Tuesday, February 27, 2007

All races contributed to national development

Highlighting non-Malay contribution timely

I refer to your report “RTM to air films on non-Malay contributions”(Star February 27).

We welcome the statement by Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin that documentaries on the nation’s non-Malay freedom fighters will be aired over Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) soon.

This is long overdue and the minister must actively pursue this matter with urgency and whole-heartedly. There is no doubt that non-Malays have contributed a lot to the nation not only in the pre- and post-independent days but also in the decades that followed. In fact they are continuing to contribute immensely to the development of the nation on all fronts.

In is a pity that while our younger generations of Malaysians are fully aware of the contributions of our past Malay leaders but ignorant of those of the non-Malays. Not only the Chinese and Indian freedom fighters need to be given due recognition but all non-Malays citizens who have in many ways helped to make Malaysia what it is today, as their permanent home for them and their generations to come. Ignorance of the sacrifices of a particular group would only create jealousy and suspicion by others towards them.

Many non-Malays have indeed contributed excellently in the civil service, armed forces, police, judiciary, sports, the plantation and mining sectors. In fact they have contributed their services in almost every sector with great dedication and loyalty.

Denying their rightful place in the history of the nation has created a great deal of frustration and despair. Many are losing hope for a bright future in their own homeland, which they helped to build. Nationalism and patriotism should be the proud possession of all not one particular race.

The government should consider all citizens as equal partners in nation building and provide the opportunities for all based purely on merit. Only when citizens are given due recognition and appreciation for their sacrifices will they develop a sense of belonging which will in turn instill patriotism to the nation.

We must stress to our children that our nation is what it is today as a result of the sacrifices and contribution of all the various ethnic groups in the country. We have all toiled together to build our nation. No one single group should be solely credited for our success as this will only be detrimental to the progress of our nation.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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