Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reviving our winning ways by Shad Saleem Faruqi - The STAR

As a nation, we will be celebrating our 54 years of independence. But, regrettably, the enslavement of our mind still continues despite the coloniser having long gone back home.

HARI Raya is approaching and so is National Day. It is time to seek solace in prayer and renew our resolve to overcome some persistent problems that are straining the social fabric.

Among these are the deterioration of inter-ethnic relations and the ascendancy of some shrill voices of discord that trumpet all that divides us as well as trivialise much that unites us.

However, on a positive note, this is the season to count our blessings, which indeed are many.

First, is the area of constitutionalism.

Though the cup is not full to the brim, it is not empty.

There is enough in it to relish, cherish, protect and preserve.

The Constitution has survived the vicissitudes of race and religious politics.

Despite many political and economic crises that could have torn other societies asunder, our Constitution has endured.

It has provided a firm foundation for political stability, social harmony and economic prosperity.

Second is the wondrous durabi-lity of political cooperation among the country’s racial and religious groups.

The coalition of 14 disparate political parties under a sometimes shaky, but nevertheless enduring, political alliance is perhaps the world’s longest surviving political arrangement.

In 1955, two years before Merdeka, it was built on a spirit of accommodation, a moderation of spirit, an absence of the kind of passions, zeal and ideological convictions that in other plural societies have left a heritage of bitterness and violence.

A similar rainbow coalition is emerging on the other side of the political fence and this raises hope for the eventual emergence of issue-based rather than race-based politics.

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