urged Malaysians to realise how special the country is.

To him, the special thing is that people are prospering together and co-existing peacefully despite their racial, religious and cultural diversity.

“There are many places in our country where you find a mosque, church and temple located close to each other.

“You can see also people of different races interacting with one another and those of other cultures,” he said.

Anas said that while some Malaysians may be pessimistic over several problems in the country, everyone should be thankful for and optimistic over the nation’s progress and potential.


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