Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nasir Safar and racism

Get to the root of the problem

The prompt action by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak against his aide, Datuk Nasir Safar for his alleged racist statements is highly commendable. It should be lesson for all to be more sensitive to the feelings of the people of different race and religion. This issue of respecting the racial sensitiveness of others goes far beyond an individual or a single incident. Such incidences have cropped over and over again and we wonder why people like Nasir with many years of experience would ever want to tread on such unethical practices.Is there any powers backing him?

It is extremely disheartening that despite 52 years of staying together as fellow citizens, there are still those who have yet to learnt to respect the sensitivities attached to racial and religious issues. Although the numbers may be small but nevertheless they must be checked as their actions can lead to serious repercussions in a multi-racial and multi-religious nation. The majority should not be allowed to be easily misled by such irresponsible actions of a few.

Migration of people has been a common practice throughout the history of man and will continue to be so in the future. There could be many reasons for this migration but what brought our forefathers to this country is irrelevant today. What is important is that the present generation of Malaysians regardless of race are all here to stay whether we like it or not. For the non-Malays this is the only country they know as the vast majority of them has never set foot on a foreign land but has made this their homeland for good or bad. It is therefore only right for us to learn to accept and respect one another’s differences and adapt to coexist in peace and harmony despite all those differences.

After over five decades of living together, the vast majority of the ordinary people have more things in common than different. We may be Malays, Chinese or Indians but we have learnt to accept and respect the differences among us. In fact subtly even without being aware we have adopted and incorporated each other’s cultures into our own without much any grudge whatsoever. It is just a matter of time that the people will soon assimilate to become a single Malaysian race if only they are left alone by aspiring politicians.

Nasir may have resigned and publicly apologized for his racists remarks but there much more to racism than Nasir. There appears to be certain groups that seem to thrive on racist provocations. The government must act firmly against such groups regardless of their political afflictions. While action against Nasir may be right and appropriate, it is more important to seriously seek and understand the real reasons behind those making such irresponsible racial remarks which are uncalled for and dangerous. The government must be truthful in wanting to find the root cause and take steps to put a stop to such irresponsible behavior especially from those in positions of power and authority.

There is no place for racist tendencies if we want to realize the aspirations of the 1Malaysia policy. Only if are truthful and sincere in wanting to eradicate such racist tendencies, will we find the political will to fight racism and all the evils that come with it. As long as our racial politics continue there is no way we can rise up to be counted among the world’s leading democracies.

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