BY sharing his vision of a united and progressive Malaysia with all of us, Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo has certainly brought much “comfort” to all moderate Malaysians, “Unity of vital importance” (The Star, Jan 22).
What makes it sweet is he has chosen to do this on an auspicious day like Chinese New Year.
As the chairman of the Selangor Barisan Nasional, Dr Khir has sent strong signals to everyone that any form of religious extremism and racial chauvinism will have no place in this country.
Putting forward the key concepts of “tolerance” and “acceptance,” he has rightly pointed out the need to accept the reality of the complexity of Malaysia’s plural society, not only by the country’s leaders but also by the rakyat.
The refusal by any leader or the rakyat to accept this reality will have dire consequences on the country’s political and socio-economic stability.
Furthermore, the nation will not go far in its quest for national unity if we merely tolerate the diversity around us.
Learning to accept rather than just tolerate is the paradigm shift that we would like to see in our society.
This shift will only take place if steps are taken constantly and consistently to bring the multi-racial and multi-religious people closer.
Every positive step taken, no matter how small, must be highlighted over and over again and it does not really matter whether one calls it a cliché or passé.
National unity is something that we cannot take lightly or for granted.
I sincerely commend the Government for taking numerous measures, especially in recent times, to ensure the national unity agenda is given due importance.
From what I can see, the Government has made serious and untiring efforts to promote national unity.
While the list is long, one good example will be the national-level celebration of major festivals.
These grand-scale celebrations carry a strong message with them, that the rights of the people to practise their values and beliefs are always upheld and protected by the Government, as enshrined in the Constitution.
This augurs well for the national unity agenda.
Let’s hope and pray there will be many more leaders out there (be they from the Government or the opposition) who share Dr Khir’s aspirations, not only in the creation of a united Bangsa Malaysia but also in bringing Malaysia to greater heights internationally.
As for the ordinary rakyat like me, I can play a role and contribute towards these aspirations by exercising my voting rights wisely.
LIM YEW CHOY,