PETALING JAYA: Moderation is essential in a multi-cultural society like Malaysia, says law professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi (pic).
“Moderation is a moral imperative in a multicultural society. It is a desirable way of thought and life in a multi-racial and multi-religious society in a global, borderless world,” he said.
Speaking at a public forum entitled “Towards a Just and Pluralistic Society: The Way Forward”, he added that moderation is the abhorrence of violence.
“Moderation welcomes social engagement and rejection of hatred, ill-will and prejudice against other races,” said the UiTM emeritus professor on Monday night.
The forum’s second speaker, former Bar Council president Christopher Leong said that Malaysia's future depended on the Federal Constitution being upheld.
“The Constitution provides a blueprint for a pluralistic Malaysia. Let us go back to 1957,” said Leong.
He also called for Malaysians to re-examine the thinking of the nation’s founding fathers to see how to move forward.
“When Malaysia was formed in 1963, parts of the Constitution were amended to reflect the union,” said Leong.
He pointed to Article 8(1) as an example, saying that it prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion or gender.
“We should protect our Constitution and not allow attempts to rewrite it,” said Leong.
He also called on ordinary Malaysians to appreciate what the Constitution provides for all Malaysians, a point that was also shared by Shad.
“We need to promote constitutional literacy. There is a distinct lack of popular protest when the Constitution’s provisions are amended to serve the intentions of the political elite,” said Shad.
He added that Malaysia’s 58 years of experience in the politics of accommodation and sharing of powers is unprecedented.
“We have to accept this diversity of our multi-racial, multi-religious society and capitalise on it,” he said.