We need leaders who champion all races
I refer to the report “Code of ethics to prevent politicians from using racial issues”(Sun July 24).
The plans by The Parliamentary Select Committee on National Unity and National Service to come up with a code of ethics to prevent politicians from using racial issues to gain political mileage is indeed a timely and right move which should be welcome by all.It is very unfortunate that our politicians nned such a code of ethics to restrain them from resorting to racial issues to garner support.
We are at the brink of our 50th anniversary of independence and have elaborate plans to mark this historic occasion.Unfortunately the nation of late has been clouded by a climate of uncertainties especially with regards to racial and religious integration and harmony.
Despite our diverse origins we considered the nation as our motherland and together we shared a common brotherhood, fighting side by side, first the British colonialists and then the communists insurgents. In the spirit of that brotherhood, we together formulated the Federal Constitution which was to be guide for our mutual co-existence of future generations.
Today after 50 years there is growing anxiety that we are losing our grip on this important ingredient of ethnic unity for lasting peace in the country. Day in day out, instead of emphasizing on our commonness, we are reminded of our differences. We are increasingly being divided along ethnic and religious lines so much so our children today are comfortable to work, play and interact within their respective communities.
The vast majority of Malaysians, from all races, are busy with their lives, working hard to make ends meet.The escalating price of commodities like food, petrol and toll together with the increasing cost of housing, health care and education is taking a heavy toll on the average wage earner,especially in urban areas.
In this preoccupation with trying to support their families, they have neither the interest nor time to indulge in activities that are detrimental to national unity. It is the minority who are in places of comfort and luxury who resort to such racial issues to gain popularity and power.
Enacting measures to stop them from doing so will go a long way to arrest the deterioration of the already fragile national unity we have now.
It may be not enough to just formulate a code of ethics for politicians but ensure that it is enforced effectively for all. Our political leaders must set the example for the younger generation. They must educate aspiring young politicians on the importance of racial unity and respect of the traditions and culture of other communities. What better way is there to do this than by being a living example for them?
We have more than enough politicians who are ethnic champions. What our nation needs badly are leaders who champion the needs of all races.