Time to be Malaysian first, not an ethnic group

I REFER to the report “Stand united and prosper” and Wong Chun Wai’s article “See the beauty in all religions” (Sunday Star, June 25).

I share Wong’s sentiments as I too come from a Catholic school, St Paul’s Institution in Seremban. I went there in the 1950s and I would say this school made me a good Sikh.

And thank you, Star Media Group, for your efforts in running a patriotic campaign that aims to bring Malaysians together. I applaud your efforts. You are a caring media group and as a consumer advocate, I like your attempts in striving for moderation.

I say that we must do everything we can to replace hate with moderation and end extremism in any form and be serious about removing it from the root.

With mutual respect, we can create a harmonious nation as we celebrate the coming National Day. The spirit of moderation will be the source of success for our country.

Moderation is the way for a multiracical nation. This is how we should live. Let us strive to do that. We can and must have the will to do that.

We should be more united today as Malaysians but we aren’t. We are so comfortable just being Malays, Chinese, Indians or Ibans. But this will not do. It cannot be the case anymore, especially not after almost 60 years of independence.

We must change without delay. End this notion of race, and move on to being one Malaysian race. It would be good for Malaysia and all the citizens. Can we?

I have always advocated that we must take the first step and be friendly with others. When we do this, others will reciprocate.

If we are not good neighbours, do not expect others to be so. As they say, charity begins at home.

We must know that understanding breeds goodwill. If we can practise tolerance at all times, we can begin to accept others as we want them to accept us.

That said, it would be good for Malaysians to take the time to learn about each other’s religions.

It really pays to know how others live as this knowledge can bring many benefits and certainly help prevent petty squabbles which will get us nowhere.

And at all times, we have to keep Malaysia moderate for therein lies brotherhood, tranquillity and love for this nation.

We must always be sensitive to the beliefs of others. Be respectful too. That is how we should live in democratic and multiracial Malaysia.



ModerateMY , Letters , Moderation